Fake reviews can have a real impact on your business. So it’s important to learn how to quickly spot them.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to spot fake reviews on Google. Here are a few tell-tale signs:
Check the reviewer’s name and avatar
Fake Google reviews are a big problem. They damage a business’s reputation, harm search engine rankings and mislead customers. Thankfully, Google has ways to help combat the issue of fake reviews. One way is to look at the reviewer’s name and avatar. Reviewers who have impersonal avatars and non-descript names are a good indication that they’re not genuine.
You can also check if the reviewer has reviewed other businesses on Google. When you click on the reviewer’s name, you should see a side panel that shows their review history. People who are paid to write reviews often create new accounts or use old ones and may not have a complete review history. You can also check the length of their reviews to see if they are too short or out of context. If they are, this is another sign that the review may be fake.
Check the review’s language
If a review is written in a strange language or sounds like it’s been spelled out using a computer software program, it may be fake Click Here. Also, watch out for reviews that appear to be a copy of another review or are identical in content.
According to a 13 Investigates video, many of these fake Google reviews are posted by people who offer their services to businesses on Facebook and on social media for a small fee. Some of the review brokers offer their services internationally, while others post a range of different review types for local businesses in multiple cities and locations.
If you suspect a review is fake, you can report it to Google by choosing “Flag as inappropriate” from the options near the review. This will prompt Google to follow up with you to verify that the review violates their policy. In the meantime, you should encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on your Google business profile to outweigh any fake ones.
Check the review’s location
If a review is coming from a questionable account or has a suspiciously recent timestamp, this is a good sign it’s fake. Additionally, check the account’s profile to see what other reviews they’ve left – if there are many reviews from the same time period and they all praise a competitor, this is a sure sign that the reviewer is trying to discredit your business.
If you think a review is fake, report it to Google via your small business account. The platform is pretty strict about removing reviews that violate its policies, so it’s worth going through this process to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, sometimes a false review will remain posted on Google even after you’ve flagged it. However, you should still try to respond to the review so that potential customers aren’t put off during this time. In most cases, the review will be removed once you’ve been contacted by a Google representative.
Check the review’s star rating
Using a website like Fakespot, which analyzes reviews on various platforms, can help you determine whether a review is fake. If you’re unsure, you can also report the review directly to Google.
You can report suspect reviews through your Google Business profile by clicking the three dots on a review and selecting “Flag as inappropriate.” After flagging a review, you’ll be taken to a page where you can choose a reason for why you think the review is not legitimate.
If you have any supporting evidence, you can provide it here as well. Once you submit your request, Google will review it to determine if it violates its policies. If the review is found to be fraudulent, it will be removed. Keep in mind that this process can take a few days, so make sure to follow up with your request. If it’s not removed after a week, you may want to contact Google directly for more information on why your request was not approved.