Google Seller & Product Reviews + Negative Review Scams

Product & Seller Ratings

Having high Google product and seller ratings is paramount for building your credibility. A consumer is more likely to purchase your products or services when they see a high rating. This is also important for building your credibility as a trusted seller.

Product Ratings

While most of you probably know the difference between a product and seller rating, let’s dive into that a little more. Product ratings are the ratings of the individual products that you sell. If you are a reseller, low individual product ratings are not always a reflection of your company itself. 

For example, if you sell a variety of different shoes, some may have low ratings due to discomfort, sizing, quality, etc. This isn’t a reflection of your company but rather the manufacturer of that particular product. Product ratings can show on both shopping and text ads, as well as organic results.

Seller Ratings

Now, let’s get into seller ratings. This is the most important of the two types of ratings when it comes to your credibility as a seller. Factors that may play into your seller rating could be your refund and returns policy, communication, transparency, etc. 

If a consumer sees you have a poor seller rating, chances are they’re not going to trust buying from you and instead find similar products somewhere else. Seller ratings can show on both ads and organic results.

Text ad results: (nice typo, Amazon!)

Local organic results:

Google Review Scams

One of the recent issues with these Google reviews has been the 1-star rating scams. We’re going to discuss what they are, how to identify them, and what you can do about them. Google review scams have been a problem for local businesses, particularly restaurants. Because small businesses’ reputations are influenced by their Google ratings, scammers are taking advantage of this to extort business owners. 

A scammer will contact the business and demand a gift card or another form of payment with the promise of removing the bad review. If the business refuses, the scammer will threaten them with more bad reviews. 

Ben Schoon, a writer for the 9to5Google website, shows an example of what these extortion emails typically look like in his article, Google working to delete one-star reviews from scams that are plaguing local businesses. It goes as follows:

“We sincerely apologize for our actions, and would not want to harm your business but we have no other choice. The fact is that we live in India and see how other way to survive.  We are begging you to send us google play gift card worth $75 […] After selling this gift card we can earn approximately $50, which is three weeks of income for one family.”

So what can you do about these scams? Unfortunately, there’s not always a quick solution. First off, it is not advisable to pay these scammers. Giving them what they want just encourages them to continue those actions. 

What you can do is submit a request to Google to remove an inappropriate review using the Request Review Removal form. You’ll be able to report the reviews as well as track their status. You can also report reviews directly from Google Maps by flagging the review as inappropriate or on Google Search by reporting the review, both found under the three vertical dots on the review. You can learn more about removing reviews from your business profile on Google’s Business Profile support.

Product ratings are attributed to the individual products you sell and don’t necessarily reflect on the reputation or rating of your company as a whole. Seller ratings play a large role in a consumer’s perception of how reputable of a seller you are. As a seller, it’s important to be transparent with your customers, as well as have a fair refund and return policy. You don’t want to lose potential customers due to distrust from low seller ratings. 

Actively monitoring, commenting, and reporting on reviews is a vital part of maintaining your reputation. When it comes to 1-star review scams: never give in to a scammer’s demands, and remember to report them.

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