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Thread: Serious False Negative Review Problem

  1. #11
    standenman is online now Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    Interesting, but how would I do that? (get 5 accounts to flag it)

  2. #12
    bhartzer is offline Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    Surely you have at least 5 friends that have Google accounts? They'd need to search Google, find the review, and flag it.

  3. #13
    standenman is online now Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    Yes but no one but me knows this review is illegitimate. So if I just get family and friends to flag the review won't Google be suspicious?

  4. #14
    bhartzer is offline Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    If you respond to the review, publicly challenging it, then it will be seen. If five people flag it, they're just marking it--Google will ultimately make the decision whether or not it should stay. I'm assuming that they have a lot more data about this particular person (who left the review), even their activities and location. For example, if the person has never been to your location, then that might raise a red flag, especially if Google has no record of that person ever being in your State or city.

    By the way, if the person who left the review only has a few reviews (or only 1 review), there's a better chance that Google will see it as spam and remove it.

  5. #15
    standenman is online now Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    I got you. OK thanks a lot.

  6. #16
    bhartzer is offline Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    By the way, standenman, it looks to me like you have multiple Google local listings--you might want to look into that.

  7. #17
    standenman is online now Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    A second bogus negative review has hit me. This is a real serious attack on the business I have spent years building. Review by "Sydney Slater" and "Juan Lulli" - 2 persons I do not know and have never been clients. I know who is doing this - a freelancer I used on Upwork. I terminated the contract due to shoddy work and overbilling, and she subsequently entered my development site and destroyed files. I showed Upwork the evidence of her conduct and they terminated her from Upwork. She now has nothing to lose in attacking me. PLEASE if anyone is willing to help me in flagging these 2 reviews I would be very, very grateful!

    By the way, it is also not clear to me what category needs to be selected in flagging the review.
    his post contains hateful, violent, or inappropriate content

    "This post contains hateful, violent, or inappropriate content
    This post contains advertising or spam
    Off-topic
    This post contains conflicts of interest"

  8. #18
    James Watt's Avatar
    James Watt is offline Top Contributor
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    'Conflicts of Interest' is the most appropriate here. As I said earlier though, even with a number of flags it may not accomplish much if the text of the review and past behavior of the reviewer both don't hint at any underlying foul play.

  9. Members who thanked James Watt for this post:

    djbaxter (09-12-2017)

  10. #19
    standenman is online now Member
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    Received 2 patently obvious false reviews at Denman Law Office by a "Juan Lulli" and a "Sydney Slater", names completely foreign to me. These same false reviews were left at avvo.com, an attorney site, and I got them removed at avvo without problem - was told that they both came from the same IP Address. Yet Google has told me that these reviews do not violate their policy! Funny isn't it that if I had my clients submit legitmate reviews from a desktop computer in my office Google would be all over it! I have spent THOUSANDS with google adwords over the years. Makes me sick.

  11. #20
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    Re: Serious False Negative Review Problem

    One of my clients received a negative review from someone who had never been a client. The review came at around the time a similar local business was publicly named and shamed for malpractice on national TV, so it made me wonder if this was them trying to damage the credibility of legit rivals.

    It prompted me to begin investigating and writing about it. I've written before about genuine reviews being deleted, whereas this is the opposite end of the spectrum.

    My client responded to the review in a level-headed and reasonable way, but he really is very upset. The reviewer used an alias (not a real person's name) to post the review, but later changed this alias to a person's name.

    I looked at their account activity and noticed that although they were supposed to have reviewed 6 location, only 1 review was present, suggesting the other 5 had been removed by Google. That's good!

    I've also been looking at ways to compel Google to take action on fake content via a Legal Removal Request, citing laws, rights and regulations here in the UK. You'll have a tougher time going this route if you're in the USA, so I hear, because a court order is needed to force Google to take action.

    But Google is coming under increasing pressure to become more responsible and fulfill obligations in protecting individuals. For example, the "Right to be Forgotten" ruling by the European Courts means that EU citizens can ask that certain search engine results be deindexed if it is causing damage to their reputation.

    That makes me wonder if false reviews can be considered damaging content, since these are tied to SERPs.

    I've been gathering some information on the subject for a blog post I'm writing to help out my client (and anyone else with similar woes).

    Simon Wadsworth of Reputation Matters says the UK government intends to crack down on fake online reviews.


    The UK government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) could implement tough policies concerning such issues by making the posting fake reviews illegal. At least one company has been publicly reprimanded for posting over 800 fake reviews.


    The UK Competition and Markets Authority has investigated online reviews and endorsements.


    In their 2015 report (PDF) they say they had "become aware of a number of concerns about the potential for reviews and endorsements to mislead consumers and distort their decisions. We were concerned that, if true, this could lead to detriment for both consumers and businesses."

    Page 4 of their report mentions the fake negative reviews problem:

    "Businesses or individuals writing or commissioning fake negative reviews. This may be carried out by businesses trying to undermine their rivals or by individuals acting maliciously or for personal gain. The practice may affect consumers’ choices. We have also heard, particularly from businesses in the hospitality industry, that small businesses can be badly affected by fake negative reviews."

    Apparently, these sorts of practices may breach the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs):

    "...we have heard about a number of practices in these sectors that potentially breach the law. We are concerned that these practices may lead to good businesses that play by the rules losing out because other businesses do not."

    Footnote 3 in the report says that their investigation does not influence the courts and shouldn't be used as a legal basis.

    However, there's nothing wrong with educating yourself on the matter because it might help you to compel Google when and if you need to cite your rights.

    Go and read the report. Print out and keep.
    Last edited by SmallBizGeek; 09-20-2017 at 02:21 AM. Reason: formatting
    Darren | SmallBizGeek

  12. Members who thanked SmallBizGeek for this post:

    djbaxter (09-20-2017),Linda Buquet (09-20-2017)

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