Are you exhausted of seeing yet another negative review on your Google My Business Account? You are not the only one! In the current digital world, anyone can create a fake account and leave a positive or negative review regardless of any security check or prior approval. And the worse part is that these reviews directly reflect your company’s ranking. According to a survey report, conducted by Dimensional Research, stats indicate that 90% of respondent’s buying decisions are influenced by ‘Google Reviews’. If anyone drops a fake or negative Google review, it can dramatically lower your business ratings and reduce brand credibility online.
Therefore, it is important to understand the process and plan your strategy well.
How to Tackle Fake Google Reviews?
As discussed, negative reviews can adversely affect your business ratings in front of your online customers. Unfortunately, you cannot remove or hide Google reviews even if they are fake. Being a small/mid-size business organisation, you should tackle it calmly but smartly. So, let’s follow these instructions to deal with Fake negative reviews:
Step 1: Act Smart
When you see any negative review on your Google My Business page, take these initial steps:
· Stay Cool, Stay Calm:
Don’t loose your temper while reading a false review. Take action calmly. Don’t respond at all if you are in anger. It will communicate a wrong message.
· Research the Incident
Do your research before you reply. Talk to your internal team and ask about the issue. Communicate privately with the reviewer to find the complete details from his/her end.
· Respond Back To A Negative Reivew
Once you’ve done your investigation and have all facts in place, respond back politely. Clearly state what your company is doing to resolve the issue, how much user satisfaction is important for you, and share with them steps that are being taken. Please note that you should always reply back whether positive or negative review. This will re-establish the reviewer’s trust and he may go back and change the review into positive.
Step 2: Flag The Fake Review
You have approached the user online and off-line still he has not responded or you investigation reveals that the reviewer’s profile is fake. What can you do in this situation? You can now ‘flag the review’. Notify the Google team regarding a violation of their review policy by flagging the review.
How to Flag the FAKE Review?
- Take your cursor where a user has given the rating. A flag icon will appear on which you can click to mark as ‘flag’.
- Once you click on it, it will take you to Report a policy violation page.
- Enter your company’s e-mail address and select the Violation Type.
Make sure several people of your company flag that specific review together. Similar action from multiple people may help to get recognized quickly and in turn, fast action.
Step 3: What if a review is not removed using the flagging method?
You are done with the flagging but are unable to get rid of Google My Business Account from fake or negative Google Review. Now what? Don’t get disappointed. Google has certain policies to deal with such issues. Get in touch with Google Support associate. Follow the instructions to get connected with them:
a) Look at Google My Business Dashboard to Connect with Google Support Associate
1. Log into your GMB page.
2. Go to the Reviews section.
3. Click on the home menu and select Support.
4. Choose a method of Contact — Phone or Email.
5. Fill in the necessary contact parameters, Add a screenshot of the review in question, and wait patiently (you should hear back within 24–48 Hours).
b) Go to Your Twitter Account and Tweet the Google Small Business Support Team
The Google small business team is knowledgeable and authorised by Google to tackle such issues. They take around 24–48 hours to come back.
c) Ask the Google Community for Help
Use Google support form to get connected with the community experts:
1. Go to Spam & Policy Forum in GMB.
2. Search previous answer related to your issues or you can ask a question about your spammy/fake review problem.
3. Some community experts can help you to escalate and report your problems, as well as community managers can assist you there.
d) Make Your Case
If you’ve received a reply from Google Small Business team, what do you do next? You have to present your case study to them so that they can escalate it to Google. Just like a lawyer, you need gather facts, information and details about the case and fight for justice. Ideally, your case should include:
- Why the review is false?
- How it violates Google policies?
- Why it should be removed?
- Any images, links, or other details that backup your claim?
Once those support associates review and approve your case, you will get a call back from the concerned person who will assist you throughout the case and get this resolved just like a lawyer does.
Remember, a negative review does not mean a fake review. Take action accordingly before submitting your case.
The above steps will help you to tackle your fake or negative reviews. For more tech tips and to improve your search engine visibility, call us at 0124 4143050 or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pure Design Solution is Gurgaon based leading digital marketing agency. At PDS, we believe in building brands with strong online reputation and credibility. To discover how online visibility can alter your brand’s presence in this new age digital work, visit us at www.puredesignsolution.com.