Mar 15, 2016
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How to Flag Questionable Online Reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp


Online authority is the backbone of a company’s reputation. A business with an impeccable track record among its customers and community is a strong contender for the position of industry leader and trendsetter.

When a business does right by their customers, their reputation improves. But even the best businesses can end up being the victim of questionable online reviews.

A study by the Harvard Business School found that 20% of Yelp reviews are fake, a number that would concern any small business owner.

Having questionable reviews removed, ones that do not accurately reflect the business is essential to maintaining an appealing reputation.

What exactly qualifies as a ‘questionable review’?

When we say ‘questionable’, we mean fake or otherwise invalid. Business owners need to understand that a negative assessment doesn’t instantly qualify the review as fake.

A legitimate negative review can be a tough pill to swallow. It’s easy to become defensive or dismissive, even when the customer had a valid poor experience. How business owners handle valid negative reviews provides a glimpse into the business culture. The public back and forth will influence future customers.

Even if you don’t end up getting the upset reviewer to remove their negative review, showing that you’re aware of their problem and trying to make things right will be enough to protect your reputation.

Assuming that doesn’t work, you can encourage more members of your community to leave reviews of their experiences.

The easiest way to hide negative reviews is to overshadow them with positive ones.

That said, a negative review and a fake one aren’t treated the same way by platforms like Yelp, Google and Facebook.

While this post is on the more beginners side of things, it's essential that our clients know how to flag a questionable review on these major sites.

Check out the rest of Brian's postfor the step by step for each site.


Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Thanks Garrett,

This is really helpful and will come in handy for folks I'm sure!
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