How to Spot Fake Google Reviews

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you want to learn how to spot fake Google reviews, you need to understand how fake reviewers operate. You see, it’s effortless to leave a review on Google since all you need is a Gmail account. Unfortunately, although this simple process is good for getting reviews, it is also open for fraudsters to use it to their advantage. In addition, there is no requirement for any evidence to be presented to determine if a review is genuine or fake. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Always ask for the customer’s name and order number to determine if a negative review is legitimate.
  • Reviews with a repeat of keywords in the content are usually a sign of fake reviews.
  • Look at other reviews of a reviewer to determine if they have a suspicious trend. E.g., reviewing businesses across multiple cities within a short time frame.

How to Figure out Fake Google Reviews

If you think you are a victim of a fake Google review, we will look at the signs to determine fake reviews. And as a victim of such, you may also need to read this simple guide on how to return online orders.

STEP 1 Check to See if the Reviewer is on Your Database

When spotting a fake reviewer, you first need to check if their name appears on your customer database. Now, someone would have bought the product on their behalf, but it is easy to determine if the reviewer is or was your customer. This process becomes challenging if you are present across multiple platforms.

Your action: 

If you have a negative review, reply by asking for the customer’s name and the order number. These details will help you get the customer’s details from your database to determine if they were your customer. This step has the same importance as when determining how to spot fake Yelp reviews.

STEP 2 Look for Generic Comments

Reviewers who write shallow details, for example, not going into the details of your product, are more likely to be fake reviewers. Companies that provide reviews make this mistake because they usually give the reviewers a writing template. In addition, these reviews tend to use certain keywords in different sections.

Your action:

If the review lacks detail, reply to the reviewer, request specifics about their order, and ask more about their experience. This step will make it easier for you to identify if the reviewer is fake. 

STEP 3 Check for Other Suspicious Reviews

Start by clicking the reviewer’s profile to look for other reviews of different companies. When most of their reviews cut across different industries in different states, that is a suspicious trend. For instance, that is a red flag if they have reviews for a technician in one city, a plumber in another city, and a landscaper in another state.

Your action:

Use this information to contact other businesses that the reviewer has posted feedback to determine if they have the customer’s record. 

STEP 4 Check Timeline

If someone is receiving payment for reviews, the chances are that they have not been in that position for long. Another look at the reviewer’s profile will show you how long the post has been up. If all the reviews of this individual happen to be within a week, then that is a red flag.

Your action:

Contact the businesses that reviewers have reviewed to determine if they have the individual’s details in their database. 

F.A.Q.S

Will the FTC do anything if I purchase fake Google reviews?

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has taken down fake reviews in the past. Businesses found guilty of writing fake reviews have paid hefty fines and faced other tough legal penalties.


What will Google do if I purchase fake Google reviews?

Google routinely checks reviews. If they discover that you are using fake reviews, you risk losing your fake Google reviews simultaneously.


Can I buy Google reviews?

Yes. Buying Google reviews is an option you can use, but it’s not ideal because it can backfire. It is easy to buy fake Google reviews. However, there are online companies that can get you reviews for less than $10.



STAT: About 82% of customers look for negative reviews. (source)

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