Online reviews are an important part of online reputation management. Whether you have a small business or a large company, a good rating on sites like Google and Yelp can have a positive impact on your business.  But what happens when someone creates a fake review to hurt your business?  How do you respond to those nasty fake online reviews so they won’t have any further impact on your reputation? 

To tackle the problem of fake online reviews, you need to know how and when they happen. Even if it is not your primary goal, creating fake reviews can also help with getting more real ones as well. 

There are some easy ways to spot whether or not an online review is genuine or not. If you are still having issues after identifying fakes, keep reading for tips on how best to tackle the issue of fake online reviews and what steps we suggest taking to minimize their impact on your reputation.

What is a Fake Online Review?

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An online review is an evaluation of a product or a service that someone has taken the time to share. These reviews can be found on a wide variety of websites that focus on a particular industry. The most common places you are likely to find online reviews are social media channels, online marketplaces like Amazon, review sites like Yelp, and websites that focus on a particular product or service. 

Since online reviews can have such a big impact on your reputation, it’s important to be vigilant about spotting fake reviews and taking the necessary steps to eliminate them from your business page. 

Fake online reviews are much like false advertising. A business owner, or someone who has an interest in promoting a particular company, may create a fake review to either boost the ranking of a website or to have a negative review removed from a website like Yelp.

How to Identify a Fake Review

It can often be difficult to determine whether an online review is genuine or fake. Online reviews are typically posted by real people who have had either a good or a bad experience with a particular product or service, but there are a few ways that you can identify a fake review. 

Once a fake online review is posted on your business-related website, it can be very difficult to get rid of it. It can be even more difficult if there are other fake reviews on the same website.

If you want to avoid having to remove fake reviews and deal with the negative impact they can have on your business, it’s important to be able to spot a fake review and respond appropriately.

How to Handle a Fake Online Review

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Fake online reviews can be a nightmare for any business, but the good news is that there are ways to tackle the issue effectively. There are a few things you can do to respond to fake reviews and minimize their impact. 

Document The Review

One of the first things that you need to do if someone leaves a fake review on a third-party site is to document it. You should take screenshots of the review and then keep the URL of the review on file. This will help you to have evidence if you decide to report the review as fake. 

Third-party review sites have policies in place when it comes to negative reviews. If a review is false and has been created by someone who is trying to hurt your business, these sites may flag the review and remove it. If they don’t remove the review, you can contact them and let them know that the review is false. All you need to do is provide evidence to prove that the review is false.

Flag The Review As Fake

If a review is false and has been posted on a third-party website, you can report it and have it flagged as fake. However, you should report the review as soon as possible after it has been posted. While you should always report false reviews, third-party review sites are more likely to remove them if they have been posted recently.

When you report the review as fake, you will be asked to provide evidence to prove that the review is false. You can do this by providing information that shows that the reviewer is not who they say they are. You can also provide information that shows that the reviewer may have a vendetta against your business and is trying to hurt you by posting false reviews.

Be Professional

If you decide to respond to a negative review, you need to do so in a professional manner. You don’t want to be defensive and make the situation worse. You also don’t want to make excuses or try to blame someone or something else. 

You want to address the issues brought up in the review as best as possible without making promises that you can’t keep. You don’t want to come across as though you are attacking the reviewer. At the same time, you want to make it clear that you take the review seriously and want to make things right.

Focus On Responding To Fake Reviews

If you notice that a review has been created solely to harm your business, you need to respond to it. You can respond to as many legitimate reviews as you want, but you need to also respond to the fake ones as well. 

You may want to respond to them first and then move on to the others if you have time. When you respond to the review, you want to make sure that you are not trying to engage with them directly. Instead, you want to remain professional, address the issues brought up in the review, and thank them for taking the time to leave a review.

Contact The Poster

If you have tried to respond to the false review and it hasn’t helped, you may want to contact the person and ask them to take the review down. Keep in mind that you will probably have to do this professionally. 

You don’t want to make threats and you don’t want to come off as being too pushy. Instead, you want to be honest and upfront about why you want the review taken down.

Bottom line

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Fake online reviews are something that every business owner has to deal with at some point. While they are an unfortunate part of online reputation management, you can easily spot and address fake reviews to minimize their impact on your business. 

When you can identify and respond to fake reviews quickly, they don’t have the same opportunity to impact your reputation as they would if you let them sit. By taking action against fake online reviews, you can help ensure that your business is protected and that your legitimate customers are receiving the best experience possible. 

There are a lot of benefits to online reviews. A positive review can help increase your sales, while a negative one can lower your customer satisfaction. If you want to protect your reputation, you have to be prepared to deal with negative reviews. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to handle negative reviews like a pro!

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What is an Online Review?

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