With local search engine optimization being more popular than ever, and spam on the maps continuing to spike daily, you have likely encountered fake reviews on either your own profile, or on a competitor’s, that are affecting your rankings on Google Maps.
Thankfully, there is now a way to fix this with the ability to report individual users on Google Maps who are behind these spammy reviews.
Here is how it’s done:
Report Users on Google Maps
- Download the Google Maps app on your phone
- Log in with your Gmail account, or create one if you don’t already have one
- Search for the business listing, yours or a competitor’s, that featured the reviewer you want to report
- Scroll down to the review section on the business profile
- Click on the name of the reviewer you want to report
- Tap on the three dots in the upper right corner of their user profile
- Tap on “report” from the menu that pops up, and then choose the appropriate offense from the list provided, which includes:
- Offensive, hateful, or sexually explicit
- Legal issue, like copyright infringement
- Privacy concerns
- Poor quality
- Another policy violation
- After you have selected the appropriate offense, tap “done” to submit
- You will get an email to your Gmail account to notify you of your submission*
*Note: We don’t yet know whether or not Google notifies you about the users you report after they have taken action on the account, much like they update you on approved edits to the Maps, but it is highly likely that you will not be informed if they act on your request. We will update this blog post if anything changes.
Google’s Updated Policy
- Sexually explicit
- Conflict of interest
They note that these content types apply to the following:
“The following policies apply to all formats, including reviews, photos, and videos. Content that does not meet these criteria may be rejected from publication on Google Maps.
Contributions to Google Maps should accurately represent the location in question. Where contributions distort truth, we will remove content. This includes reviews, photos, or videos not related to the location or business where they are tagged. If content is inaccurately placed on the map, or is associated with an incorrect listing, the contribution may be rejected.
Reviews are automatically processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam. We may take down reviews that are flagged in order to comply with Google policies or legal obligations.”
On top of that, Google has other policies specific to what type of reviews are and are not allowed on Maps. The following are some things to look out for to report:
- Bulk positive reviews
- Reviews posted in return for monetary compensation
- Reviews containing links to websites or social profiles
- Reviews containing personal and sensitive information
- Reviews left from employees
Learn More About Google Maps and SEO
If you found this post helpful, check out these related articles:
- A Guide to Spam Submissions in Google My Business
- 6 Reasons Why Your Local Business Needs More Google Reviews
- How Google My Business Is Influencing Your Rankings
- Understanding Proximity in Local Search
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