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Google Places spam report works! Sometimes…

About 5 weeks ago, I received the second spam review on a Google Places account which has 16 total reviews. These two reviews were so obviously spam that they could compete with the “Nigeria” based email messages… Both reviews were from local competitors (that was very obvious too)…

When I received the first spam review, I immediately filled the Google Places spam report. I checked back on Day 1, nothing happened… Day 2, 3, 4, Week 1, 2, 3, 4 and Months after, nothing happened. This was very frustrating. For a successfully growing business with a lot of local volume, this is a critical issue. At the time I only had 5 reviews so the spam review immediately took off a star and it looked very annoying on the top of all my hard earned, real reviews.

About 5 weeks ago I received yet another spam review. Competition shot another one on my reviews. This review was even more obviously spam than the first one. I immediately posted a response to it. Without much hope, I also filled the Google Places spam report once again. It didn’t hurt as much this time since I now have about 20 real reviews with 4.75 average (including the first spam review which is still there). But it was still very, very annoying.

The spam review is gone! Today, 20 days after the posting date,  the nonsense review disappeared. Score! Thanks Google!

What can you do avoid Google Places spam?

Nothing. Years after, email spam is still going strong. Spam will always exist so whining will not help.

What can you do to reduce the impact of Google Places spam?

A lot.

  1. Make sure you have a lot of real reviews. People tend to naturally leave reviews when they have had bad experiences with a business or a product. Happy customers need to be asked! Make your customers happy and ask them to leave you reviews.
  2. Monitor your Google Places account. It is the online store front of your brick and mortar business. Competition is right next to you so you better watch out.
  3. Immediately write responses to ALL negative reviews.
    If the review is from a real not-so-happy customer, properly address the concern. We all screw up and we all know that. If you post a nice resolution response, you may even turn this around and get a WOW from prospective customers. Do it!
    If the reviews is a spam, first go make yourself some tea or coffee. Do not post a quick $’%[email protected] response with anger. Carefully write a response to the spammer to show how obviously spam his/her review is. Your goal is to have prospective customers easily identify this review as a spam. That’s it. No anger is necessary, let the spammer be the evil.
  4. Fill the Google Places spam report. Explain why this review is spam. Don’t forget that the person who is reviewing these perhaps reviews hundreds a day. Make their job easier and provide as much information as you can.

Fighting with spam requires patience. Patiently fight back. If you have any other tricks which can help to others, please add in the comments.

Categories: Product Reviews.

Comment Feed

2 Responses

  1. hwo about google place spam, they are using the keyword as company name, and different address but the url are all the same, i have tray report problem link but it not wok until now. any idea ?

    • Right, that is against the Google Places policy. The title of the places entry has to be the business name and not stuffed with keywords. Your best option is to file the complaint and see what happens.

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