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Google Prohibits Incentivising Customers to Remove or Modify Negative Reviews

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Google Prohibits Incentivising Customers to Remove or Modify Negative Reviews

PPC experts can now no longer incentivise people to remove or modify Google negative reviews, leaving people and businesses at risk of damaging their reputations by leaving negative reviews live on their pages.

In short, Google has updated its deceptive and fake engagement guidelines to now ban businesses from making requests for revisions or removals of a negative review through offering discounts, free goods or services, or other incentives.

So, what was once standard practice for many Google Shopping agencies, now if someone leaves you a negative review, you are not permitted to incentivise that individual to update, modify or remove their review.

But what exactly does this mean for the Google Ads landscape? I thought I’d take a closer look at what Google’s latest negative reviews policy changes for businesses up and down the country.

Google Negative Reviews: New Guidelines

What you may not know is that this new Google negative review policy is, in fact, part of a change to Google Maps and how they should reflect a genuine experience at a place or business and, indeed, how they should not engage in fake engagement.

The new guidelines say that “Content that has been incentivized by a business in exchange for discounts, free goods and/or services is not prohibited. This includes merchant requests for revision or removal of a negative review through offered discounts, free goods or services, or other incentives.”

As part of updates made to Google Maps, deceptive content and engaging in removing deceptive content includes:

  • Paying, incentivising or encouraging the posting of content that does not represent a genuine experience
  • Content that is not based on a real experience and does not accurately represent the location or product in question
  • Content that has been incentivised by a business in exchange for discounts, free good, and/or services
  • Content that has been posted by a competitor to undermine a business or product’s reputation
  • Content that has been posted from multiple accounts to manipulate a place’s rating

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Google Negative Reviews: Why Should You Care About the New Guidelines

If you work for a PPC agency, then why should you care about the new Google negative reviews guidelines?

Well, firstly, many businesses offer some form of incentive to have negative or neutral reviews updated by those individuals. It’s essentially standard practice. That is now prohibited in the updated Google Maps user-contributed content policy.

As noted above, this is in addition to paying, incentivizing or encouraging the posting of content that does not represent a genuine experience, or incentivizing for positive reviews in exchange for discounts, free goods and/or services.

So, in short, this change to Google’s negative reviews policy could completely derail what many businesses have been practicing for years.

PPC Geeks – Google Ads Specialists

At PPC Geeks, we pride ourselves on what we achieve for our clients on a daily basis, be that the results themselves or, in fact, how we always stay abreast of the latest changes to any Google policy that may impact you. So, if you want to work with one of the top PPC agencies in the world, then PPC Geeks is the place to be in order for your ads to truly comply with Google’s new policies.

As we always have your best interests in mind, if you require any help or want to improve your PPC or Google Ads, then why not invest in one of our 100% FREE, completely comprehensive PPC audits or Google Ads audits?

Author

May Dayang

I am an expert administrative professional with a strong background in marketing. Exceptionally skilled in organizing, planning, and managing tasks

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