Can You Remove Fake Google Reviews?
At some point during your online lifetime, chances are your business will receive negative reviews, and you may even find a fake review pop up now and then. If that happens, can you have a fake review removed? While there is no guarantee a review site such as Google will in fact remove the fake review, there are steps you can take.
Small and local business cannot afford to ignore negative reviews, especially ones that appear on the most commonly used sites such as Google. It is easy for anyone, whether they have visited your business or used your services or not, to leave a review. While you may be able to tell if a review is from an actual customer or not, other people reading your online reviews won’t be able to tell if a review is fake or not.
How can you determine if a Google review is fake? First, compare the information in the complaint with your records. If you have no customers by the name on the review, or have no recent interactions or transactions that match the review, that can be a red flag that the review may be fake. Likewise, if there is a lack of specific information and detail in the review, it may be a sign the user has never utilized your services. Another sign that bad reviews may be fake is if you receive an increase in negative reviews in short period of time.
So once you’ve determined a review is most likely fake, what can you do? In Google, it is actually very easy to flag these reviews. Simply go to your Google Maps listing, find the review, and then click on the three dots that will be next to it. You can then “flag as inappropriate.”
Google may not remove the review as quickly as you would like them to, and it is possible that it never gets removed. If this case, you can contact Google directly through their support. By either calling or emailing Google support, you can dispute the review.
Once you get in touch with a review specialist, it is important that you can clearly explain why the review is false, while also providing information on how the review violates Google policy, why it should be removed, and be able to provide any additional information to support your claim. Removal of the review is completely at the discretion of the specialist.
But what should you do in the meantime, while waiting in hope that Google removes the fake review? Respond. That may seem strange to respond to a review that you know is fake, however, your potential customers may not know that this review is fake. You can use your response to calmly and professionally draw attention to your company’s desire to offer quality customer service, while also drawing into question the legitimacy of the review.
ReviewTool suggests crafting a careful, well thought-out response that can let potential customers know you value your reputation and want to offer the best service to customers.
Our business prides ourselves on providing excellent service to every customer. We take any instances of poor customer service or negative experiences with any aspect of our company very seriously. Unfortunately, we cannot find in our records any account that is similar to what you have described here, and we do not have records of this name. We want to rectify this situation immediately, so if you could please contact us at (contact information) we will resolve this issue as soon as we can.”
For help with online reputation management, contact ReviewTool.com today.