It’s the scourge of modern businesses. A dissatisfied client or customer takes to the web to pillory you, causing reputational damage. Often, these reviews are anonymous and, in many cases, fake! This is particularly true for law firms as reviews can be left by the other party in a dispute or transaction. Not only that, it can be difficult to get genuine clients to leave reviews as they often wish to remain anonymous!
Unfortunately, Google don’t allow us to manually remove reviews. This leaves us at their mercy when it comes to taking vexatious reviews down. As anyone who has tried this will tell you, it’s very difficult to get Google to side with you, no matter how damaging the review.
What types of review will Google remove?
As with so many things, prevention is better than cure where reviews are concerned. This article outlines some positive steps you can take to prevent negative reviews becoming an issue. That said, it is possible to have negative reviews removed. In our experience, Google are more likely to remove a review if it falls into one of the following categories:
Conflicts of Interest
If one of your competitors has posted a negative review to attempt to influence your rankings, then this is arguably a conflict of interest. Whenever someone leaves a review, it’s possible to click their username to find out what other reviews they have left under that username. Google can use this information to determine an accounts bona fides and, if their behaviour points to the fact they have specifically targeted your firm, you can argue this point when submitting your request to have the review removed.
Spam Reviews & Fake Reviews
If a user leaves multiple reviews under similar accounts or leaves the same one-star review at multiple offices or for multiple services, then Google may remove it as spam. Google considers the fact that it’s unlikely that one person could receive the same bad service at multiple locations.
If a review is fake by virtue of the fact that it refers to a former employee (provided they didn’t work there at the time of the allegedly poor service) or the wrong business name, then Google may accept a request for its removal.
This isn’t something we come across too often thankfully, but if a review uses obscene language then Google are more likely to remove it. Before removal, Google may simply blur out the offensive word though.
Likewise, if a review is discriminatory or falls into the category of “harassment & bullying” then they may remove it.
Helping Law Firms with Google reviews
If your ‘Google My Business’ page has negative reviews that you’d like removed, then contact us today. We are experts in helping our clients manage their online reputation. We have had hundreds of fake, malicious and vexatious reviews removed. To find out how we can help, contact Chris Davidson today by email (click here) or by calling 03333 442 722.