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Google: What to do when your business gets hit with fake reviews

Every now and then a competitor—or any person with malicious intent—can slap a negative review on your business, tanking your reputation and potentially driving off customers.

And the worst part? You can’t really prevent this from happening.

Luckily, Mike Blumenthal shared five steps to convince Google to take the fake reviews down when they inevitably happen.

So listen up and arm up…

Step One – Read the guidelines. To fight them, you have to know them… or the rules, at least.

Take time to read Google Maps’ user generated content guidelines to know what reasons are valid for requesting a review removal.

Step Two – Report fake reviews with the reporting tool. This is easy. Select the Request review removal button and follow the steps to identify the business and state your claim.

If you can’t find the exact reason, pick the closest option.

Step Three – Wait for Google’s response. Google should email you immediately to confirm that it received your request and will review in the next few days.

Unfortunately, Google usually rejects the first claim and suggests that you respond with a review.

Step Four – Make a “one-time appeal.” If your review is still there and you haven’t heard from Google, you can send the one-time appeal which Google will confirm by email.

Step Five – Appeal the appeal. If Google denies the appeal or doesn’t respond within five days, you can appeal the appeal by posting on the Google Business Profile forum and escalate the case.

Provide all the required data and wait for Google to finally remove the review.

Yes, it sounds like a nightmare out of Kafka’s novel, but it is what it is. In the end, the negative review should be removed and your business’s reputation will remain clean.

Worth the hassle, we’d say.

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