Fake review against me, clearly provable...what to do?

There is a fake review filed against my company, which is an SEO/WordPress development company, that I found on Google Maps. The review doesn’t say that I did poor work, it’s sort of in the vein of “we were looking for an SEO company and checked them out but they felt really unprofessional so we didn’t hire them.”

Here’s where they really messed up: so if you click on the reviewer’s name, it’s a link on google maps to other reviews they have posted under that user profile. What I find if I follow this link is that they have bad-mouthed another local SEO company, and surprise-surprise, that same account holder has left a glowing, 5-star review for yet another local SEO company.

What should I do? I have been dying to expose this whole thing, and I can clearly point to these public reviews all appearing on the same page in a google profile.

Would you respond publicly?

Off Topic some of the worst spam we receive on our business forum contains links to promote websites belonging to SEO providers, which is more than a little ironic.

That’s excellent advice.

Does the review say anything except personal opinions (fake or not)?
ie. Do they say anything factually and provably untrue?

If they are fake comments as you say and there is an obvious paper/link trail showing that then you can just contact Google or wherever these comments are posted to get them removed.

I wouldn’t respond publicly though as all such bickering will look bad and unprofessional for both parties involved. Contacting the commenter directly could be useful to stop them doing it again (if they are fake) or to address their concerns (if they are real), but I would do this privately if possible.

Sorry to say it but I think you don’t have much ground to stand on in this matter. Firstly, based on what you posted, there’s nothing to firstly prove that the post isn’t authentic, there’s nothing that was said which breaks any rules / laws, and retaliating will only make things worse for yourself. In regards to it’s authenticity, three negative reviews and one positive one do not make a fake poster, it’s perfectly possible that someone was looking (as indicated) for someone to work with and wrote those comments on you and the others because they didn’t feel that you were what they were looking for. You can’t just say it’s clearly provable because it looks biased, there needs to be a genuine link to indicate that it’s in their interests to bash you to qualify such a statement. As things go, you’re statement isn’t valid and I can’t see it as such. Secondly, what they posted (if you’re comments are accurate) is not a direct case of slander against your business, a statement of opinion is classified as protected free speech and as there’s no reason to think there’s bias involved (as the comment was non-personal and not portraying the content as factual when it’s otherwise) you have no justification to ask for it’s removal. Just because you don’t like the comments, doesn’t give you the right to demand their removal because it makes you look bad. People are entitled to their opinions and to post those opinions (valid or not). In regards to dealing with it, you would be better to contact them and ask why they felt it necessary to post those comments (and be nice about it), there may be a valid reason for their comments, and you may be able to better your site based on feedback rather than just getting sour. Publicly bashing peoples opinions will reflect poorly on you professionally. :slight_smile:

So someone checked out three local SEO companies, didn’t like two and really liked a third and wrote that in their reviews.

I’m still waiting for how this is clearly provable to be a fake review because at the moment you haven’t “proved” anything.

Have you flagged this as being inappropriate - or contacted google some other way to let them know you feel this is spam?

Plenty of other advice can be found through Google http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=remove+google+map+review

Steve