You might already know that the search engine giant does not provide much guidance about the Google Reviews. As the result, many users adopt a trial-and-error method to know more about the various aspects of the Google reviews. Due to this, lots of things related to it are not known or lesser known. How can one manage his or her business reputation without the proper knowledge of Google reviews? So, it can be said that knowing how Google reviews work is absolutely fundamental for the online reputation management. Therefore, in this blog post, we are going to present six things you don’t know about Google reviews. Get ready to be surprised. Here we go.
1. Google encourages you to ask reviews.
Yes; you heard that right. Encouraging your customers to post a review is one of the best practices in online reputation management, but very few people know that Google actually wants you to remind your customers to leave a review. Further, Google suggests you to reply to customer reviews to build trust. However, that doesn’t mean you should buy reviews. Doing so can harm your reputation.
Well, not all the review platforms encourage you to take reviews. Each one of them has their own policy. Take Yelp for example. As per Yelp’s guidelines, they don’t want a business owner to ask for reviews. Yelp expects a customer to post reviews on their own will.
2. Google filters reviews.
Similar to Yelp, Google also filters reviews. This is done to tackle fake negative Google reviews posted by competitors and fake positive Google reviews posted by business owners and associates. That is the reason why we ask you not to post fake reviews. Google gets suspicious when a large number of comments are posted back to back, or from the same mobile/ tablet/ computer, or from a inactive user, and filter the reviews.
If your genuine review has disappeared, it can be restored. All you need to do is follow some best practices. For instance, add profile picture to your Google account, review some more businesses, read other reviews and mark the good ones as helpful. Following these things can restore your review in most of the cases.
3. One can easily report fake Google reviews.
The moment a business owner gets a bad review; he googles “how to get rid of negative Google reviews.” That is oblivious because negative reviews harm business. If you think, some of the negative reviews are fake, then you can take them down. Google has made it easy to report fake Google reviews, which are usually planted by former employees, competitors, or hard-to-please customers. Here are the three steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Open the Google review, and click on the flag symbol next to star rating.
Step 2: You will be taken to the “Report a policy violation” page. Enter your email address on this page.
Step 3: Once you enter the email, click the violation type that most closely resembles. There are four violation types; Hateful or inappropriate content, Advertising or spam, Off topic, and Conflicts of interest.
Step 4: Click on the submit button.
4. When it comes to ranking quantity beats quality.
Whether it is content or link building, Google always prefers quality over quantity. However, there is an exception. When it comes to ranking a business, Google gives importance to quantity of reviews over quality. Let us take an example. If you take two businesses that are identical, except that the first has two reviews ( 4 star average), while the other has 30 reviews (3.5 star average), the one with 30 reviews will most probably rank better. In other words, Google believes bad reputation is better than no reputation.
5. Want to rank outside your home town? Google can do it for you.
Having a poor ranking outside your hometown is not uncommon. There are many local businesses that rank well in their local area, but never show up outside the local area. However, Google reviews can fix this issue. If you get a couple of reviews from customers residing in the nearby town or city, your probability of ranking higher there is much higher. When people surrounding your hometown rate your business, Google thinks you operate in those regions. With having many satisfied customers in the nearby region, you are telling Google that you are the best in the business. As the result, Google will reward a better ranking outside your hometown.
6. It is easy to link to your review link.
One of the effortless ways to obtain a review is to share the link to the review page with the customers. The only thing your customers will need to do is, click and review your business. Here is how you can do it. Follow these three steps:
Step 1: Search your business on the Google.
Step 2: Click on the tiny map.
Step 3: Then click on the share icon and copy the URL.
You can put this link on your website homepage, service page, email signature, or send it to your happy customers. Your customers will be able to review your business without any confusion. You can also use this tool to open up the review page in a new window.