Small businesses often have to deal with annoyance of reviews on their Google business page, Yelp or other site that are fake, negative reviews with low ratings. When someone owns a small company it can be obvious to them when someone writes a review that was not a client. Random people on the internet, disgruntled employees or other competitors may make fake profiles simply to post negative reviews of a business that they have had no interaction with.
Unfortunately it can be a bit challenging to prove to Google that those reviews are not valid in order to have them removed. You will need to carefully monitor your reviews and be able to make a case as to why they aren’t valid. Even though you may know for certain that these people were never customers, you need to be able to show Google, Yelp, Facebook or other websites that these profiles are fake and not legitimate complaints.
If the reviews don’t comply with community standards, the reviewer has a clear conflict of interest, they included profane language or if they are impersonating someone else then the website might remove them. There is no guarantee that the review will be removed but it can be worth trying to contact the website if you know for certain that the review is false. If you can’t get it removed, sometimes it can be helpful to write a response to the review and address their complaints politely so that other users can see both sides of the situation.
If negative reviews are a problem, often the best way to combat them is to work to attract more positive reviews so that they negative ones are less noticeable. Getting more consistently positive reviews on the page will eventually make the negative ones seem questionable to users.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.