March 19, 2018 ByCheryl Dykstra
Fake reviews are an annoying problem to have.
We work hard to build good, ethical businesses and fake
negative reviews can tarnish an otherwise glowing profile. This is extremely
In an online world, it’s very easy to create an account to
leave a positive or negative review – whether or not you’ve ever worked with
the company before.
So how can you stop fake reviews?
Regarding Fake Reviews
Google has a lot of policies for users that leave reviews. But
realistically, they’re not always the best at automatically catching violations
of these policies.
The good news is that if you’re diligent at tracking your
reviews and you can make a good enough case for why they are against the
guidelines, you CAN get the review removed.
Simply contact Google on Twitter, Facebook, or
report the violation via the forum.
However, it’s not always easy to refute fake reviews, and
Google does not always choose to remove them…
The Challenge with
Negative Reviews on Google
The hardest reviews to get removed from Google are reviews
with only a star rating and no text. These are the hardest to get rid of
because Google will normally tell you that they don’t violate the guidelines —
since there's no text on them.
Google doesn’t know who your customers are and they don’t
just accept you telling them, “this wasn’t a customer” as a reason to remove
Another reason that Google does not remove negative reviews
even if you can prove it’s not a customer is because they don’t need to be one
in order to leave you a review. In order to leave a review, they just need to
have a “customer experience,” which could be anything from trying to call you
and getting your voicemail to dropping by your office and just browsing around.
The Solution: How to
Unfortunately, you’re not always going to be able to get
fake negative reviews removed from Google.
It’s important to keep a level head when dealing with
negative reviews, whether they’re fake or not. Future prospects will see these
reviews and responses in the future and no matter what the review says, your
response should instill confidence and trust in whoever sees it.
If you know for a fact that these reviews are fake, you
might want to play into the game if they can’t be removed. For example, in your
response to the review you can offer these “customers” a 100% refund. After
all, 100% of zero is still zero. This ensures that future prospects who might
stumble across this review will see you’re willing to address people who have
negative experiences and make things right.
The Next Steps
Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world when it comes to
your online reputation. In fact, studies
have shown that 4.2–4.5 is actually the ideal average star rating for
If you don’t have very many reviews though, each negative
rating will count for more, so working to build
your positive reviews is an excellent way to better your star rating and
push down the negative review.
To learn more about the benefit of reviews or to begin
working on a review acquisition strategy, call Sales & Marketing
Technologies at 407-682-2222.