How To Spot Fake Google Reviews & What To Do? A Quick Guide

Mary Edward
Written By Mary Edward

9 min read

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  • Publish Date : 4/12/2024 10:25:26 AM
  • Last Update : 5/27/2024 5:06:22 PM
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Do you feel like a noncustomer added a fake review to your Google My Business profile?

Fake reviews can affect businesses' reputations as well as impact search ranking results negatively. Use these signs to identify a fake Google review on your profile and learn what you can do with it to reduce its impact on your GMB’s ranking.

How To Spot Fake Google Reviews? 7 Signs

From a review of a different geographical language to seeing a sudden increase in your negative reviews, these are seven signs that will help you identify that fake Google review you have doubted for days: 

1. Use of Generic Language

When real people add reviews, they share their personal experiences in detail and sometimes also mention the product or service they availed. So, if a negative review you just saw sounds like something that can be said for any type of business and is very simple. Chances are it is a fake one.

2. No Profile Picture or Information

The majority of people leave their reviews with their Gmail or Google account. While not everyone adds a profile picture, there’s always some specific or unique information that is available about a person on his profile. If the review you suspect has no such detail, it could mean the account is a bot account, adding fake reviews to lower your ranking.  

3. Multiple Reviews from the Same Account

This is the most common and easy to detect. If a user is leaving multiple bad or generic reviews from the same account, and that too in a short time gap, it could mean he intends to leave fake reviews and target the business's reputation. 

4. Reviews with Similar Posting Date

Google allows you to find the exact posting date for a review, and you can use this feature to find if multiple or negative reviews that are being added to your business profile were created on the same day. This can mean someone is trying to manipulate your rating by adding fake reviews. 

5. Overly Positive or Negative Tone

A genuine review contains a customer’s personal experience where he shares what he liked and disliked about a product. Those genuine reviews have a balanced tone. So if you spot a review bashing your business for no particular reason and using negative words, it can hint the review was a fake one. Similarly, an excessively positive tone can signal a bot review. 

6. Irrelevant Content or Competitor Brand Mention

An authentic review will sound relevant to your products and the business that you do. If you doubt the review that is unnecessarily talking about things that are unrelated or keeps mentioning competitors for invalid reasons, it might be a review from a fake user. 

7. Reviews from Unusual Locations

This one is a simple and easy-to-spot sign. If your local business is in Florida, but you spot a negative review from Paris, it is a clear sign that the review was added in an attempt to manipulate your business’s reputation. 

While some of these signs are clear red flags you can spot easily, you might need to put in some extra effort and manually read your reviews to identify each fake review on your GMB profile or Google Maps for those additional signs. Once you have found a handful of fake reviews, get ready to sort them out. 

What To Do With A Fake Google Review?

When you have finally identified those fake reviews trying to downgrade your business reputation, first, you must: 

  • Document those fake reviews
  • Take a screenshot
  • Save it for future evidence so that you can back your claim later 

Now, you can deal with fake reviews in two ways. The first is reporting them straight to Google and letting Google’s support team handle them, and the next is to respond to them politely and professionally. Let’s learn how to do it. 

How To Report Fake Google Reviews?

Dealing with fake reviews is frustrating, especially when they are overly negative and irrelevant to your business. So, once you are convinced that a review is fake and misleading, you can simply report it to Google by using these steps:  

1. Go to your GMB profile

First, log in to your Google Business Profile with your business account and credentials, and then navigate to the reviews section on your profile.

2. Click on reviews and identify the fake ones

Tap on reviews and start reading all your latest reviews manually. Then start looking for the signs we mentioned above, if you suspect a review to be fake, then follow the next step. 

3. Select ‘Flag as Inappropriate’ for fake review

Once you identify a review as fake, tap on it and then choose the option of “Flag as inappropriate.” Google will then identify those reviews and remove them if they are against its policies. 

4. Provide details in a report 

When you flag a review, Google will ask you to share the reason behind your action in a report format. For a fake review, you can select either Spam or Conflict of Interest options from the list. 

5. Respond and monitor the review

Google might take up to 3 business days to remove the review; until then, you can respond to those reviews or else monitor them carefully to track any other malicious act. 

While you suspect a review to be fake, you must still respond to all your reviews. Sometimes, a negative review on your business profile might be a genuine concern from a new customer, and therefore, before deciding it is a fake review, you must drop a response to that review.

How To Respond To A Fake Google Review?

Since future visitors will see your responses on your profile, you must maintain professionalism while dealing with a fake review. Therefore, while responding to a fake review, first, acknowledge it politely and then ask the reviewer to provide more details about their experience. 

Even if the review is fake, you must respond with authority to display your expertise and show your potential customers that you are committed to solving their problems.

Final Thoughts: Clean Up Your Profile By Removing Fake Reviews

Use this guide to spot those fake reviews and clean up your profile. Fake reviews can lower the reputation of your business and even impact your overall ratings. So take these quick steps to remove them. 

Meanwhile, you should also make efforts to add more genuine reviews on your profile to balance out the impact these fake reviews have created on your profile. 

FAQs

1. How do you know if a Google review is fake?

If you spot a review with misleading information and irrelevant remarks about your business, chances are it is a fake review added by your competitor. 

2. Why should you report fake Google reviews?

Fake Google reviews not only lower your profile rating, but they can also mislead your potential customers. Therefore, to be more credible and win the trust of your customers, you should report fake Google reviews. 

3. Can you remove fake Google reviews?

You can report fake Google reviews to Google directly. Google then evaluates the reviews as per its policies and removes them when they are against its policy. 

Mary Edward
Written By Mary Edward

Mary has been a content and copy specialist with 15 years of extensive experience in the writing background. She has worked as a merchandising specialist for startups and small businesses and holds efficiency in writing sellable copies to elevate sales. While Mary's writing skills are commendable, she is also our strategic partner with Buyreviewz.com. She writes Google reviews, understands the roles and responsibilities of the targeted business, and studies their local needs, bringing traffic and driving users' attention toward the brand's website and social media platforms.

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