You may have come across many reviews on Google Maps, where something doesn’t look right. Even though most of the reviews published on google maps are genuine, there are a lot of fake reviews prevailing for some good or bad reasons. Considering the below-mentioned ways you can spot fake reviews in any platforms other than Google Maps too.
There are several ways you can make a quick check of the review yourself if they are genuine or not.
First, let’s start with
Why fake google reviews?
1. Fake positive reviews
Many businesses knowingly write multiple good reviews of their business themselves or ask their staff or pay third parties to write excellent reviews.
The major motive behind writing a fake positive review for a business:
- Either to suppress the negative review(s) made by customers or
- To make an impression on the visitor that the particular business is really good.
2. Fake negative reviews
No business enjoys reading a negative review in their business listing. Few reasons for fake negative reviews on google maps:
when a customer isn’t happy with the product/ service s/he receives from the business, s/he may write a publish a negative review for that business through a fake account hiding his/her’s original identity. Even though the review may be genuine in such cases.
Dirty competition in the business market
Some businesses are too bad to be good. If company A and B are in the same business sector, one company may knowingly write/ pay others to write fake negative reviews for the competitor’s google maps listing. Here, I don’t need to tell you, why this is done….
- … there can be several other reasons for posting fake reviews like personal grudges, work factors etc.
Now, we know why people write such reviews, let’s dig into the main part of our study:
How to know if a google review is fake?
- The business name is repeated multiple times One of the most common things found across fake reviews is the reviewer keeps on repeating the company's name time and again. Example:
- Profile photo It is optional to upload your real photo in Google profile. But the fake reviewer will hardly upload his/ her own photo, or use someone else's photo or leave it default.
- Too fewer reviews/ contributions in total If you observe the total number of reviews made by fake reviewers, it is mostly there is only one or two. If you notice above-mentioned points and has fewer reviews, it is likely possible the review isn't genuine.
- Exaggerated and lengthy content Some genuine reviewers like writing a review to detail. But you may find some fake reviews to be over-exaggerated and longer than necessary.
- Private contribution profile You can check the reviewer's profile by tapping on the name, most fake reviewers if they have written multiple reviews chances are higher that they will keep their contribution profile private.
- Company name/ staff's name all CAPS Do you write a review by capitalizing businesses' name? Yeah, maybe sometimes, but not really. But doesn't it seem like the capitalized name is for highlighting, to seek attention? Guess who will use this the most, obviously the fakers.
- Staff's name repeated multiple times with a lot of praises (or blames if negative review) Example
I recently visited XYZ Company to get abcd service. Staffs at XYZ were friendly and helpful in assisting me...... I definitely recommend XYZ for your .... needs.
"... ABC was very kind and professional. ... ABC explained the process and cost. ... ABC offered a discount... Thanks, ABC and DEF company, you guys are awesome!"
What to do with the fake reviews?
If you are a business owner and you have received a fake review on your google maps listing, then you can flag the review and submit it to google.
Anyone else can report a fake review on google maps to google, and google will review the request.
Visit this link for more information on reporting inappropriate reviews.
Let’s pause for a while now, even when a review you are observing meets all points listed above, it still might be a genuine review! :D This might look contradictory here but this post’s major intention is to give you some hints on how fake reviews look like not to guarantee.
Thanks for reading, if you have any comments feel free to write them down below. Have a great day! :)
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