Fake reviews are a big problem on platforms like Google and Amazon, from Facebook groups where the demand regarding paid positive reviews to bots and click farms that upvote negative reviews to take out the competition. Illegitimate reviews can expand sales of unsafe products and hurt business for legitimate sellers, causing brands like Nike and Birkenstock to sever ties with Amazon. Here are some ways to spot fake reviews and what Google, Amazon, and others are doing to try and stop them.
People are likely to count on the business reviews they read online. If a business has a proper quantity of four-plus star reviews, people tend to give them a go. Nonetheless, it goes the same way around when a couple of one or two-star reviews can cause potential customers to doubt.
Buyers check out a par of 10 online reviews before relying on a local business for a purchase according to Jamie Pitman from Bright Local. The same research shows that 86% of buyers consider reviews for even local firms and 57% of buyers only prefer firms with four-plus star reviews. According to Moz, reviews occupy almost 20% of Google’s regional pack scale factors.
What Are the Spam Reviews?
It is pretty common to see companies receive numerous spam reviews. Sometimes your company will receive a seemingly fake negative review. These are usually posted as spam, or sometimes be an unethical competitor.
Typically, fake reviews will be one-star and or some unsubstantiated complaints in the comments. Unfortunately, even though you know the review is fake, your potential customers have no idea. Recent research has shown that 74% of consumers have read a fake review in the past year.
Luckily, if a review happens to be fake, there’s a course of action you can take to remove it. To remove fake reviews, the first and the most obvious way is to ask to remove the review from the author. Generally, just asking does not work but it does not hurt to try.
The second way is reporting the fake review to online platforms regarding the Terms of Service violations.
The third way is not the cheapest but it is the most effective way to pursue legal action against the person who posted the review. Most of the time, that person will find you and ask you to withdraw the complaint with a gentle apology.
If you faced fake reviews recently, no need to worry about it. Fake reviews happen all the time to big companies and the reason behind it might be everyone from your revengeful ex-worker to a nameless online troll. What matters at this point is how you are going to comment on it and which immediate steps you are going to take to remove them fast.
How to Remove Fake Reviews and Any Other Insubstantial Damaging Content
Reporting The Fake Reviews
Before reporting the fake review to the platform, it is always better to check the policies of the platform regarding classifying the fake reviews.
Always start with checking the platform’s guidelines to determine what the platform considers an inappropriate review. Most of the time platforms are like-minded about prohibiting the following types of reviews:
- Spam comments
- Off-topic comments (Might be the incorrect location or business etc.)
- Comments with offensive language
If furious shoppers, dissatisfied ex-employees or rival companies publish incorrect reviews of your company, you don’t have to simply accept it: You can oppose back without doing any additional damage to your prestige.
Halt and Process
Do not behave right away. It is ok to feel mad and defensive when somebody claims untruths about your company, but taking actions while being affected with fake review can boomerang.
Being cautious about taking actions does not mean you should tolerate the fake review and allow it to stay, otherwise you will be risking your business’ reputation since customers may see it and take it as reality.
Take an hour to blow off steam, and take action if only you are peaceful.
Nonetheless, there’s no assurance you’ll be capable to acquire a fake review removed. It’s you against the the reviewer, and review websites cannot remove each comment that a company does not want.
Depending on the site, you might be capable to ask that the comment be evaluated. Here’s how a few of the primary review websites deal with these circumstances:
Facebook will merely remove reviews if they don’t act under Facebook’s Community Standards, a public set of guidelines that restrict something like sexual harassment, bullying and threats.
Remark that these policies manage all of Facebook, so they’re not precise to companies.
- Discover the review in inquiry.
- Click the V-shaped icon in the top right corner of the review.
- Click on “Report Post” and pursue the instructions.
Yelp will remove a review only if the reviewer had a clear conflict of interest, didn’t concentrate on their own customer experience or included abusive terminology/personal details in the review.
- Log in to your company’s Yelp account.
- Locate the review in inquiry.
- Click on the flag icon in the footing right of the review.
- Choose the cause you’re declaring the post, and note out your grounds. Remark that Yelp will remove a post due to conflict of interest only if the website moderators are persuaded the comment maker was prejudiced, and if you don’t include any proof of that, the review will likely stay up.
Google will remove reviews if they’re made by a person with a conflict of interest or by somebody who’s imitating someone else – but similarly, an unbiased moderator will determine whether there is sufficient proof that the comment is fake.
- Look for your company on Google Maps.
- Choose the company’s star rating. This will lead you to the list of your company’s comments.
- Use the mouse to hover over the comment you want to delete.
- Click on the flag icon.
- Pursue the prompts. Remark that you can’t report out an motivation of why the comment must be deleted; you can simply ask that a particular review be reconsidered by Google’s moderators.
- Replying the review publicly also always an option.
Here’s the thing about replying to fake or provocative comments: It’s all or nothing.
If potential visiter see your company reply to one negative review, but not to other negative ones, they may presume that the other negative reviews are correct and that’s why your company is not replying.
Though if you acquire a ton of online comments, it’s time-consuming to reply to each one that you believe is fake. So consider your alternatives before you determine to respond to a fake review.
If you do choose to speak up, outline a polite reply that covers the matters mentioned in the review. Do not insult or charge the reviewer of anything.
Regardless of how your company reply, I suggest leaving the door open for the opportunity that the comment is honestly not fake, and likewise request the reviewer to reach your company to settle the matter. This drives it obvious that your company care regarding your actual clients.
Here are some ways you can use:
- Believe that the reviewmaker may have published a comment for the incorrect firm: “We value when our clients take time to review us, while it appears that might have the incorrect firm as we don’t hold any history of you ever having visited us. Perhaps you have us mistaken with another firm? If it was our firm then we would love the chance to make things correct.”
- Highlight your dedication to customer service: “I’m very sorry to hear that you were treated inadequately by our team. We try our finest to treat each client with the greatest regard, though sometimes we don’t satisfy our ideals. If you would accept to reach me we can settle this matter.”
Attract More Positive Reviews
One fake comment appears inadequate when it’s the solely comment your company has. When you own 100 brilliant comments, nonetheless, that one fake review looks suspicious. When you always get more comments regularly, that one fake review gets moved by the wayside.