How Do Dentists Remove Fake Google Reviews?
By having a review generation & monitoring system in place, by responding to every review, and by taking the appropriate steps to remove the fake review while also cultivating positive reviews from existing patients, with consistency.
We'll examine that review system and the steps involved in more detail below, but first I want to point out how having your blinders on about reviews won't protect you from becoming a victim of a fake - or many fake - reviews.
Are dentists really victims of fake reviews on Google?
Is the problem really that bad?
Yes, it's not #fakenews - it's #fakereviews - and sadly it's just a fact of doing business in the social, mobile, digital world.
As for it being a systemic issue that is really that bad or not, ask yourself how you would feel if you saw some fake 1-star bullshit review pop up on your Google My Business listing.
It would probably anger you, at least a little bit, even if you knew it was completely fake. And it would really anger you if another dentist bought those reviews for a price.
You'd think, "what's going to happen when prospective patients go searching for a local dentist think about me?"
"How can I remove that fake review?"
Dentists Get Fake Reviews Too
Fake reviews are actually a lot bigger problem than most dentists - and business owners - know.
But let's not miscategorize a negative review with a fake review.
This dentist made a major PR blunder when he threatened to sue people who left him a negative review on Yelp, and he's not the only one to explore litigious action in response to a negative review, however misguided that is. In all likelihood, any dentist who receives a negative review will not be very successful in having it removed.
But you can be successful in having a fake review removed, and a lot of times Google is easier to deal with than Yelp, or Facebook's non-existent support.
With both Facebook and Yelp, you "report" the review in question, answer some questions, then stand by to stand by...which most of the time either gets you flooded with sales calls to buy Yelp Ads, and very little action from Facebook.
A study by the Harvard Business School found that 20% of Yelp reviews are fake, that number should be of major concern to any dentist or small business owner.
That's a huge reason why every dentist should be actively monitoring their reviews by having the Google My Business App, the Yelp for Business Owners App, and the Facebook Pages Manager App on your phones.
Having fake reviews removed, ones that do not accurately reflect a real patient reviewing your practice is essential to maintaining a positive reputation - whether you like it or not.
This is one reason why as a dentist you can no longer afford to leave your online reputation up to chance.
When it comes to preventing & guarding against fake reviews, AND consistently generating positive reviews, the best defense is a good offense.
Receiving a fake review on your Google My Business listing is something that can be both infuriating to see, and annoying to have removed, especially since there is no guarantee Google will remove it at all.
The fake reviews industry has exploded over the past several years. If you haven't seen the recent TV news stories here's an example of the booming fake reviews industry.
Most local business owners have many more important things to worry about on a day to day basis than fake reviews, and attempting to have a fake Google review removed can feel as frustrating as receiving the fake review in the first place, even more so.
What Does Google Consider A Violation Of Their Review Policy?
Reviews that specifically violate their review guidelines have the best chance of being removed. But, that's if the bad guys really cared about playing by Google's rules in the first place.
You're best served to review & site the specific guideline that was violated on the fake review you received, the Google review guidelines prohibit the following in reviews:
If you're a dentist that has found themselves a victim of a fake review, or reviews, the guidelines you will most likely have to prove the review is in violation of are:
- Spam & Fake Content
- Off Topic
- Restricted Content
- Illegal Content
- Sexually Explicit Content
- Offensive Content
- Hate Speech
- Harassment & Bullying
- Conflict of Interest
Since those who are in the business of posting fake reviews don't give a hoot about Google's policies & guidelines, it's important to make the attempt to have the fake review removed, here's how to do it...
- Spam & Fake Content - ex: a local competitor hired an "online reputation management" service, and they've taken to fake review bombing a bunch of other local dentists, including you.
- Off Topic - ex: you're a dentist, but you received a review from someone who appears to be reviewing an auto parts store, or restaurant, or laundromat, or any other business that isn't a dentist.
- Conflict of Interest - ex: a disgruntled former employee leaving a review about you & your practice.
What Does A Dentist Do When You Get A Fake Review?
First, breathe & assess the situation. Make sure it's actually fake, not just an unhappy patient. Then do this...