Multiple 1-star Reviews in Short Timeframe

Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
64
So, one of my clients has recently been under fire from a personal attack from someone who has an issue with her herself and has never done business with her. They, and their friends/family, have left multiple 1-star reviews on the Google Maps listing- some of which are just 1-star ratings with nothing written.

My question is this: what would be my best method (if anything) of getting information to Google and getting them removed? I've already flagged them, talked to phone support and given them the story and received their (respond to this email in 3 days to escalate issue) email, and have reached out to Twitter support. I know how hard 1-star reviews that don't have anything written are to get removed, so I'm wanting to make sure I leave no stone unturned in working to get these taken down.

The business had one 1-star review in the past year or so (mixed in with about 20-25 5-star reviews) and then suddenly gets 4 (and counting) in 14 hours... I would think Google would find that suspicious.

Just looking for some insight and if there is anything else I should do. The client is really upset about this whole ordeal and it bothers me personally that people are petty enough to do something like this in the first place. Thanks all!
 
Last edited:

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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Have a really detailed document with tons of screenshots. Screenshots help because if the reviews disappear, GMB support seems unable to get the fact that there have been so many. The more you get, the more likely they will get removed. GMB support channels are super backed up right now so you probably won't get a response from Twitter for another week or so. You do have to wait 3 days after flagging before support will talk to you so I'd suggest you reply to the email after 3 days.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
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So I'd flagged the reviews on Wednesday (more dropped in yesterday and today also- bringing the total to 8 in roughly 48 hours) and the next step is just replying to the email they sent with my documentation?

I've got screenshots of posts on Facebook of the person who started this encouraging people to leave the business a bad review, sharing the post, etc.; some of the reviews are literal copy-pastes of the FB post. I'm hoping providing all this to Google will be enough but I'm just hesitant to believe they will actually look over the information properly and "care" I guess. They've shown a tendency to not care in the past despite evidence and documentation.

Since some of the reviews are just ratings where they wrote nothing, I'm hoping those can be removed as well given the circumstances; some (most) of them have never wrote a previous review before until now also so that helps the case.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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Jul 18, 2012
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Definitely include screenshots (and the links if they're still live) to the Facebook posts. That will really help your likeliness of Google removing them. I'd tell your client that it will likely take longer than usual for Google to remove them (not ideal, I know) due to the massive support backlog at the moment.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
64
Definitely include screenshots (and the links if they're still live) to the Facebook posts. That will really help your likeliness of Google removing them. I'd tell your client that it will likely take longer than usual for Google to remove them (not ideal, I know) due to the massive support backlog at the moment.
The links are live for now, so I'll include those; I wanted to make sure I got the screenshots before the posts on Facebook were taken down because you never know.

One last question on this: there are a couple reviews mixed in with the copy/pasted ones and the 1-star ratings that are (or at least sound like) true business reviews. They don't mention the FB post or the original person who started this chain- I'll paste one below as reference:
"Owner Paulette is very rude, no customer service once she takes your money she doesn’t care. Plenty other florist in Sherman."

Because of the timing of the review, I'd like to assume that it is part of the attack along with the others, but you honestly can't tell just from reading it because it sounds like an honest 1-star review of a business. So taking that into account, how likely is it that Google removes this one if/when it removes the others? Will it be factored in as part of the bulk attack?

I apologize for all the questions. Our clients have been hit with fake reviews before that we've handled, but it has never been anything this bad in terms of volume or a personal attack like this, so it's all kind of a new experience. I really appreciate all the help.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
64
UPDATE:

There were eleven 1-star reviews in total. After submitting a document to Google with screenshots, etc. they removed 6 of the reviews. They did not remove the other 5 as they could not verify that they were related to the Facebook post(s) that were made.

4 of these that weren't removed are the kind where they did not write anything and just left a rating. The Google rep told me that "1-star reviews that don't write anything will not be removed unless it is in regards to a restaurant or hotel" and that "the Specialist team looks at the content of the review to determine if it should be removed, and if there is no content they will not remove it. Hotels and restaurants are the exception to this."
This is something I was not aware of and it was definitely news to me. Is this something you have been told before as well, @JoyHawkins and is it legit? I don't always trust what phone support says since they have a tendency to tell you almost anything to get you off the phone.

Here is the listing in question: https://goo.gl/maps/rjt5P4mXEPg2N93z6 as reference; apologies I hadn't linked it sooner (slipped my mind).
 

pony

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
33
I've been told the same thing. Even though the reviews are obviously fake I was told by Google that they don't break the guidelines and therefor will not be removed :/
 

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
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Jan 30, 2018
Messages
241
I've heard that before. I've also heard that the reviewer doesn't need to have actually done business at the location - just that they had an experience there or with an employee.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
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The Case ID is 0-9079000027370. I've argued my case that the 1-star ratings were left at the same time as the rest of the reviews, but the specialist team doesn't seem to care about the timing of the reviews since "the reviews have no content".

The part of the quote that really interested me was that they won't remove the 1-star ratings unless the business is a hotel or restaurant; that part of it was something I had not seen or heard before and I wasn't sure if the Google rep I spoke was being truthful or just made it up.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
64
It didn't sound right to me either which is why I wanted to check in about it.. we know those reps at Google say stuff that isn't always correct.

However, I did come into the office this morning to great news- I checked and ALL of the 1-star reviews that had been left since late June-early July when this fiasco started have been removed. Client's star-rating is back up to 4.4 from 3.8 also which will make her extremely happy.

I am not sure what changed since I last spoke with Google on Tuesday and they told me they would not remove the reviews since they "had no content", but I am not going to complain. I guess maybe they gave it a deeper look and realized that the timing was too coincidental to not be related?
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
64
Yep, pretty much. They said on Tuesday that they had removed 6 1-star reviews but would not remove the 1-star ratings. This morning, they are all gone... So I'm honestly not sure what changed on their end but I will take it.
 

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