Let’s face it: business reputation matters, and many people judge the quality of your business by looking at your business’ Google reviews. This can be both a blessing and a curse as good reviews act as practically free advertising while negative reviews can lose you a customer before you even have a chance to interact. Worst of all are fake reviews which unjustly penalize your business. Fortunately, there is a way to counteract these fake reviews and iBoost is here with some tips. If you are interested in boosting your online presence, then give iBoost a call to see what we have got to offer.
Defining “Fake Google Reviews”
What do we mean by fake Google reviews? If the review is found within a third-party webpage that incidentally shows up on Google, then there is not much that you can do except contact that third-party and/or send them a cease-and-desist letter. This article is focused on reviews on Google itself, or on Google+.
Secondly, all fake reviews are not negative reviews, and all negative reviews are not fake reviews. It is possible that a positive review is fake and, of course, that a negative review is real. Though you can likely have fake reviews removed, getting rid of negative-but-actual reviews is rarely successful.
Ask the Review Author to Remove the Review
This one might seem like a long shot, but it is worth a try. If you can, contact the author and firmly state that libel and defamation are punishable in a court of law and request that the fake review be removed. This might be enough to frighten the perpetrator into deleting or editing their fake review.
Publicly Address the Review
There is a chance that you will not be able to have the fake review removed with the previous method, so it is worth having your voice heard. Address the fake review by leaving a reply. You want to clarify that you are committed to high standards and do not have records confirming the authenticity of the review. Ask for the individual to reach out via email or phone to settle the matter. If you get a response and are able to work things out with satisfactory results, then ask if they would kindly edit their review. Turning a negative or fake review into a positive review is better than removing it altogether!
Report the Review to Google
Google will remove reviews that violate Google’s content policies. Spam and fake content are clearly prohibited content. Other prohibited and restricted content includes off-topic, profane, sexually explicit, threatening, and/or discriminatory content. If the review-in-question includes any of these, then you can report the review to Google. Click on the little flag icon next to the review and fill out the form to report the policy violation.
It will take Google a few days or even up to a week to review your report and make its decision. If successful, the review will be removed or put on hold. If the request is rejected, then you can consider the legal route by contacting an attorney.