Impact Of Reviews On Ranking

Impact of Reviews on Ranking & How to Deal with Negative Reviews?

Posted On : November 7th, 2021   By : Dillip Kumar Mohanty   To : Local SEO

Have you ever wondered how online reviews are shaping the growth of local businesses around the world?

According to a study conducted by Brightlocal,

“more than 90% of shoppers use the internet to find out local businesses.”

Local Business Online Search

And, almost all of them prefer to read online reviews before booking a service or buying a product from a local business. So, as the owner of a small local business, you should be aware of the impacts of online reviews on the growth of your business.

Positive Google reviews can attract new customers for your local business which in turn increases your profit. However, the presence of too many fake negative reviews on Google can discourage people to visit your business which can slow down its growth. Malicious and fake reviews can spoil the name and reputation of your business, so much so you might have to close it.

Besides, Google review counts and review scores are major ranking signals for “Local Pack” and “Local Organic Search” results

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Google Reviews Impact On Local SEO

Excessive negative Google reviews can hurt your local SEO. So, you should watch after these Google reviews, and your response to them should be very professional. Let’s find out how harmful fake and negative reviews can be used for your local SEO.

How Google Reviews Can Affect Your Local SEO?

Relevance, distance, and prominence are three major ranking signals Google takes into consideration while generating search results for “near me” or “nearby” types of location-specific search queries.

Customer reviews help Google to determine “how popular a local business is”. It comes under the prominence category. “Prominence” is the detail Google knows about a local business from across the internet.

So, a high proportion of positive ratings and reviews can improve the rank of a local business with respect to location-specific search queries. Apart from this, the way businesses are interacting with those reviews is also a major local ranking signal.

  • Don’t take things personally while reading those reviews.
  • Be polite and professional while responding to detractors.
  • Such interactions with negative reviewers can help you to build trust among the general public.

Google Reviews Impacts Ranking

Google reviews not only affect “Local Pack” and “Local Organic Search” results, but also they have a significant influence on your overall organic SEO efforts. Online reviews on Google, Yelp, and similar other platforms give a strong signal to different search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo!). They use this review data to assess the authority and trustworthiness of a website.

Furthermore, the influence of Google reviews on organic search results differs from one niche to another. For example, if you own a transactional website that provides health care service, car repair service, or similar other services, then the impact of Google reviews on its overall organic ranking would be much higher than ordinary informational and navigational websites.

Search engines like Google and Bing are designed to trust and value customers over webmasters. Besides, the impact of Google reviews on several other ranking signals like CTR, bounce rate, and average session duration is immense.

How To Respond To Negative Google Reviews?

How To Respond To Negative Google Reviews

Having a few negative reviews is not essentially a sign of bad business dealing. The honest and polite response to such negative reviews may increase trust among your customers which could positively contribute to your business growth. However, you should be very careful while responding to negative Google reviews. Here’s how you can professionally engage with negative Google reviews;

  • Let’s not get personal
  • Never use abusive and offensive language in your reply
  • Be polite and honest
  • When engaging with a detractor, start with an apology
  • Be thankful to the reviewers
  • Keep the reply very short

Consequences Of Not Responding To Google Reviews

Responding to Google reviews actually helps you to engage with your customers. Timing and the way you are interacting with those reviews can help you to get new customers which in turn increases your productivity.

However, if you don’t respond to those Google reviews, then it might grow mistrust among your existing customers which can harm your business growth. Furthermore, not responding to Google reviews questions the legitimacy and trustworthiness of your business which repels new potential customers.

The evidence also suggests that, by not responding to Google reviews, you are harming your local as well as overall organic SEO effort. So, interact with the reviewers as frequently as possible.

How To Find Out Fake Reviews?

One of the best ways to evaluate the legitimacy of a Google review is to check if the customer has reviewed other businesses. You should also check the name of the reviewer and investigate how often that reviewer is leaving reviews. If the reviewer has an impersonal avatar, then the review is more likely a fake one. Another characteristic of a fake Google review is, you will not find any clear details in the comment that would suggest the reviewer has interacted with your business.

How To Delete A Fake Google Review?

Unfortunately, you can’t delete fake Google reviews on your own. But, if you are suspecting that some of those reviews are fake, inappropriate, or malicious, then you can report them to Google. Moreover, if the reviews are violating Google’s content policies, then you can also make Google aware of it.  Here’s how you can flag a review as inappropriate through your Google My Business account.

  1. Sign in to your “Google My Business” Account.
  2. If you own a single business, then click on the “Reviews” on the left in the menu bar.
  3. If you own a franchise having branches at different locations, then click on “Manage reviews” on the left in the menu bar and select the location group from the drop-down menu.
  4. Find the review you would like to report.
  5. Choose the “three dots” located on the right side of that review.
  6. Then, click on “Flag as inappropriate”.

You can also use Google Maps, and Google Search to report a review as inappropriate. You can do this from your android phone, your personal computer, iPhone, and iPad. If you are facing any difficulties while trying to remove fake and malicious Google reviews, then contact a reliable online reputation management service provider.

And, don’t forget to answer or flag these reviews at the earliest.

In conclusion

Having too many fake or malicious Google reviews can discourage your existing customers to continue doing business with you. Apart from this, your business can lose numerous potential customers which in turn harms its productivity.

So, you should be familiar with some of the basic Google review management tricks. Do the needful to detect and remove fake and malicious Google reviews, so that your business can thrive in the long run.

Dillip Kumar Mohanty

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