In 2022 many customers decide to immediately browse online reviews (especially Google) to decide which businesses to visit or buy from. Businesses know this, so they try to beat the system by obtaining fake reviews to improve their reputation online. Usually Google flags these reviews as fake and relies on human flagging to take many down also. However, fake reviews are becoming even harder for Google to identify which spells many problems for consumers who want to see legit reviews. 91% of consumers say they believe they have seen a fake review in the last year or are not sure if they have. This shows consumers trust in online reviews is not entirely genuine in all instances, which is a worrying sign for businesses.
67% of consumers say the existence of fake reviews makes them distrustful of online reviews in general. This is not good for businesses who genuinely do the right thing and don’t buy fake reviews to make themselves look better. 9NEWS Australia recently put together this news article about fake reviews being harder to identify, so we thought we’d take a deeper dive into the same topic.
Exposing Fake Reviews
Google uses algorithms to determine fake reviews, however it seems that fake reviews are progressively beating this system. They also rely on users telling them which reviews they think are fake to go for manual review. However, it can be difficult for anyone to determine if a review is legit or not. The best way to determine is to individually look at the reviewer’s profile to see if their activity is consistent and genuine. If they have only ever left 1 5-star then it may be genuine or it may not be.
“Fake Review Watch” is a YouTube channel which exposes hoax reviews. Faking reviews for Dentists was a case study video on the YouTube channel created by former US investigator Kay Dean. It can be seen throughout the video that there is a market for businesses who buy fake reviews to improve their reputation. Multiple ‘people’ have left reviews for similar types of businesses across multiple countries. This definitely does not look right to the naked eye. We have previously written a content article on this exact topic titled: Don’t Buy Google Reviews. How Do I Get Real Reviews?. Buying fake reviews can cause serious legal consequences and it is certainly not worth it for any business.
How To Report Fake Google Reviews
Any business owner can attempt to flag & fix inappropriate content on their Google Business Profile (previously Google my Business GMB) account through Google Maps by following the steps below.
- Log in to your Google Business Profile account
- Go to Google Maps and search for your business
- In the section on the left, go to “Review summary”
- Click the number of reviews under the average rating
- Find the review you wish to flag and click the flag icon
- Complete the form and press “Submit”
- Wait a few days for a response or removal by Google
How To Get More Real Reviews For My Business?
Generating online reviews through Google is vital for social proof and is a great way to showcase how great your business is. Every business should try and get real reviews and not look to purchase dodgy (and illegal) fake reviews. AddMe Reviews helps with the process of generating genuine online reviews for your business.
Using an online review management platform can help alleviate some of the pressures associated with online reviews. AddMe Reviews helps send review requests to your customers, manage your responses to reviews, and track your progress for improving your reputation online. Having a positive reputation online is one of the most important things your business can have.
Follow the link below to begin a 14 day trial of the platform to see how AddMe can improve your online business reviews today.