How to deal with fake reviews.
Fake reviews can be a real pain. We’ve all seen them before and hopefully none of yous have been victim of them. In 2019, we had one of our clients give us a call and let us know they just lost out on one of the biggest deals to date. We was a little worried to hear that information at first, however, when our clients lose deals, what they do is they send out these feedback forms, which essentially gives feedback on why they lost a job and it helps them improve their processes. So on this feedback form, the person wrote, “You had too many one-star reviews so I wasn’t confident you could deliver.”
Which is super frustrating, as all the one-star reviews the person was referring to were fake. I don’t believe, in this situation, the problem was the review itself. I believe it was the fact that our client didn’t respond to the fake review, thus allowing everyone else to think it was real. Now we can’t run away from fake reviews, I mean, can’t remove them on our own accord. However, what we can do is respond to them and make it evident to everyone else that that review is indeed fake. If you’re unlucky and acquire some fake reviews, the first thing to do is to reply to them and highlight the fact they are fake. Here’s an example of what you can say.
You can say, “Thank you for leaving a review. We take feedback very seriously. However, I’m afraid we have no record of you ever being a customer. We have never provided,” so the service would be the service you provide, “to yourself, so would greatly appreciate it if you could remove the misleading review.” This makes it super clear to everyone that this review is suspicious. Once you’ve responded to the review, you can notify Google about it and request them to remove it. However they won’t always remove it, so don’t place any bets on it. However, Google do provide you an option, so it’s best to report it. I’m going to show you now how to report any fake reviews you get.
Google make it very easy to actually report fake reviews. You simply need to be logged into the email account which is registered with your Google My Business account. So I’m logged into that email account right now. I’ve typed in LevelFinish to get up my GMB listing. So what you wanna do is find the negative review. So let’s just imagine that this review at the top is gonna be a negative review. So let’s just imagine that Christine said, “LevelFinish was terrible. They broke my TV and they stole my microwave,” for example. So what I wanna do is first find the negative review. So you’ll see if you hover over the text, a little flag appears, this flag right here.
So this is the flag you want to press to report the review. So hover over the text and then click the flag. This will now open a page where you can report the policy violation. So essentially you need to pick what type of violation it is. So you can read through all of Google’s policy requirements right here. So essentially they will only remove a review if they deem it to be a fake review, if it’s abusive, if it contains a virus for example, and so on and so on. So I won’t bore you and read through all of these, you can check these later on in your own time. So essentially what you’re gonna do is pick your violation type.
So I typically go for the top one, “This post contains hateful, violent or inappropriate content,” as there’s no button to give you a choice of picking a fake review. So inappropriate content, to me, classifies as a fake review. So you can play around with this and go back and forth with Google. How essentially you want to basically pick your violation type, plug in your email address. So the email address you want to put in should be the one associated with your Google My Business listing. So plug in your email address, click your violation type, and then click Submit.
So Google will then review your violation, or what you’re saying is a violation and then get back to you in five days with an outcome. I’m pretty sure recently they stopped even getting back to you. So it’s only if it gets removed they get back to you. I’m pretty sure now, if they don’t remove it, you don’t hear from them at all. But you will need to submit this and I’m sure you get some information in email. However, I’m not gonna submit this as obviously this isn’t a fake review. It’s actually a real review and it has five stars. So that is how you report a review on Google.
But just like I said earlier on, there’s no guarantee it’s gonna get removed. However, there is a feature to report it so you might as well go ahead and use it anyway and hope for the best.