If your business has been attacked by a spammer, another business or individual by posting fake reviews on your Google Places business listing and don’t know what to do about it read on.
Over the past 3 years since Google Places really became THE place for any local business to be found, we have seen thousands of cases on Google Help Forums and from customers who have had their Google Places listing smeared with what can only be described as fake reviews.
Many have tried the obvious approach and to try to contact Google either through their local business listing ‘report a problem’ panel or on the Google Places forums. Unfortunately it would seem Google do not currently have the man-power to support this fake review problem which leaves many business owners and SEO’s feeling frustrated and scratching their heads.
I am sure there will be some who will be honest and admit I have even tried to do things that maybe ‘aren’t that clever’ to try to fix, and I personally don’t blame them for doing so. When your business works so hard to play it by the book and offer a fair, honest service and then a competitor simply undoes all the hard work you’ve done to build up your online reputation who can blame them.
I’ve been doing Google Places optimization for 8 years now nearly and I’ve seen a lot, learnt a lot too but today I am going to show you something that might just help your business by helping you delete unwanted Google Places reviews.
I represent a client in London, a very well-known physiotherapy clinic. Doing very well on Google Places, organically getting thousands of unique visitors per month and generally very happy with Google. That was until they had a review posted on their Google Places listing. For obvious reasons I am not going to name that clinic but I will give you some details on the kind of things written on their review.
The user had never posted a review for another business under that account before but went on to smear the clinic and owner with real hatred. Some of the comments were simply shocking! Nothing about the service itself, more about the actual physio and none of them true, the reason I can say this is we’ve checked the dates and the physio himself wasn’t even there during that period. So anyway I advised him to respond publicly through his Google Places local business centre account which he did. 2 weeks later the user deleted the post and reposted within a week. They knew what they were doing, they knew that this would repost the review and put it back the top of the pile so everyone would see. This happened twice over 3 months in total.
We tried everything, contacting Google, speaking to someone at Google Ireland (which was about as helpful as speaking to an orange).
Then I found this…..
Thinking this isn’t going to work I filled out the violation form in detail and waited with bated breath.
Please note I clicked on the second link ‘this page‘ to submit a legal request.
Today we checked and the review has been removed!
This is great news for the clinic and hopefully for you too. I don’t expect this to work for everyone.
Good Luck and if you like our post please don’t forget to Retweet, +1 or Like.
Tom Peary is the director of SEO21 Ltd. Offering SEO, Website Design, Digital Marketing, Google Places Optimisation, Guest Blogging, Copywriting and Link Building Services.