Online reviews are with out a doubt, one of the most important pieces to the online marketing puzzle. Good reviews can result in more business, bad reviews can result in your customers going elsewhere. Google reviews sit on the top of the mountain for review importance, so making sure you have a good reputation is crucial there.
A major problem plaguing many online businesses is FAKE google reviews. We’re not talking just negative reviews from customers…that’s another article. These reviews are not from actual customers but generally are made to look as though they are. There are many ways these fake reviews can find their way onto your google page, and we’re not going to go into that today. We are going to talk about what to do when these reviews do show up.
Respond to the review
First things first, the quickest thing you can do is to simply respond to the review. This may sound silly since it’s not a real review, but a response in this case is more for the general audience reading these reviews than for the fake reviewer. I recommend responding in the following way:
Hi “reviewername“, We take these matters very seriously, unfortunately, we can’t find any record of your customer experience. If you are a client of ours, we would very much like to investigate this further. Please contact “insert contact name” here at “insert contact email/phone #” so we can resolve this quickly.
Flag as Inappropriate
Thankfully, Google has provided a simple way to identify to them a review believed to be fake. This process might take a little while, so make sure to respond to this review first, then flag it so you don’t have a negative review hanging out there by itself. It is also recommended that you contact some other clients or have other staff flag it as well…The more people that do, the better chance you have of Google simply removing it.
Once you click on the flag, you’ll go to the page where you can fill in the details of your complaint.
Be sure to enter your official company email address or the address associated with your Google My Business Account.
Doing these two things will cover 99% of the fake reviews you’ll need to deal with. If a fake review contains hate speech or is particularly inflammatory, we recommend contacting the Google Small Biz team through their twitter account. Click here to go directly to their twitter profile.
If you would like to learn more about online reviews or wish to contact us about helping improve your online reputation, click here to go to our Brand Reputation page or email me directly (jeremy [at] greenstreamweb.com)