The importance of Google is something people never expect. Over a year ago, Google has been releasing several updates making Google My Business more powerful than ever. One aspect of Google My Business is the Google reviews that are left behind by your customers. Therefore, it is pivotal you manage the reviews left behind. Plus, it is also possible the reviews might not be from customers, but fake accounts looking to bring your business listing down the rankings.
Identifying False Reviews
The hardest task in managing your reviews on Google is dealing with fake reviews. This task begins with the hardest step, which is identifying fake reviews. You would not want to call out and remove a legitimate review. This can cause you problems down the line. Thankfully, Google already does a good job of dealing with them, but at times, some can slip through.
If they get through, there are steps you can take to identify them, with one aspect being that they lack detail. The thing with describing an experience is that it is quite difficult to be specific if it wasn’t experienced. A fake review often has general praise about a business than talking about specific aspects of their experience. Truthful restaurant reviews, for instance, will talk about specific dishes or places like the bathroom in their review, whereas fake ones will talk about the trip, oversimplified terms like ‘food’ in their review.
Another detail about fake reviews is that they will utilize more first person pronouns. This comes as a result of fear of being discovered as a fake review. Hence, they will be over-usage of words like ‘I’ and ‘me’ in the review. One other aspect of fake reviews is that they utilize more verbs than nouns. Detailed examinations of fake reviews displayed an abundance of verbs. This is done to emphasize a story rather than providing insight to their experience. Whereas genuine reviews are heavy on noun usage.
One final thing that can be investigated is their history. More often than not, review sites like Google offers owner’s the ability to examine past reviews of customers across multiple business. The fake reviewer will either have many/none reviews or will use similar language and examples across several businesses.
Dealing With Them
In dealing with fake reviews, the most obvious step is to respond to them. You can remove them if the match off on the features listed above. However, Google cannot simply abide by the reasons you provide them, since they cannot verify if they are your true customers. It will prove difficult to prove it is fake, particularly since Google allows anonymous usernames. Plus, unlike Amazon, they do not need to purchase anything to be allowed to review a product.
In terms of ensuring the review is removed, get others to flag the review so the awareness increases. Googly will respond to your query, however if the review contains hate speech or profanity, contacting Google immediately is necessary.
Once they query process begins, you need to have evidence to make the case. Provide them with the evidence you collected and then Google support will escalate the query process. They will contact you once the decision has been made. If you are a small business, you could try tweeting to the Google Small Business Support Team, or ask Google Community for advice.
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