Recently, Google released a tool that allows Google My Business accounts to manage the removal request of Google reviews one by one and get status updates on the request.
This new tool comes after a study found that people are 40% less likely to trust online reviews than they did five years ago because of the increase of fake reviews. The study reported that it was hard to find an exact number, but sources say anywhere between 10 and 40% of all online reviews are fake.
What counts as a fake review? Someone writing a review for the wrong company, someone who had never been to the business writes a review about the company (good or bad) or hiring a third party company to go in, and falsely write multiple reviews to boost 5-star ratings.
BrightLocal published a case study where they looked at one company’s reviews dealing with a mistaken identity. The two companies in the case study are a non-profit arts organization called Carousel in the UK and a seafood restaurant in the same area that goes by Carousel’s on their sign and social media accounts, but their GMB profile name is under OW Smith and Son.
Carousel (the art company) is getting reviews for the seafood restaurant, which is misleading to a customer looking up their business. They used the new GMB tool to see how easily they could go in to put a request to have those reviews removed, but Google found that there was nothing that violated their policies on prohibited and restricted content allowed.
What Does This Mean for You and Your Business?
Take it with a grain of salt. The main concerns for the tool:
- If you manage many GMB profiles and locations, the tool might not work for you. This can happen with agencies that help multiple companies manage their profiles.
- If Google reviews your request, finds that there’s nothing wrong with the review, you can put in an appeal. The downside is that you can only put in one request for an appeal at a time.
Google still takes a while to get back to you in reviewing your requests. They also don’t give you a date to expect it to be done. The process could take a week, or it could take a month.
If your business is dealing with a mistaken identity crisis or receiving spam reviews, you can put your request in through your GMB account (in the Google Help section).
If your business needs help with managing reviews, our SEO team can help. Let’s schedule a discovery call.