Online reviews are a natural extension of word-of-mouth marketing since customers who receive great service will often share their experiences with their peers. However, heavily negative reviews can harm your business and sully your reputation. Spammers, competitors, and upset customers may post fake reviews to sabotage your business.
These are some things to look out for to recognize fake reviews if they show up on search engines, review sites, or social properties:
Reviews that lack details and appear to be written in a rush are good signs of being fake. If the review is short and lacking in detail, it may be because the author doesn't have much to say.
For example, if a reviewer says that the food at a restaurant is terrible and the service is poor, there's not enough information to verify the review. Instead, try to find reviews that tell you precisely why the food and service are terrible.
The verb is the action word in a sentence, while the noun is the thing or person being acted upon. Fake reviews tend to be written using verbs, while genuine reviews include nouns.
Real reviews use nouns and verbs to give a complete picture of the experience. For instance, an actual review may read, The fish tacos I ordered were served cold, which was the worst part. I ended up not eating them and ordered a hot dog instead.
Fake reviews typically are only posted on one site and aren't shared locally or even nationwide. For example, if an angry customer writes a fake review about your business, it may only show up on Google, but not Yelp, Facebook, or even Google+ Local.
As mentioned above, it's unlikely that Google will remove fake reviews, but you can report them to Google, hoping that the search engine will remove them. If you report fake reviews to Google, it will take those reviews down from its search results.
However, Google will not do so automatically. Instead, you need to report the fake reviews at the individual websites hosting them. For example, you can use Yelp to report a fake review on Google. The business owner of Yelp will then check the review on Google and remove the review if it is fake.
Here's how to report fake reviews to Google:
First, find out which site is hosting the fake review. You can do this by finding the URL of the review. You can do this by copying the URL from the search results for the review and pasting it into your browser's address bar.
Next, you need to find the report abuse button to report the fake review. On Google+, for example, you need to click on the more button and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Finally, you need to click on Report Abuse and follow the instructions to fill out the form. Most companies cannot do much against fake reviews, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Fake reviews are a threat to small businesses, but you don't have to let them ruin your reputation. Use these tips to help your business and protect yourself from fake reviews.
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