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Thread: Google My Business .. fake star ratings

  1. #1
    Nothin' but trouble Muz's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Google My Business .. fake star ratings

    Just a wee heads up for you guys, if you have a business and have a web presence, it is everyones interest to get your company on the front page of any google search right ? Good web design optimises your web site so it gets picked up quickly by people looking for products or services you offer, so you get the call first, thats the name of the game. Some designers offer SEO or search engine optimisation skills to help get your web site a higher position above your competitors, its big business. However there are a lot of things you can do yourself.

    Google is unquestionably the biggest name out there when it comes to looking for stuff on the internet .. Googling is, for example almost the same generic term as JCB is to digger. Google offer many ways to part you from your cash using services they provide such as google adwords, where you pay google to advertise your business and promote it on the internet. They also offer some free stuff such as Google My Business, (GMB) where you can set up a business profile much in the sameway Facebook does, with a business page, and people can interact with you there, they can also give you ratings for your service. This is a powerful tool because a well rated business is much more likely to attract customers.

    Recently though I had experience with GMB where everything is not quite as it seems. The star ratings systems is wildly open to abuse. If you have a high 5 star rating (as I had) dont count on it staying there ! Anyone at anytime can give you a one or two star rating and not leave any comment about their experience, this downgrades your whole rating and reduces the effectiveness of your advertising campaign. When this happened to me recently, I clicked on the reviewer, and they had done exactly the same to 20 other businesses across the world at exacly the same time and date ? Strange, cleary this was spam or the person has had their details hacked. When I contacted Google about it, they said there was nothing they could do ? .. and then after 'googling', I discovered Google was aware of this problem, but wouldnt admit it to me, well, of course they wouldnt ? Heres a transcript of a web chat with one of there representatives about it .. so just be warned people .. I've since deleted my GMB presence.



    Neha
    6:41 pm
    Hello! You are now connected to Neha. Please type your message and hit ‘Enter’ to send.
    Neha
    6:41 pm
    Hi
    Neha
    6:41 pm
    Thank you for contacting Google My Business Support. My name is Neha. How may I help you today?
    Murray
    6:41 pm
    Hello Neha
    Murray
    6:42 pm
    I contacted you yesterday about a fake review somone gave my business
    Murray
    6:43 pm
    The spammer gave my business a 3 star review when it previously had 5.. Today you contacted me to say no action would be taken, but it appears you are well aware of this problem
    Neha
    6:44 pm
    Do not worry, I will surely check the details.
    Neha
    6:44 pm
    I have checked and found the business page in your account. Could you confirm the business name where the review has been posted ?
    Murray
    6:45 pm
    yes its
    Murray
    6:45 pm
    they left no comment, just a rating .. if you click on the reviewer they did the same thing with 20 other businesses at the same time across the world
    Neha
    6:47 pm
    Yes, I have checked and found a review on this business page which has been posted a day ago by šEh c nš. Is that correct ?
    Murray
    6:47 pm
    that is the one. This person has never had any dealings with me, I have no idea who they are ?
    Murray
    6:48 pm
    This article proves you know about this problem https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/fake-google-reviews
    Neha
    6:49 pm
    I have found that one of my colleagues has already escalated the concern to the specialist team for investigation and the specialist team has already done the investigation. Unfortunately, the review cannot be removed since it does not violate the policies.
    Murray
    6:50 pm
    thats what she said but the article I gave you a link to proves other people have had this problem too
    Neha
    6:52 pm
    I understand however this has already been investigated by the concerned team and since it is not violating the policies, it cannot be removed unfortunately.
    Murray
    6:53 pm
    That is not a good enough answer I'm afraid read the article .. it says If your company’s Google My Business account was hit with fake Google reviews in early December 2018, you’re not alone. Multiple marketing and review watchdogs recently reported—which Google confirmed—that over three million fake ratings were posted by at least 37 fake profiles in early December 2018
    Murray
    6:53 pm
    clearly mine has been hit with a fake rating which is damaging
    Murray
    6:55 pm
    the article also stated 'Google has spotted and begun to rectify the issue, removing review links from the knowledge graph as well as removing as many of the false reviews as could be verified'
    Neha
    6:57 pm
    I understand that however the specialist team have done the investigation already with all the checks and found no violation which is the reason , it is still there.
    Murray
    6:57 pm
    so are you saying this person is genuine ?
    Neha
    6:58 pm
    Unfortunately, we cannot authenticate about the reviewer which is the reason we have to check the review based up on the content in the review.
    Murray
    6:59 pm
    that makes no sense ?
    Neha
    6:59 pm
    I really understand your concerned however we are unable to proceed further. If you wish , you may respond to the review.
    Murray
    7:01 pm
    they never left a review, just a star rating, I DO NOT KNOW this person. Are you also denying then , that you have had any issues with fake reviews ?
    Murray
    7:02 pm
    And the article I gave to a link to is made up ?
    Neha
    7:03 pm
    The review has been investigated by the concerned review team already according to the policies and guidelines.
    Murray
    7:03 pm
    heres another one https://support.google.com/business/...=6058750&cft=1
    Murray
    7:05 pm
    they said ...' Over the weekend, I got wind of a massive fake review campaign where businesses were blasted by dozens of 4-star reviews with no comments. There are currently over 2.3 million ratings that have been posted from profiles that are averaging over 64,000 ratings each' ..... you need to re investigate because you have not given me any answers ?
    Murray
    7:08 pm
    heres another https://moz.com/blog/fake-negative-reviews-on-google
    Neha
    7:08 pm
    I will take this as feedback however the review you are concerned with is already investigated and cannot be removed.
    Neha
    7:08 pm
    Is there anything else ?
    Murray
    7:09 pm
    You know you have a problem with these fakes that are easy to do and very detrimental. I will have to remove this business from GMB as I cannot have this fakery damaging my reputatiom
    Murray
    7:10 pm
    Sadly that means I cannot use adwords for this business again either
    Neha
    7:12 pm
    There is no issue in promoting the business using Google Ads.
    Murray
    7:13 pm
    Yes there is when your policies have prevented a truthful representation of my business
    Neha
    7:13 pm
    You can promote your business the way you want to , also, you try to get more good review to get this one overshadowed.
    Murray
    7:15 pm
    Ive given you 3 separate articles about the problem that google has, and has admitted to, in those articles. You are denying my business a fair and representative position, that is a FACT
    Murray
    7:17 pm
    I can see I am getting no where here, and I do not wish to offend. There is no point in me trying to fight against spam reviews as it will clearly just keep on happening until you sort the problem out. Trip adviser had axactly the same problem and they seemed to manage it ? why cant you ?
    Neha
    7:22 pm
    Sir, here in Google , we have some policies to follow. We have already investigated the review according to the policies and unfortunately , it cannot be removed.
    Murray
    7:24 pm
    Well you had better warn people of these 'policies' before you take their advertising cash thanks for your 'non' help transcript copied


    So there you have it .. you can see three links I posted to people who have experienced the same problem ... and google dont give a shit !
    Please don't PM me for plant advice.. thanks .. Post in the forum where I will gladly help, as will many of our contributors.. as the info and responses will help everyone else, which is why we exist

  2. #2
    Ganger Wazza's Avatar
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    Some of us have been ovoiding google services for a long time Muz ,I dont use google as a search engine and would never trust any of their reviews either.
    Help in the fight and use duck duck go https://duckduckgo.com/ , google ..
    Now dont upset me by saying they also track me and sell my metadata for profit

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