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Review system spammers

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Recently Google's review system has been hit with spammers leaving one word or no text reviews.  We've gotten a number of them in the past few weeks.  4 and 5 star reviews with no text or one word and obviously not from guests.  

They probably keep the star ratings relatively high so that most businesses don't bother reporting it while they infiltrates the system.

I suppose that at some point they have lots of reviews that "validate" them, but are entirely bogus.

We happen to get nothing but 5 star reviews from guests, so it bugs me.


Google seems to be clueless about it and doesn't even care if the reviewer never stayed with us.  You would think that if the reviewer can't prove they have used the product or service, their review would be dumped, but instead Google tells me to harass my real guests for more reviews to dilute the problem with their system.  Why not just fix the problem instead?


Step by step the credibility of their review system will erode as they ignore the issue and any sort of real validation of the reviewer.


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Review system spammers

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Why do you think they are fake?


if one is using the Maps app it is possible to leave a rating only without any text. Google allows them but doesn't give them much value. 

Re: Review system spammers

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Well one says nothing but "Garbage" and gives us 4 stars. I doubt we'd get a 4 star review if our place was considered garbage.
Plus we have the names of our guests and they don't match any of the posting names.
Plus I've been in business and getting reviews for 20 years and suddenly in the past month or so I'm getting one word and no text reviews, which has never happened before.
Plus google doesn't care that the reviewer might never have stayed with us, so the door is wide open for abuse.

Re: Review system spammers

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Certainly the door is open to abuse.

But if someone gives you a 4 or 5 star review with no text, now readily possible and common, in a mobile environment, what is wrong with that?

If you want to share the business I would be glad to look and see if its worth elevating to Google for review. Have you flagged the ones that are abusive?

Re: Review system spammers

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Mike, You asked me in a private email to send you my particulars, and I did.
I haven't heard back, so just in case I'll copy the part about the 4 and 5 star reviews here.

Yes, the seemingly bogus reviews are CURRENTLY 4 or 5 stars, but that doesn’t mean they can’t start showing up as 1 stars if there is no filtering or verification process in place.
As I said, this is a sudden change in the past few months. You'd think someone would take notice.

Flagging seems to be worthless in this situation because they are not in violation of google’s lax terms, which do not include what should be the very first filter, the fact that the reviewer owns or has used the service or product they are professing to review.


I love it when these world changing ingenious outfits then use the excuse that “it’s too hard”, but that is what I tend to hear in a case like this when the systems they decide to implement become more complicated and it's going to take some actual work to make it do what it should. The follow through tends to drop like a rock because they always think they know better, even when they don't.

For instance, I'v gotten juvenile "solutions" about how to game the flawed system directly from Google personnel who off handedly suggest that I harass my guests to go jam the google review page with loads of reviews as some dilution solution to the fact that google’s system is flawed and is inevitably allowing junk.
Like my guests have nothing better to do than cover my butt due to Google's ineptitude. It's a child's solution.
Like covering the pee stain on the bed with a pile of stuffed animals. It's not a solution, it's a childish obfuscation.

This is pretty simple. If Google actually wants a review system that can be relied on, a reviewer should have to be required to prove they stayed with us if there is a question about it. If Google's review system can't handle that, it should post that fact in big bold letters so people aren't mislead.

Google seems to be the new AT&T.  "We don't care because we don't have to."


Either have a valid review system or don't.
Anything less, like the current system, is shoddy, careless business practice on Google's part.


Google has asked us to use its review service. We deserve a better or at least functional service from them.
Allowing potentially damaging anonymous reviews in their system is disrespectful.

"Too hard to do" doesn't cut it.
Either provide a valid service or don't.  Simply making fortunes off the data doesn't validate it.


Anyhow, I pretty much know you won’t be able to do much because the beast is what it is, but thanks anyway.

Re: Review system spammers

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Rob I am not sure where you sent it but I didn't get it.

Re: Review system spammers

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
A 4 star review that says great?
Another that says "pretty"?

This is going to be a hard sell. I get that you don't like them nor do you like the way Google handle's reviews. But I doubt that I can even get Google to look at them.

As a note I had to scroll about 2000 pixels to find them.

As another note consumer research shows that a 4.x rating is more likely to lead to a consumer conversion than 5 star rating? Why? Because they believe them more.

Some folks skip the good reviews and head right to the negative ones to see if they can live with "worst case" outcomes. In your situation that's a real plus.

I do, as a consumer, find your comments the most dismissive part of the "reviews"

I am going to pass on this. Sorry.

Re: Review system spammers

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
As I thought.
Still, the issue remains.
If I suddenly start getting dozens of 1 star reviews from seeming strangers, that’s just tough for me and my business because Google doesn’t care that their system can produce mis-information, positive or negative.
I expected better from them.

It seems that until Goggle can simply tweak the system to be able to check review validity (when asked to), the content they create with the current review system is of very little actual value, no matter what the public may be fooled into believing.
The 4 -5 star reviews we discussed may very well be helping mislead the public. To my advantage at the moment, but that’s nothing to rest on.

Does hosting a system that is potentially rife with misinformation sound fair or anything close to a respectful business practice on Google’s part?

The whole thing runs counter to Google’s mission statement "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
One might better us the terms "mis-information” and "useless” in reference to their current review system.

Why this issue doesn’t seem to be on Google’s radar is strange and hopefully not simply motivated by blind data greed.