MonicaH

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
24
Is there anything that can be done about companies who send out emails/text messages saying "Leave us a Google review and be entered to win a $50 gift card"? Isn’t offering a payment for a review against Google’s terms of service? Or is being entered in a drawing ok? They’re smart enough not to put it on their GMB page so I don’t know if it’s something that can even be addressed … Any advice would be most appreciated!
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,966
Solutions
15
Reaction score
1,583
@MonicaH, on a practical level, there's nothing you can do.

GMB support will say "take a number" and not do anything. Neither "suggest an edit" nor the redressal form deals with reviews. Even if you got a human to look at the corpus of reviews, the question would become, "So which specific reviews aren't legit?" and you couldn't answer, because any review may or may not have been incentivized. As you say, the competitor was smart not to announce the raffle. Google won't throw all of the reviews out.

So that leaves flagging each review, one at a time, in the hopes of thinning the herd. That's not real sustainable, especially because Google already let the reviews go up.

The good news is I'd say this competitor isn't that smart. If they were formidable they wouldn't go cheap by entering would-be reviewers into a drawing, but would simply give every reviewer the $50 card. The raffle isn't too enticing, so most of the people who bother at all will just dash off their reviews. Eventually all the reviews look fake or forced. The competitor may or may not even get a higher review count than they would if they just asked customers for a favor, and the reviews won't have the detail/keywords that great reviews have, and the reviews won't be persuasive.

It's counterproductive for the competitor, so I wouldn't get in their way.
 

MonicaH

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
24
@MonicaH, on a practical level, there's nothing you can do.

GMB support will say "take a number" and not do anything. Neither "suggest an edit" nor the redressal form deals with reviews. Even if you got a human to look at the corpus of reviews, the question would become, "So which specific reviews aren't legit?" and you couldn't answer, because any review may or may not have been incentivized. As you say, the competitor was smart not to announce the raffle. Google won't throw all of the reviews out.

So that leaves flagging each review, one at a time, in the hopes of thinning the herd. That's not real sustainable, especially because Google already let the reviews go up.

The good news is I'd say this competitor isn't that smart. If they were formidable they wouldn't go cheap by entering would-be reviewers into a drawing, but would simply give every reviewer the $50 card. The raffle isn't too enticing, so most of the people who bother at all will just dash off their reviews. Eventually all the reviews look fake or forced. The competitor may or may not even get a higher review count than they would if they just asked customers for a favor, and the reviews won't have the detail/keywords that great reviews have, and the reviews won't be persuasive.

It's counterproductive for the competitor, so I wouldn't get in their way.
Thank you, Phil! My client has gotten his knickers in a twist over this (he feels the competitor is unethical and is "stealing" business from him) and keeps asking me to "Do Something!" And I keep saying there's not much that can be done... but apparently haven't been very convincing! (and was starting to wonder if there was something I was missing)

I really like your explanation about how the reviews aren't likely to be very helpful given that they'll probably be lacking detail and, over time, will look fake/forced. And you're right - the reviews gained through this recent campaign are pretty "thin" and it looks suspicious because they all appeared within a few hours of each other (right after the first solicitation email went out).
 

raellovepie

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
107
Solutions
1
Reaction score
122
@MonicaH when I had a similar situation, I tweeted @GoogleMyBiz with the details and photo evidence of the competition asking for a review in return for compensation.

Someone did reply and ask for more information. I was told they will look into it - but I did not see anything changed.

I don't know if you can PM them instead. Be careful in tweeting especially if your account is public. Your competition might see it in the future and may retaliate.
 

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert


Top Bottom