Google Maps Review Scam: Pay To Remove Bad Reviews

Oct 6, 2010 • 7:45 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics
 

There is a new scam brewing around Google Maps reviews. Mike covered it well at his blog, but I was also planning on writing it this morning, so why not.

A WebmasterWorld thread and Google Places Help thread (didn't know about the Google thread, thanks Mike!) all discuss this scam.

In short, there are people leaving negative reviews on your map listings. Then shortly after, they are emailing you and offering to remove the negative reviews for a fee. On the other hand, there are people offering this as a service, add negative reviews to your competitors for a fee.

A senior WebmasterWorld member, said:

This has happened to two companies that I work for in the past 6 months. Wondering if anyone else has seen the same...

A bunch of negative reviews are posted in Google Maps for a particular company. About a month after the posts, the company gets a call and is told that the negative reviews can be removed for a fee... typically $400. We have been flaging the reviews, tey it seems to take google forever to even take a look.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google Places Help.

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Comments:

Gab Goldenberg

10/06/2010 07:35 pm

I've read about this sort of thing (though with real reviews) from more established local players before. Charge for ability to respond etc.

Trevor Jones

10/07/2010 08:52 am

This is just going to get worse unless the checking process is tightened up. I have a client that has been removed, for no reason we can see, but Google isn't exactly rushing to check the listing!

Andrew

10/22/2010 10:26 pm

Google is a scam and going to put me out of business!!

TRUTHBEKNOWN

02/28/2011 04:34 pm

The Google review process has too many flaws. I'm sure their intentions were good, but of all companies, Google ought to know better. Google reviews are totally unreliable because of the exploitation of it. Most reviews are written by the merchant or a competitor thats trying to hurt his competitor and now this scam. "They were great!!" Very polite, would definitely use them again! Super fast service! BS, I predict that Google Reviews will be removed very soon because IT STINKS!!!!!!!!! DISCLAIMER. NOT WRITTEN BY YAHOO,MSN, OR ANY OTHER SEARCH ENGINE BECAUSE THEY ALL PUT OUT THE SAME GARBAGE REVIEWS.

Bwilkins

03/11/2011 06:54 pm

This has happened to our company. We cannot get the reviews removed and Google does not respond to our requests for assistance. The problem with user driven reviews is that companies boost thier own reviews and competitors will bash the competition. Even if there is a poor (or good) review from a legitimate customer there is nothing done to by Google legitimize it.

Steven

04/14/2011 01:17 am

I have two negative false comments posted on Google Maps about my company and have tried for the last six months to have removed with no success. Google maps contains alot of fraudulent activity which will hurt quality business owners and benefit the rotten ones!!

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