How to deal with fake Google Business reviews
Heart-breaking isn’t it? You work hard to build up a brand that people trust and are happy to shout about, then an email comes through from Google that someone has left you a 1-star Google review. Just today we received a fake 2-star review and I’ve been doing some research and here are some things that you can do to try and get that review removed – just don’t hold your breathe!
Google rarely removes fake reviews and so it is likely that you will be left with that review forever. However, you can minimise the impact of that review and of course, can try your best to have it removed. Your best bet is to reply politely to the review to minimise the impact of it and then flag the review as in-appropriate in the vain hopes that Google will take notice and remove it for good.
Here are those steps in more detail:
- Reply to the message: Stay polite, professional and keep to the facts. There is of course a small chance that this is a genuine review.
- Flag the review: Click the 3 dots above the review and click flag as inappropriate. Select the most suitable reason from the list.
- Contact Google: Click the support link from the Google My Business service and use the live chat to explain the issue to one of their representatives
- Get legal: Finally, if you are sure that it is a fake review, then submit a legal request through Google’s dedicated legal form
The importance of Google reviews has grown in recent years. Research carried out by BrightLocal‘s showed:
- 86 percent of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95 percent of people aged 18 – 34)
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business
- 40 percent of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks—up from 18 percent last year
- 57 percent of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars
- 80 percent of 18 – 34 year-olds have written online reviews—compared to just 41 percent of consumers over the age of 55
- 91 percent of 18 – 34 year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 89 percent of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews
If you are interested, here is the review that started this conversation: Fake Google Review
I hope this helps you if you’ve been affected by fake reviews in the past and would love to hear if you’ve managed to get any fake reviews removed. I’d also love to hear if you have any more tips to get them removed.