In mid-March, Google finally took a step in the right direction in combating issues that many local SEOs have been having in GMB for years. One of these issues is the presence of fake or spam reviews, and the previous difficulty in removing them from profiles.
Review Removal Process
If you go to the review management area of the GMB Help Center, you may now have the ability to select one of the businesses you manage under the Google account you are currently signed into.
Once you select the business, you will then be able to see the reviews it has gathered, and report a problem with each individual review:
(Source: Local U)
Note: According to Joy Hawkins of Local U, only accounts that manage a small number of listings will have this feature available.
What Does Google Deem a Fake Review?
If you plan on reporting some reviews, be sure that they will meet Google’s guidelines on what they deem as prohibited content for reviews:
- Conflict of interest
- Sexually explicit
There are also other reasons reviews may be requested to be removed, including:
- Accounts that have paid for bulk positive reviews
- Reviews that have been posted after being paid to do so
- Reviews that link out to websites or social media profiles
- Reviews containing sensitive or personal info
- Reviews left from current employees
Other Ways to Remove Reviews
One of the other options available to try and combat the number of fake reviews on your listings is by reporting them. In January, Google updated the options available when you flag reviews.
You can also utilize forums such as the Google My Business community forum or the Local Search Forum to try and get outside help from Google product experts more quickly.
Why Are Reviews Important?
So, why go through all the trouble to get some reviews removed? We wrote a post outlining some of the reasons reviews can be vital to your online marketing, which include:
- Reviews can influence important purchase decisions
- They can help improve your keyword rankings
- They can influence click-through rates on GMB profiles
- They improve overall trust in your business