Your February 2018 Search Engine Bytes Digest
 by Kristi Hagen

How can I get Google to remove a bad review from someone who was never a customer?

  • I just received a 1-star review from a person who has never been my client. I noticed this guy left other 1-star reviews for other guys in my industry also at the same time. I talked to Google My Business (GMB) tech support and was told that the review didn't break any review standards and they could not take the review down.

    I told them this wasn't one of my clients and that it's a fraudulent review. All I got back was a link to Google legal. Any suggestions?

Answer: Google will not remove a review unless you can prove it violates their terms of service (TOS). The problem is that Google doesn't care if they actually ever became your client or not. And, as such, Google thinks it's okay for them to review any interaction they may have had with you.

We know several top SEO experts who have reported large networks of review spammers without much luck in getting the reviews removed. To say that's discouraging for the rest of us is an understatement!

The best advice we can give is to focus on getting as many good reviews as possible in order to push that bad one down the page. From the reports we've heard, that would be the best use of your time. Hopefully your other reviews are good. That'll give searchers the information they need to do business with you in spite of the one bad rogue review. SEN article end


Can manually posted customer reviews and ratings be used in structured data without annoying Google?

  • In the last SEN Masters Training Course you said that we could take reviews sent to us (via Word, email, survey or whatever other means) and add them to our pages for use in structured data.

    I have a moving company client who has a formalized process for engaging clients after a service. We then add some of the customer comments to the website as testi...

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