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Fake and negative reviews on Google Maps are a threat to the company. How to remove them?

Karol Bocheński
14/12/2023 | 4 min read
Fake and negative reviews on Google Maps are a threat to the company. How to remove them?

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    Negative reviews on Google Maps can cause customers to flee from your company. Even if your offer seems interesting to them, they will not make purchases from you. Do you know the principle of social proof? When a person does not know what decision to make, they tend to seek the opinions of others. Then they make the same choice as the majority of society.


    A satisfied customer will bring more customers to you. One negative comment can make a potential buyer of your goods hesitate and start looking for alternatives. Therefore, it is in your interest to remove reviews that harm your image as much as possible. Otherwise, you give your competition a significant advantage, which is probably not your goal.


    Google can remove negative comments from your business listing


    As the owner of a Google My Business listing, you are a customer of the American giant. This means that you have the right to demand high-quality services. Google must meet your expectations and guarantee your safety when using its platform. Consequently, if a person posting a review happens to violate the terms of service, you are in a winning position.


    The Google Maps terms clearly define what content is prohibited on this platform. This primarily includes spam and fake reviews. Since only one review can be posted from a Google account, you can easily deal with dishonest practices of your competitors. If you can prove that someone has posted a review from multiple accounts, all ratings from that person will be removed. Similarly, you can handle people who were not your customers or whose comments contain false information.


    Google also condemns offensive, discriminatory, dangerous, or even terrorism-related reviews, as well as comments with clearly sexual undertones. In Google Maps, you also cannot review your own business. Interestingly, this applies not only to business owners. Current and former employees are also prohibited from doing so without violating Google's rules. On the one hand, this poses certain difficulties. However, this rule effectively protects you from toxic individuals with whom your company no longer collaborates.




    How to report fake reviews that violate Google Maps rules?


    Reporting reviews is very simple. Just click on the three-dot symbol next to the comment that violates the rules and choose the appropriate option. If the report is verified successfully, the review should disappear within 4 days. After this time, you can contact Google support. Describe the problem in detail. Indicate which rule has been violated. This way, you will show that you are submitting the report for valid reasons.


    Sometimes, the response to the submitted form may be negative. You can appeal against it. After a second refusal, your only option will be legal action. However, even in this way, you will not be able to remove genuine reviews that comply with Google's guidelines. You will also not be able to get rid of ratings with a low number of stars that do not contain any content. What can you do in such a case?


    Instead of removing, use fake and negative reviews on Google My Business to build your reputation


    You were unable to remove a negative review. That's okay. It happens. In such a case, your response matters. Potential customers pay attention not only to the content of the comments. They want to know what you will do if they themselves have any concerns about their order. By insulting the person who posted a negative comment, you will lose the chance to improve your reputation. Instead, you can approach the problem professionally.


    Treat your response as free advertising space. Understand why your customer is dissatisfied. Then address their concerns. Apologize for any inconvenience caused. Do this even when your company has performed the transaction flawlessly. This is what distinguishes professionals from amateurs. Offer a solution or compensation. Invite the buyer to contact customer support and wait for a message.


    Remember! Respond to unwanted reviews in the comment section. Do not use private messages for this purpose. Your response should be visible not only to one customer but also to other people interested in your offer.



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