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How to Respond & Report Fake Reviews On Google, Yelp & Facebook

Social Media Marketing July 2nd, 2015

By

Fake Reviews

Did you know that it has been reported that up to 20% of Yelp reviews are fake and that a simple one-star bump in reviews can create a 5% – 9% increase in revenue according to a Harvard study? If that doesn’t make business owners pay attention to monitoring, reporting, and responding to your reviews, I’m not sure what will!

So, you’ve worked really hard to serve your customers and build a positive presence for your business online. It seems like there’s nothing worse when you receive a fake review.

This is especially difficult for business owners who don’t have many reviews to begin with. Here, I’m going show you all the escalation paths you have to report fake reviews.

Many sites have algorithms designed to address fake reviews that include things like filtering reviews from users who have no history (particularly Google and Yelp), it can also detect unnatural language that has been empirically found to exist in fake reviews.

For example Review Skeptic uses machine learning to detect fake reviews with (what they claim is) 90% accuracy. However, their algorithm is designed to flag fake reviews for the hotel industry.

Also on TechWyse

Addressing Negative Reviews & Reputation Management
Google’s New Spam Detection Update for Reviews: What It Means for Your Business

This blog is designed to help you report fake reviews. If you want to report a competitor who has fake positive reviews, you can also use the techniques found in this blog post.

How to Report a Fake Review on Yelp

To report a fake review on Yelp, you can flag the review.

  1. Create an account using @yourwebsite.com and flag the review or login with your existing Yelp account. It will prompt you for an explanation. Now, it’s your job to write a detailed reply to Yelp.
  2. If that doesn’t work you can email all the details to feedback@yelp.com.

How to Report a Fake Review on Google My Business/Google Places/Google+ Local

With Google My Business the only option is to flag the review as inappropriate. Google will then check if the review violates any of their policies and will take appropriate action.

Make sure you hover near the reviewer’s name so you can see the option to flag. If enough people flag the review Google may review it.

Report Reviews

From the above screenshot, you can see that the business owner has responded to the review. This is probably your best course of action since Google is not likely to pull down a review if you ask a bunch of your friends and colleagues to flag the review as inappropriate.

Also, notice the word “inappropriate.” It’s not the same as fake, this could just be a simple check for abusive and vulgar language.

How to Report Fake Reviews on Facebook

Facebook Reviews

While Facebook doesn’t allow us to report fake reviews, it does allow you to comment on a review. This is your chance to reply to an unsatisfied customer and tell your side of the story. For more info about this see the Facebook help page about responding to reviews.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately you are responsible for the review people leave on your site. Customer service has never been so important and going the extra mile to please a customer is probably worth the extra cost you will incur vs. getting a bad review.

As I mentioned a one-star bump in your reviews can mean a 5% – 9% increase in revenue. That’s up to $90,000 for a company that does $1 Million in revenue annually!!!

I hope the tips in this blog will help you increase your revenue, by keeping your reviews at a healthy star rating.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Post By Steve Toth (144 Posts)

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I’m the SEO Director at TechWyse. I’ve been published in Moz, I love headphones and all things internet marketing. I hang out on the conceptual side of SEO and it’s a blast! Please find me on Twitter @StrategyInventr I'd love to connect with you!

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How to Respond & Report Fake Reviews On Google, Yelp & Facebook

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