Step-By-Step Guide on How To Remove Fake Reviews on Google

Are you noticing fake reviews clogging up your Google profile and dragging your ratings down? We’ve created this handy guide to help you identify real reviews from fake ones and take them off your profile for good. No need to scare off customers 

First of all, where do fake reviews come from, and why do you want them gone?

Fake reviews are those that pretend to be legit customer feedback but lack authenticity and real experience with your business. 

While a negative review can give helpful feedback from a genuine interaction, a fake one usually has hidden motives and doesn’t show real customer experiences. We’ll talk more about the negative ones later. Getting rid of fake reviews is crucial for keeping your online reputation intact. They can mislead potential customers and can damage your appeal to your target audience.

Before making a purchase, most customers read reviews to help decide whether or not to trust a company. Fake reviews can significantly deter this trust, affecting customer confidence in your brand and hurting your sales. To protect your online presence and brand, keep an eye on your reviews and ask Google to take down any fake content you spot. 

Where do these reviews come from?  

Fake reviews can come from a number of sketchy and questionable sources. Whether they’re good or bad, they’re often like spoiled food, potentially more harmful than good for your business. Let’s quickly go over some common ones:

  • Purchased or solicited reviews: Some businesses pay third-party companies to generate reviews. Others solicit other businesses or non-customers to write inauthentic experiences.
  • Underhanded competitors: Some competing businesses resort to unethical practices by posting negative reviews to slander your reputation and gain an advantage. 
  • Internet trolls: Individuals who like to cause trouble online may post fake reviews without any real interaction with your business.
  • Bots: Automated programs designed to post spammy content, including fake reviews, without human intervention. 

How do I address fake reviews on my profile?

Now that you know where they come from and why you don’t want them, here’s how to eliminate them. 

What is Google’s policy? 

As a search engine, Google’s goal is to provide value to its users/customers – fake reviews can make it more difficult to recommend valuable content to its users. 

The company, therefore, has a content policy when it comes to the content they consider reportable. It discourages deceptive and inappropriate content, including fake engagement, misrepresentation, harassment, and offensive commentary etc. 

In other words, fake reviews of any form are a no-no in Google’s eyes. 

How to report a review: 

  • Navigate to Google Maps or search for your business on Google to find your listing.
  • Locate the review in question. You might need to click on “All reviews” to see the full list.
  • Click on the three vertical dots to uncover more options next to the review and select “Flag as inappropriate.”
  • You will be taken to the ‘Report a policy violation’ screen. Here, select the reasoning that most accurately represents your concerns.
  • Fill out the report form, providing your email address and any other necessary details. This information is critical for Google to contact you regarding your report.
  • Submit the form wait. Google will then review your submission and make a determination on the flagged review.

Important note: If you encounter multiple suspicious reviews, it’s important to report each one individually following the steps outlined above. 

The good, the bad, and the ugly of reputation management: Managing real reviews

So, we’ve covered what to do about fake reviews, but what do you do about all the real ones? While some customers love your business, others may want to voice a negative experience they had – that’s fair. But, how do you handle the bad comments? 

Navigating the landscape of online reviews requires a careful and strategic approach to maintain your brand’s reputation. Here are some effective ways to manage these reviews:

  • Promptness: Actively monitor or have a team that monitors your reviews across all platforms. Quick responses demonstrate your brand’s dedication to customer satisfaction and individual experiences.
  • Professional, personalized responses: Always respond professionally, regardless of the review’s tone. Professionalism in your responses not only reflects well on your brand but also guides potential customers in their decision-making.

Treat each review as an individual interaction. Personalized responses can turn even negative reviews into positive experiences, reflecting your brand’s commitment to customer service.

  • Acknowledge and integrate feedback: Use both positive and negative reviews as a guide to improve your products or services. This demonstrates that your brand is committed to servicing its clientele better.  
  • Maintain an active presence: Keep your Google My Business profile and other review sites updated and accurate. Posting updated photos and contact information assures customers of your brand’s attentiveness and reliability.
  • Flag inappropriate or spammy content: Flag reviews that violate platform policies or contain inappropriate content. While maintaining a clear distinction between genuine criticism and harmful content, this ensures your review space remains useful and respectful.

Tips to spot fake reviews

It can be hard to differentiate a real review from a fake one. However there are often some common traits with fake reviews. That said, keep in mind that these are general guidelines – you will have to use your better judgment for each specific case.  

  • Pay attention to the details. Fake reviews often won’t have much to report on.
  • There’s only a star rating and no comments (warning: these can also be real ones) 
  • The comments seem far too negative or too positive. 
  • The account name seems strange or too generic, and there’s no profile photo 
  • They’ve left numerous other reviews in a relatively short period of time (like a day or two days) 
  • Their reviews of other places read similarly 
  • The writing is odd or it just feels impersonal and “off” (like an AI could have written it) 
  • Look for repeated punctuation marks like exclamation points or question marks. (again, some customers just type this way) 

Let Build Media Group help manage your Google Profile

At Build Media Group, our team of professional marketing experts understands how important your online reputation is. We offer comprehensive services designed to manage and enhance your company’s profile across various platforms. 

Specializing in SEO, website optimization, and accurate portrayal of your business, our aim is to ensure your online presence matches the quality and integrity of your services. We recognize the challenges of navigating online reviews and the importance of a professional approach to reputation management. 

Allow us to partner with you to fortify your brand’s online credibility. Visit our Contact Us page to begin securing your online reputation. Together, we can achieve exceptional results and drive your business forward.

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