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How to remove fake reviews on Google

How to remove fake reviews on Google

How bad can a fraudulent review on your Google Business Profile be? Is it harmful? The answers are bad and yes. We’ll fill you in on the most crucial details about Google reviews and how to remove potential fake ones. 

Do more reviews equal more views and actions in your profile? Yes and no. If you have a well-managed Google Business profile with regular updates and an overall active look, you’ll likely get more reviews. On the flip side, opening up to more customers online can sometimes lead to more fraudulent reviewers finding their way to your profile. 

You want the review section to be an accurate representation of your business. That means that any fraudulent review, good or bad, should be flagged and removed from your review section. How can you then tackle the situation, if a fraudulent review is left in your profile?

Report the fake review

It is not possible for the business owner to delete a review but all reviews can be flagged as inappropriate. Reviews can and should be reported if they contain some of the following content:

  • Off-topic: The review does not relate to any experiences with or at this business.
  • Spam: The review is from a bot, a fake account, or includes advertisements and promotions.
  • Conflict of Interest: The reviewer is linked to the company or a competing business.
  • Profanity: The review contains swear words, has sexually explicit language or details graphic violence or other illegal activity
  • Bullying or Harassment: The review personally attacks a specific individual
  • Discrimination or hate speech: The review has harmful language about an individual or group based on identity
  • Personal Information: The review contains personal information such as address or phone number

You can report the review from Google Business Manager by opening the review section of the Business profile and then clicking on the three dots on the right side of the particular review (see picture). From here you can choose the corresponding reason for the review to be replied to. 

According to Google, it can take up to three days to process your report. This might not always be the case. Sometimes you will have to report the review several times and it can take a few weeks or months for it to be removed. In these cases, an effective way can also be to ask the client to delete the review. 

Ask the client to delete the review

Having to publicly respond to a Google review that you are asking to be deleted may seem counterproductive. However, keep in mind that responding to a review that might be fraudulent is a fantastic method to show other possible clients how you handle criticism (valid or not).

Here are a few examples of how to ask the client to delete the review:

Thank you for the review. We would kindly ask you to delete your review as it is containing content not allowed on Google's platforms. This also violates the values that we have. Please contact us if there is anything you would like to discuss.

Thank you for the review, we would appreciate it if you would delete your review as it is violating Google guidelines and contains inappropriate content. You are more than welcome to contact us if there is something you would like to discuss with us.

Answer the review anyway

It is always important to answer clients' reviews, even if they are containing inappropriate content. Your company's reputation can sometimes be even more affected by how it handles unfavorable reviews and unsolicited comments than by the review left by the customer. The best method to improve and safeguard your online reputation is to proactively handle unwelcome input, and the easiest way to accomplish this is by replying to the customer's complaints.

Conclusion

Regardless of the legitimacy of the review, you should always be attentive to the reviewer and make sure you respond to the claims that are being made. Flagging a fraudulent review can be successful and you might get the faulty comments deleted, but you should also prepare an answer to the reviews since Google is not always agreeing with you and might not remove the review.

For more tips and help with review management, read our extensive guide on why you should be taking all reviews seriously here.

Need help with managing multiple Google profile’s review sections? Start a 14-day free trial on the Mobal platform today to effectivize your review management.

Download our review management guide to learn how to turn online reviews into in-store sales.

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Turn reviews on Google into in-store sales

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