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  1. #1
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    Reporting Fake Reviews

    Hey Guys! I tried to take a few days off so not sure if this has been covered recently - I couldn't find a thread in search.

    New potential client calls up for reputation management help. The last three listings on two of his locations are bad mouthing his establishment. Naturally I talk about reporting abuse if he is sure... but then when I go into the new Google Plus dashboard there seems to be no way to report the reviews. The only option is to follow the trail back to the profiles and report those. But, because I'm not in the circles of that profile, I can't actually see if there is any other activity or whether the profile has been completed.

    However, the only reviews all three profiles seem to have left are the ones on my clients sites. Yes sites! In each of the three cases the profile has left two identical reviews on both the locations for the client but has not felt moved to review any other establishments. And all three have been left in the last month - the last two within a week of each other.

    These people must have really hated the client because they've done the identical thing for both his listings in Wahanda and Qype too using the same names! I just don't think a regular punter would go that far... and certainly not two of them

    Any others got experience or some clues in the best way to manage this when there is no report button against actual reviews - or am I missing something?

  2. #2
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    Re: Reporting Fake Reviews

    Hi Jo, thanks for posting a great question.

    There is still a way to flag reviews as inappropriate, but it's just kinda hidden. Very subtle UI so you just need to know where to go to find it.

    But to flag a review just hover on the top line near or on the reviewers name and the review date. To the right of that you'll see a very subtle light gray flag to report as inappropriate. Then when you hover on the flag it gets dark and says "Flag as Inappropriate".

    You could also get a few people from different computers to flag it down as NOT helpful (below the review). Then if G does not remove OR it takes awhile, at least that might possibly help move it down where it's not as visible and damaging to your client.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  3. #3
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    Re: Reporting Fake Reviews

    Lawks a lordy! They've hidden that well! Anyone would think they didn't want to have to deal with fake reviews

    Thanks Linda - Im working on my old laptop so I don't think I would ever have seen those if you hadn't pointed it out

    So if I click the flag, will it bring up a report so I can explain why I think it is a problem review or is the clicking of the flag a nudge to Google to investigate those users?

  4. #4
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    Re: Reporting Fake Reviews

    Actually I haven't tried it lately on the new pages. I don't believe it gives you a form or anything, I think it just signals them to investigate. (But I'm not positive and don't happen to have a bad review situation in mind on any listings where I can go check it out for you.)

    So after you try it let us know what happens.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  5. #5
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    Re: Reporting Fake Reviews

    Will do - once I have the go ahead that we've got the gig, I will start merrily flagging in his name and anyone else in the area that I can persuade

    The more I dig, the more copies of these reviews I find! Wahanda, Qype, Thomson Local as well so far! I know women get upset when they have a bad hairdo but surely only someone who knows Local SEO would stick the boot in like this.

    Anyway, since the client has only 2 positive reviews out of 12 on GP and all these others, I am doing some background research of my own and waiting to hear from him if he has some customers who would be willing to leave some positive online reviews so, as you say, we can bury some of the bad ones.

    And then try to work out what to charge! With all these changes going on, it's like picking a figure out of the air because you never know whether this week's system is going to be obsolete next week!

  6. #6
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    Re: Reporting Fake Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    You could also get a few people from different computers to flag it down as NOT helpful (below the review). Then if G does not remove OR it takes awhile, at least that might possibly help move it down where it's not as visible and damaging to your client.
    One of the Local Pros asked me about this comment but he could not find this thread or remember the exact context...

    But he said isn't kinda gray hat to have people vote down reviews, like you suggested?

    So I wanted to re-iterate what I was talking about above was NOT to vote down a regular negative review from an unhappy client. I don't think that's honest or ethical.

    What I was recommending above was based on my assumption this was a dishonest FAKE review. So IMO if Google won't get rid of it and it's fraudulent, then I think it would be OK to try to vote it down so it does not hurt the business. But only for a fake spam review - not a legit negative review. Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  7. #7
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    Re: Reporting Fake Reviews

    Absolutely to what Linda said. If it's a bona fide negative review then it's vital that it shows up and is not buried.

    I suspect that there will be companies out there who will not be of such a mind and will use their own fake positive reviews to push these bad ones down the listings - whatever their provenance

    I am researching the business in question through other social media platforms to see if I can find people in the area who have good things to say about them... without anyone knowing the reason behind my interest. So far, there is at least one completely independent person who said they were very good.

    The reviews in question are duplicates plastered across two locations and four different directories with three or four different user names. One of them has the same profile posting the same review twice but giving different visit dates. However, there are are also two from some months ago which go into almost essay length with very specific details. It's really hard to know for sure whether this is a concerted campaign that has been going on for several months or if there is really a question for the business to answer.

    As Local SEOs, it looks like we also have an ethical duty to investigate any business we are asked to defend from negative reviews.

  8. #8
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    Re: Reporting Fake Reviews

    From the years i have been on Google and there help forums i have seen both negative fake reviews removed and fake positive reviews downed. The main factor is doing alittle homework and finding links to support your claims. Back tracking of pictures to see where they came from along with just a copy and paste of the review to see where the same review has been posted on other sites with minor postings of different names etc.
    I can tell you i have been a part of making sure over 70 fake reviews were removed from one listing with this research, granted it took many months to do so.
    Give it some time and effort for things to get changed with the never ending Google revisions.

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