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Keeping Negative Reviews at Bay

Keeping Negative Reviews at Bay
April 14, 2018

Keeping Negative Reviews at Bay

Apr 14, 2018
Reshma Mandal
Reshma Mandal is a professional blogger with great passion towards writing about digital marketing, fashion, travel etc.

Do you have a website? Then you must have faced the problems created by fake reviews. No one wants them because they are like uninvited guests whom you cannot ignore. Negative reviews are every business owner's nightmare. There are no legal actions to stop or prevent fake reviews to publish or continue. Fake reviews are very problematic for small businesses. It's now very easy for anyone to create a new account and leave either a positive or a negative review for any business out there regardless of whether you know them or not. Reputation management is a long and tedious process. Reviews are extremely important for any online business for building your reputation. They are essential for local SEO, but fake reviews can have a huge negative impact on your business. So how can fake reviews impact your business?

How Can Fake-Reviews Affect Your Business?

Fake Reviews Can Destroy The Bond of Trust

If you see fake reviews in your customer's or audience's perspective, then they are not going to trust your brand if they find any fake reviews on your site. Customers are pretty good at spotting fake reviews. There are plenty of companies out there that make money through selling fake reviews. They write more than thousands of reviews per day. So how can you avoid them from posting reviews on your site? If your visitors or customers check your page and find unstructured comments with rudimentary English posted at odd hours, then surely they are not going to trust you.

Fake Reviews Destroy Trust- Digital Ready

You Can Be Fined and Penalized

Google's entire business is based on data. If you get unnatural reviews, then you may be penalized by Google. If Google finds that you are trying to game its system, then it will be less likely to rank you for relevant local search terms. It will result in low traffic to your website and drop revenue. You may be legally fined too. There are 19 companies in New York who were fined by regulators with $350,000 for posting false reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Citysearch, and Yahoo. So you must be aware of this as no one can predict future.

Penalty for Fake Reviews- Digital Ready

Appearing Too Good is Bad

Almost every business out there has some positive and some negative reviews. But if your brand or website only had positive reviews then the statement “too good to be true is bad” would be true. Customers or visitors are more likely to suspect you of gaming the system if they find all positive reviews on your site. You might have managed to avoid all negative reviews from your site, Google didn’t catch you, and you have not been fined and penalized too. But you cannot avoid customer’s thinkings. Appearing too good sometimes results in a way that you might not have thought about.

Only Positive Reviews- Digital Ready

The Challenge With Google

Google allows users to use an anonymous name and doesn’t care about who your customers are. So it’s effortless for anyone to create an account and write a negative or fake review on a website. Proving the online identity of someone is difficult. The other challenge is that a person doesn’t have to be a customer to leave a review on any website. Anyone can leave a reply and Google cannot stop that.

How to Respond to Fake Reviews?

You need to respond quickly to all the fake reviews on your site in spite of knowing that they are fake because even if your flag the reviews, your prospects can still view them. That’s the reason you should always respond. This is to show your customers your behaviour in responding to your customer’s dissatisfactions. Quick responses show your commitment to good customer service. Here are some do’s and don’ts of responding to bad or fake online reviews.

  • Don't ever ignore any bad or fake review. Responding any review within a maximum of 24 hours is always better
  • You should keep your response brief. A full lengthy monologue excuse never works, and can rather leave your visitors or customers dissatisfied
  • Don't go for denying the mistakes, rather own them up and reply with a positive, apologetic response. You should apologize even if it's not your part rather than be writing a defensive response or blaming the reviewer
  • Give offers in front to your visitors and customers to fix their issues rather than threatening them
  • Follow up with your promise to your customers and don't go for leaving the fake reviews

How to Remove the Fake Reviews: Flag and Dispute Fake Reviews

Google allows to flag reviews so that they can remove them. I will explain you the steps to remove the fake reviews with our site’s example. Go through the below steps to flag reviews: 1. Search for your business on Google maps.

2. Find all reviews and the review you want to flag.

While looking for the reviews, I found this. The review is “My brother in law joined the course here, and the training could have been better with placement assistance than just classroom sessions. It would be good if you people arrange the interview at least three times for each candidate with different companies.” This is an example of fake feedback on our site which you cannot stop from being posted. But you can flag and dispute it to tell Google to check and remove it. So how to do it? Go to the next step. 3. Click on three vertical dots on the upper-right corner of the review and click on “Flag as inappropriate.” Look below for the image example of a fake review.

4. You will get two options, either “Call Google and follow up on your flagged review status” or “Get Legal.” “Get legal” option will let you fill up a “Google form for a legal removal request.” For the first option, “Call Google and follow up on your flagged review status”, you need to go to Google My Business Homepage and click support at the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side.

The above video by Jim Stewart explains how to remove fake or negative reviews from Google. He talked about the four-step process, addressing the fake review, flagging the fake review, contacting Google about the fake review via phone, and finally the legal removal request.

Stay on Top for Your Fake or Negative Reviews

Staying on top of your negative and fake reviews can turn them into a good review. If your audience or customer is unhappy with your service, then you can come right back and fix it with an instant reply and follow up with the solutions. This can actually turn a customer’s mind from changing their review from negative to positive. You can see unhappy customers numerous times in your business. But you should also know how to handle them.

Take the above example of our fake review and how we replied to it. Your reply should be polite, on to the point how you can solve it, and the main point is that you should reply on time. And that’s what we did. It’s not an issue for a customer or viewer to change the number of stars from 1 to 4 once he receives little common decency and solution.


Make efforts to get as many reviews as you can as reviews help a business grow faster and increase your ROI, trust, and reach. The best way is to respond to a negative review quickly. This shows your customer service. Whether it’s Google, Facebook, Twitter, or any other popular websites or channels, you should make an effort to keep an eye on both the positive and the negative reviews. I hope this article would have helped you understand all about fake reviews and how to deal with them. For more quality articles, please visit our website blog. Reach out to us if you want to grow your career in digital marketing. Digital Ready will help you out in reaching your goal and getting your dream job.

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