Are You Following the Google Review Policies? Here’s What You Need to Know
As a local business, you need to be aware of Google’s clear-cut guidelines as to what kind of content can be posted and shared within reviews. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about Google’s review policies and what you should avoid to stay on Google’s good side.
What Violates Google’s Review Policy?
There are a few things that violate Google’s review policy, and you should avoid them at all costs. One of the most significant violations is reviewing your own business. While you may be tempted to have employees or friends review your business, it is considered a conflict of interest and a direct violation of Google’s policy.
Another violation is review gatekeeping, which refers to using a third-party platform to filter out negative reviews. This practice is now against Google’s policy, and if a customer is set on leaving a bad review, they will likely find a way around your “gate” anyway.
You should also avoid reviewing your competitors with the intention of saying something negative to harm their business. This is considered black-hat SEO and can get you in serious trouble. If you’re caught by Google, then you are in for a serious penalty that you may never fully recover from.
Finally, trying to remove a bad review from someone who was never a customer is also a violation of Google’s policy. While Google policy explicitly states that users can’t post fake content, it’s extremely hard to prove this to Google and get a review removed. Instead, respond directly and positively to the review and ask the user to reach out to you directly to remedy the situation.
How to Follow Google’s Review Policy
To follow Google’s review policy, you need to be aware of what is allowed and what isn’t. First and foremost, always ask your customers to share their own experiences. Don’t take shortcuts by having internal personnel or friends and family write reviews for you. It’s a conflict of interest, and the risk isn’t worth the reward.
You should also make sure that you respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Responding to reviews shows that you care about your customers and are committed to providing excellent service. It also shows potential customers that you take feedback seriously and are willing to address any issues that may arise.
Finally, if you do receive a negative review, don’t panic. Instead, respond directly and positively to the review and ask the user to reach out to you directly to remedy the situation. This will show that you are committed to resolving any issues and are willing to work with your customers to provide the best service possible.
Following Google’s review policy is essential to the success of your business. By avoiding violations such as reviewing your own business, review gatekeeping, reviewing competitors, and trying to remove bad reviews from non-customers, you can stay on Google’s good side and build a positive reputation.
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