How Small Businesses Can Fight Back Against Review Bombing

Is your business unfairly being targeted and getting review-bombed? Here’s what you can do to fight against this grubby attempt to damage your reputation.

small business

Digitization has helped businesses in never-before-seen ways, it has been an immense boon- especially for small businesses. But as the saying goes “Brighter the light, darker the shadow.” Likewise, in the case of digitization, there are so many new methods to hurt businesses online, one of them being Review Bombing.

What is Review Bombing?

Business being review bombed

If you had been following the happenings on the internet in the last decade, you would have seen quite a few examples of Review Bombing. This is what happens when a group of angry and/or dissatisfied users/customers target a particular business and start bombarding it with negative reviews and ratings online. This could tarnish the reputation of the brand, leading to losses, and other damages.

There are many instances of gamers review bombing a game to express their discontent, the infamous Genshin Impact’s 1st-anniversary rewards backlash is one such recent fiasco, in its wake, enraged players spammed Genshin memes on social media, and review bombed the app on the play store which made the ratings plummet to 2 from a previous 4.6 stars. This has happened with many films and reviewing platforms too.

While review bombing has been used as a sign of protest, it has also been used for trolling and targeted hate.

Recently this tactic has been used by businesses to target their competitors. There are people being hired to run negative review campaigns against businesses, if this is not enough, there are some disgruntled and entitled customers who get their social circle to review bomb a business they don’t like.

Should You Care?

reviews of businesses

Absolutely! While negative reviews can help you fix problems with your business, false negative reviews will only end up hurting your business. It will make your ratings plummet, and damage your online reputation. People these days check reviews before they decide on something like- buying, making use of a service, or visiting a place, especially Google reviews for local businesses. 

Now imagine a potential customer checking your business’ reviews and they see it has 3 point something stars with a lot of negative reviews, how likely are they to take a chance? This is why you need to monitor your ratings regularly.

Measures against Review Bombing

measures against review bombing

Do Nothing

If there’s an influx of spam reviews, don’t respond to the reviews, do nothing. Google will automatically remove them after a while. But if you are receiving spam reviews irregularly, or Google isn’t auto-removing them, then you might have to proceed with the other methods listed below.

Report Reviews

Responding politely to negative reviews that are genuine gives your business a positive outlook, but it is pointless to respond to spammed fake reviews. Here’s what you can do instead. Log on to your Google business account, check through the reviews of your business, and report all fake reviews there. The reviews should be removed in a week, if not, you can appeal to Google, and if that fails too, you can escalate your issue on Google’s help forum.

Get Positive Reviews

The Previous two methods won’t give you instantaneous results, you will have to wait. While waiting, it doesn’t hurt to encourage your customers to drop reviews for your business. This will help bury the spam reviews to some extent and boost your overall rating. Loyal customers and others who have received good service will be happy to review your business, you just have to give them a light nudge.

If your business is being targeted and you have valid proof of the perpetrator, hire a lawyer and get them to handle it. A cease and desist notice or simply a threat of one should be more than enough to shut them up.

The last thing you want to do is engage in a brawl with your rivals on social media platforms, this will severely damage your reputation, and will only serve as a gag for the onlookers. Be pragmatic and deal with the reviews systematically.