09Mar 23 How to Identify and Remove Fake Google Reviews?
Any business, no matter how big or small, depends on the reviews to make it even better. Now, the Google review process can be beneficial and can help your business to stand out from the crowd.
But how do you identify fake reviews on Google?
Before proceeding, let us first check out what Google reviews are and why they benefit your business.
As we all know, a review is feedback or evaluation of a particular product or service you purchase. Now, when you have a business running on a global platform, also known as the internet, it is apparent that you have a webpage where people can check out the services or products you are selling.
A Google review is the customer’s feedback regarding the services and the products that you are offering.
And instead of sending you a handwritten note, Google reviews are all about the client’s testimonials visible to you and everyone else going through your webpage.
An individual can give you a rating of 1 to 5 stars, where one means terrible and 5 means excellent—the numbers in between stand for mean, average, good, and great. A happy and contented customer has a very good chance of giving you a 5-star rating, whereas a disappointed customer will rate you 1, no questions asked.
Now good reviews are important for the growth of your business, and fake reviews may often lead to misinterpretations.
Fake reviews can often be hard to identify if you are a customer, but while running a business, it can be pretty easy to identify as soon as it is posted. The fundamental thing about posting reviews on Google is that some can be actually genuine, while some can steer you in the wrong direction.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to identify fake Google reviews:
- A number of businesses post fake reviews to lure customers or even post negative reviews on the competitor’s page to deter their customers
- Businesses who buy fake reviews have only one objective – they either want their products to shine or they want to subdue the competitor’s products. People who sell fake reviews are mainly service providers and vendors
- Personal agenda can also be another reason for fake negative reviews on Google. At times former employees who were fired could take out their vengeance by filling up the Google business listing page with fake reviews to bring the company’s reputation down
- Sometimes, friends, family members, and other relatives fill up the listing page with positive fake reviews due to their close acquaintance with the business owner.
- Customers often end up writing fake reviews in exchange for discounts, refunds, or other added benefits
Fake reviews are hard to notice as the person who is posting them doesn’t want you to comprehend that it’s fake!
Nevertheless, you have an added advantage if you read the message thoroughly. Fake reviews usually have a persuading tone, which might force you to actually interact with the business organization. Thus they have extremely specific details as to why they had a negative experience.
The lack of authenticity will ultimately not help you in understanding the authenticity of the business as it will tend to fabricate its actual details and focus mainly on the reviewer’s personal agenda.
Moreover, fake negative reviews on Google usually contain deceptive messages with less complex words. Since fake reviews are nothing but made-up stories that try to either bring the reputation of a business down or to promote them, a person writing a false review does not focus on the vocabulary as their only focus is to create a story that everyone will believe.
Additionally, fake reviews have more exclamatory sentences than usual as they are trying to emphasize the negative or the positive aspects. A business might impact a customer negatively and genuine negative reviews have a more clear-cut idea about the actual scenario rather than the reviewer’s personal emotions. Thus, once a customer is genuinely unhappy with a business service, they will put forth their thoughts so that you can work on them and improve the overall business functionality rather than exaggerating and overreacting about the situation.
Another way to identify fake Google reviews is to have a close look at the user’s name and profile. Google reviews require a proper email address and the people who leave false reviews most of the time have fake accounts. So don’t be shocked if you get a review on your Google listing page by someone named “email@example.com.” It is probably someone who has a personal agenda against you and is definitely trying to bring your brand’s reputation down. Or it can simply be a competitor of yours who wants to outshine your business.
To understand the authenticity of a review, you can also take a closer look at a particular reviewer’s profile and check if they have rated other businesses, especially the one that provides similar services to yours.
If the reviewer has not posted another review on any other business page apart from a specific one, either in a positive or a negative way, that certainly means that this particular review is fake.
The same method will also enable you to understand the frequency of the reviews. There are multiple organizations that pay people to write fake reviews. These people end up writing reviews in a bulk manner and keep on changing their accounts to avoid getting detected. So if you can identify any of them, feel free to flag them.
Google has a scale of 1 to a 5-star rating that is based on the customer’s experience without actually asking them to justify their reasons. Thus deceptive reviewers can give you a one-star rating without an explanation. This can make them even harder to catch.
What can you do in such a scenario? Well, you can always go ahead and flag those comments with only a rating and without having to write an actual comment.
However, some of the negative ratings might be actual, as a genuine customer will always want you to work on your shortcomings and explain the actual problem.
How to Remove Fake Reviews on Google?
Removing fake reviews from Google is not rocket science and it certainly does not require you to be a top-notch techie. A few simple steps and you can remove all the false reviews from your Google listing page. Some of them are:
- The first step is to log into Google My Business
- Scroll down to the reviews tab
- Now that you are well aware of how to spot a fake review, click on some of the reviews that you want to delete or flag
- Next, click on “flag as inappropriate”
- Complete the entire follow-up survey
- Finally, conclude it by responding to the customer review
If you are not getting the option to delete a particular review, you need to go through the formal process of reviewal. In doing so, it might require some time as Google will do a background check and decide if it is actually legit to delete a particular review.
However, there is no guarantee that the review will be removed. If that is the case you might have to talk to the reviewer directly and ask them to resolve the dispute.
Why is it Important to Report Fake Google Reviews?
Customer reviews are a valuable lead for a company to grow bigger. Honest reviews allow you to work on your shortcomings and provide you with different ideas on how your product or services can perform in a better way compared to the other existing companies or the current state of your operations. Some individuals write fake reviews for defamation while others write to be a step ahead of the competition. This can be problematic as people won’t actually understand if they are truly interested in doing business with your company.
Thus, always remove fake Google reviews!
Anyone and everyone can write a Google review that instantly pops up upon submission. And because Google is a third-party company, it cannot just automatically bring it down.
Once you are aware of the many intrinsic details on how to remove all the fake comments from your business page, you will never have to worry about making a wrong impression on others. Follow the guidelines, and everything will fall into place!
If you are a business owner who wants to branch out, feel free to reach out to UsePerWish.
We are a team of VAs who will help you to complete any task that propels you in the business arena, with quality, professionalism, and commitment.
With a high level of quality and competency on your business’s side, your reviews on Google will always be positive and we can also help you in identifying the fake ones. To know more about us, check out our website Use Per Wish, and never worry about a negative brand reputation or impression!