Negative Review Attack


Ari

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Is there anything a company can proactively do if they are anticipating a "negative review attack"? Recently, a large Facebook group (that many consider racist) posted about a business, accusing them of being unethical. In the comments, they are requesting that everyone leave bad reviews on Google. It will be difficult to monitor and report all these reviews. Is there anything this company can do to get ahead of them?
 

Cherie Dickey

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Hmm.. that's a tough question. I've heard of businesses temporarily unpublishing their pages in response to these kind of attacks, but I'm not sure how wise that would be for GBL listings. It might affect rankings once the listing is reopened.

Watching very closely, flagging and working with support, might be your only option outside of closing the listing down. But I doubt that all reviews would be removed successfully.

Maybe there is another course of action that I'm not thinking of...
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi @Ari Google has removed the ability to leave a review in some cases of negative review attacks historically.
I have only seen this when the following 2 things are both true:


  1. You have a large number of negative reviews that have been left recently in a short time frame.
  2. You have a scandal that’s been covered in the media or you have evidence (such as an email or text) that someone is threatening your business and claiming that they will leave you tons of negative reviews as a punishment for something.


So I would post at the Google My Business forum as soon as the attack starts. But there isn't anything you can do before it starts.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Hmm.. that's a tough question. I've heard of businesses temporarily unpublishing their pages in response to these kind of attacks, but I'm not sure how wise that would be for GBL listings. It might affect rankings once the listing is reopened.

Watching very closely, flagging and working with support, might be your only option outside of closing the listing down. But I doubt that all reviews would be removed successfully.

Maybe there is another course of action that I'm not thinking of...
Hey Cherie, what do you mean by "unpublishing"?
 

Ari

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Hi @Ari Google has removed the ability to leave a review in some cases of negative review attacks historically.
I have only seen this when the following 2 things are both true:


  1. You have a large number of negative reviews that have been left recently in a short time frame.
  2. You have a scandal that’s been covered in the media or you have evidence (such as an email or text) that someone is threatening your business and claiming that they will leave you tons of negative reviews as a punishment for something.


So I would post at the Google My Business forum as soon as the attack starts. But there isn't anything you can do before it starts.
Thanks @Colan Nielsen!
 

Cherie Dickey

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Hey @JoshuaMackens,

Hey Cherie, what do you mean by "unpublishing"?
I just mean setting the page so that only you can see it. I've only seen this done with Facebook during review attacks. Facebook allows you to set visibility so that only Admins can see the page. In GMB "Mark as Permanantly Closed" would be something similar, though that wouldn't completely remove it the way Facebook allows you to.
 

keyserholiday

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Yes, the business can contact Yelp and Google to report the reviews and attacks. For FB you need to turn off the ability to post reviews and monitor the comments. I had this happen with a business where an employee made an inappropriate comment during a political discussion online. Yelp and Google removed the reviews with evidence of the post requesting the attack. I have helped others with similar issues.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Hey @JoshuaMackens,



I just mean setting the page so that only you can see it. I've only seen this done with Facebook during review attacks. Facebook allows you to set visibility so that only Admins can see the page. In GMB "Mark as Permanantly Closed" would be something similar, though that wouldn't completely remove it the way Facebook allows you to.
Gotcha. I thought you meant GMB listings. Thought you found a new trick :)

Yes, the business can contact Yelp and Google to report the reviews and attacks. For FB you need to turn off the ability to post reviews and monitor the comments. I had this happen with a business where an employee made an inappropriate comment during a political discussion online. Yelp and Google removed the reviews with evidence of the post requesting the attack. I have helped others with similar issues.
Excellent advice! I guess you can turn off reviews in "settings"?
 

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