Google is working hard to offer business owners manage their Google My Business listings in an efficient and integrated manner. Over the last few months, the Alphabet company expanded the features available to listing administrators. Today we will discuss a long awaited Google My Business tool, now available: managing your reviews and monitoring their status.
What Does the New Google My Business Tool Do?
Business owners encourage customers to leave reviews on their GMB profile. But not all reviews are positive. While some of the negative reviews are honest and genuine complaints, a lot of businesses receive abusive and spam messages.
The problem is that if a company receives a sufficient number of fake negative reviews, Google will downgrade its ranking. Thus, business owners have to take action and report fake reviews. Until now, it was impossible to know how these review takedown reports were handled. The new Google My Business tool fixes this issue.
How to Use the Review Management Tool
First of all, you must be logged into your Google account. Go to this link and select your business account. First of all, you need to select reviews you wish to report. To do so, click on “Request to report a review”.
Once you have reported at least one review, the option “Check review removal status” becomes active. Here, you will see if your report is still under review or if Google took a decision concerning the review. In some cases, they will refuse to take down the negative review, citing “no policy violation”.
Valid Reasons for Reporting GMB Reviews
Google has a clear set of reasons for taking down user reviews. In their Guidelines, they clearly state that “Google doesn’t get involved when businesses and customers disagree about facts, since there’s no reliable way to discern who’s right about a particular customer experience”.
Thus, the fact that you don’t agree with a customer’s opinion about your products or services is not a valid reason for requesting their review to be taken down. Instead, you can report a review if it is:
- Spam and fake content
- Sexually explicit content
- Illegal content
- Offensive content
- Dangerous and derogatory content.
Other valid reasons for reporting a review refer to cases when the review is left by someone using another person’s identity (impersonation) or when a conflict of interest occurs (posting on a former employer’s listing, posting on a competitor’s listing).
Limitations of the New Google My Business Tool
As various companies started taking note of the new tool for managing reviews, they also reported a limitation on its functionality. At the present it works for businesses with a small number of listings.
This means small and medium sized businesses with only a few locations can already take advantage of the new GMB tool. Larger organizations, such as supermarket and restaurant chains will have to wait until the tool is properly scaled to allow them to manage a large number of reviews.
Nothing hurts more than getting unfair reviews for your business. You work hard to keep your customers happy and build a positive brand image and you get online abuse from people who may simply be bored or actually want to hurt your business.
Now you can fight back and report these false and harmful reviews. And with the new Google My Business tool, you can also monitor the status of your report, so that you know when Google took action and what it decided with regard to the respective reviews.