More threads by JoyHawkins


Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Aug 23, 2014
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This thread will likely resonate with many of you.

This business is getting reviews constantly that this user is reporting are fake and not from real customers.

Google has removed a ton of them, but they keep getting more. There seems to be no way (in my experience) for Google to stop it.

What would you do if this was your competitor?
Is there a point where Google says that's enough?

If Google does not penalize the business somehow (if they see many fake reviews coming in, maybe they should get the reviews stars shut off for a time), then eventually enough of the reviews will stick. Not much to do about it.

Otherwise, depending how desperate the client is, there are lot's of things that can be suggested but not sure I want to start listing my black hat creativity. ;)
It's hard to know whether Google would really put much effort into stopping this if it's just one isolated instance. But if anyone could figure out where these fake reviews are coming from, it would be Google. If they care.
Wow I actually came on here to ask about something like this. A client got 3 back-to-back negative reviews, where we know it's fake (writing style, not a customer, etc). Flagged as inappropriate and nothing has been done. I wanted to ask what else to do.

But seeing as how Joy mentions Google can remove these reviews, I guess I should wait a little more?

FYI, one of the negative reviews, I guess realized how obviously fake it looks because of the back to back nature - so he (or Google) removed it, and then wrote it on Sunday!
[MENTION=5981]Yourname[/MENTION] - fake negatives are a totally different scenario. I was referring to fake positives that your competitor gets.

My advice for fake negatives is over here.
I mean what can you do really? I don't think Google is ever going to wipe out a legit business listing from maps even if they are doing fake reviews. If I were Google and I looked into it and noticed a spam trend I would just reset the listing to 0 reviews and have some sort of filter on the listing to periodically check on the reviews in the future and reset again if needed.

At the end of the day, unless they are all coming from the same IP or there was some noticeable relation to all of the reviewers (weird locations, etc), it's really difficult to tell what's real and fake most of the time if the company doing fake reviews knows what they're doing.
Hi Joy, thats an awesome post. Loved the idea of posting on social media, might need to try it with approval from them. But you didn't go deep in to the right process of getting involved other than the usual "Report as inappropriate"?

Any tips there?

I preface this by saying there's only so much you can do, given Google's apparent preference for a Wild West setting. As you know.

Anyway, my suggestions:

1. Report the more-believable-looking fake positive reviews.

2. Let stand the more-obviously-phony positive reviews. Those make the business owner's crookedness pretty apparent. Perhaps enough that other people's BS meters start to overheat and smoke.

3. Consider calling them out in their GMB Q&A. "Hey, are these reviews really from customers? Here's why I ask..."

I'd check their Yelp reviews, too. They're probably scamming on Yelp, too. Unlike Google, Yelp's been known to *do* something about it on occasion.

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