How to React to Fake Reviews the Right Way
After years of having excellent testimonials, a damaging and libellous report appeared in your search results on Google. A negative statement by itself t is bad enough, but when the review is fake and defaming it can be truly frustrating. Intuitively, you’ll feel the impulse to react to fake reviews immediately.
But do not allow your feelings to determine your action. You first need to be aware of a few things before you are able to determine the most effective method to react to fake reviews. Your reaction could fix the damage as well as make the whole issue much worse.
Examine the review
It could be alluring to publish a mad reaction to fake reviews, take legal action or retaliate in some other way. Instead, you need to thoroughly examine the circumstance to calculate the consequences of the step(s) you intend to take.
Your strategy needs to be based on two things.
- Is the review real or fake?
- Who is behind the published statement?
It is very important that you know who posted the negative review. Figure out if it’s a real customer with a bad experience or a vicious person, publishing fake reviews and defaming statements to harm your credibility. Michael Roberts is a private investigator and helped lots of individuals with recognising their enemies. You can find some of his free tips on his company website.
When reacting to fake reviews may make the situation worse
There are a couple of situations in which it is better to disengage and find other solutions.
When it is an online attack by a vicious individual
Private Investigator Michael Roberts knows all to well: “When you want to take action, you should know whether your ‘enemy’ has a personality disorder. Interacting with someone who has an anti social or narcissistic personality disorder, often brings socials, psychological and financial hardship to you as well as your loved ones.In some cases the best option you have is to swallow your pride and allow the vicious individual to think he or she won. Disengage and try to live your live as best as possible”. Instead of publicly engage in an online fight, quietly start search-engine-suppression (“SES”) initiatives to minimize the damages brought on by damaging posts.
Uploading a defence statement could increase the search result ranking in Google
When you reply to statements, more discussion shows up on the webpage. This might trigger the search result to increase in Google ranking because the search engine has more content to index. And in some cases, your reacting might lead to an online war with your antagonist. Kenton J. Hutchinson’s advice: “if you do post a rebuttal, avoid using any names or words that would give the search engines more keyword terms to find. Instead of saying something like “Smith’s Furniture…” try using “the company noted above…”.
When reacting to the review turn out well
In some cases, the best action to take is to respond directly to the review.
The review is published by a real customer with a negative experience
When this is the case, attempt to resolve the problem. Your reaction shows the customer, as well as other people, that you are willing to set things straight.
- When removal is not possible
When both removal and suppressions are not achievable, reacting to the review could be your best option. With your rebuttal you are able to share your side of the story and defend your reputation. When prospective customers google your name and see the unfavourable reports, they will also see your statement. This causes the negative review to be less trustworthy because of it being called into question.
When your issue is with Yelp reviews, we suggest to wait at least 10 days before reacting to the review. The Yelp filter ranks regular publishers higher than new publishers. So if the review is published by someone that rarely posts reviews the negative result could very well be pushed down within days through other reviews. Reacting to the review too soon, could trigger that particular review to stick a lot more. So first determine whether reacting is really necessary and hold of for at least a week.
How to write a response to fake reviews.
When responding it is important to be tactical and thorough with the words you choose. Your message in itself is important, but so is the tone of voice in your reply. Below are a few suggestions to help you formulate a successful reply.
- Ask the publisher to contact you directly to find a solution to the problem
- Let your message tell the issue from your side to a 3rd party
- Avoid being argumentative and let your reply show your aim is to fix the issue
- When the review is fake, explain (and proof if possible) that the publisher is not a real customer
Publish your defense on a 3rd party website that ranks well.
When you reply directly to a statement, your message will in most cases show right beneath the original review. This not only causes the original review to be seen as more important by Google, it also doesn’t change the harmful wording that shows up in Google’s search results. With this strategy, the Google users will not see your response without actually opening the search results to see more.
We recommend to publish your defense statement on a different, trustworthy, website with high Google ranking. In most cases, this turned out to be more effective and safe. This strategy balances criticism, is directly visible in search results and prevents online war.
There are many suitable websites to choose from. One of those is www.officialresponse.org.