The Google Review Fraud Landscape in Maps & LSA and How a Business  Should Respond

Google Review Fraud Landscape (10:17):

  • Estimates that 18% of reviews across various platforms are fake.
  • Home service industries, such as locksmiths, moving companies, and HVAC, are heavily affected.
  • Legal sector is also impacted, with fake reviews prevalent among personal injury, criminal defense, and DUI lawyers.

LSA Review Fraud (21:38):

  • Lead generation scammers are stealing business from ethical businesses using fake LSA reviews.
  • They overcharge consumers and use higher ad revenue to improve their bidding strategy within LSA dashboards.
  • Google's LSA program is designed to give consumers confidence in businesses by elevating them above spam and fraud, but it has not been successful.

Practical Advice for Business Owners to Cope With Fake Reviews (41:03):

  • Gather evidence of fraudulent activity, such as fake reviews or stolen business licenses, to build a strong case.
  • Report fake reviews to Google through the proper channels, but be aware that Google's response may be slow or ineffective.
  • Consider legal action against fraudulent businesses, as it may be a violation of racketeering laws in certain jurisdictions.

Segment Reference Articles 

The Transparency Company

LSA Spam Scam - It's Deja Vu All Over Again

Uberall analyzes four million reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and Tripadvisor to determine comparative rates of review fraud