Are the Fake Reviews in Google worse than Fake News? One law firm thinks so and believes that users are becoming innocent victims. Google is ignoring the spam reports and leaving fake reviews up for everyone to see.
One of my clients has a competitor who has a very deceptive and misleading Internet presence. Tragically, the competitor is an attorney who actually lives in another state. Clients who use his service get representation by an inexperienced attorney fresh out of college. This means that clients are getting poor representation.
The attorney is allowed to advertise across state lines as he has a license in both states. He’s technically not breaking any laws. He is, however, in direct violation of Google Guidelines when it comes to rich snippets and displaying imaginary review counts in Google’s search results.
Now if you’ve ever looked for an attorney on the Internet before, especially in a city of under 500,000 people, you will notice that most of the older firms have 10 – 50 reviews. Well this guy generally displays 600 – 1,200 reviews in rich snippets. Today, the number is 637.
Additionally, the site ranks well due to a glaringly obvious PBN, which I also reported and Google ignored- but everyone has known about that issue for a long time and it’s a story for another day.
Google is completely ignoring reports for rich snippet spam.
After seeing the spam and having my client ask me “Len, why does Google display these completely false and misleading review counts? We have met person after person who was improperly compensated.” I had to inform them that I was aware of the misleading review numbers and had submitted a spam report and that was the most I could do.
Google calls this “spammy structured markup” and encourages webmasters to report the spam here.
People losing millions?
This is just one example. In this one, single instance, the personal injury law firm that I work with has heard from numerous clients whose cases were mishandled and the clients settled for drastically less than they should have. Now, improperly compensated, many are living with severe disabilities and a lifetime of medical expenses. I speculate that in this one small city, Google neglecting the fake reviews is indeed costing people who were impressed by the spammy law firm’s review count millions of dollars. I can’t imagine how much this problem is costing people all over the world.
Reviewing spam reports isn’t rocket science.
I know Google is busy but look at the number of people they have working on completely dead projects such as Google+. What would it take for someone to look at a page and say “Hey, this page has ZERO reviews, not 637″ and click a button to take away the review stars or issue a manual action? You could probably train a monkey to do it.
Have you submitted a spam report which was ignored?
If so, please comment below. We want to hear from you.
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I have always wondered about the authenticity of Google reviews and the process flagged reviews go through. It’s a true shame if Google is really ignoring this issue. It’s not only misleading for consumers, but generally fraudulent as well. I’d like to read up more on the issue and see what Google claims their official policy is for handling reported reviews.