Last week I commented on the nasty fake reviews we’d received. This is a big problem for online business owners, whose reputation solely rests on what potential clients can read online. Disgruntled former employees and business competitors can cause real problems by posting bad fake reviews. I’ve managed to remove the ones I received; here’s how you can do the same.
Respond to the fake review
The old rule about not responding to a bad review doesn’t hold here. Respond to the fake review, putting the reviewer on notice that you know it’s a fake. Be calm and businesslike, and state your evidence telling how you know it’s a fake.
Flag the review
Click on the flag next to the reviewer’s name to get to a page where you can report the review as a violation of Google’s TOS. Fill out the form, using your business email address for the contact information.
Wait 24 hours, and then if the review hasn’t been removed, call Google to get results. Look for your listing on business.Google.com. Find the icon with three lines in the upper left part of the page and click on it to find “support.” You’ll be able to chat or phone someone at Google about your problem. You may have to call back two or three times, and you’ll have to have all your evidence at hand to prove the review is a fake, but this will work in most cases.
Go the legal route
Your final step, if nothing else works, is to fill out the form for a legal removal request. You’ll find that at support.Google.com/legal. Keep following up with the case and eventually your reviews will be removed, like mine were.
To read more, visit the StewArt Media website.
Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.