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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Facebook and Reviews; It’s Time for the Big Boy Pants

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 3.53.36 PMFacebook, over the past 18 months, has slowly been pushing into the local space. One of those efforts has been in the review space and they have managed to become one of the leading general review sites because of user familiarity and Facebook’s periodic promotions of their review capacity. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that they have apparently not yet put in place filters and processes to deal with the problems and abuses that can occur with reviews when not managed correctly by the platform.

Lynelle Schmidt of Long’s Jewelry Store in Boston writes of a Fiverr driven review attack on their Facebook page that landed over a hundred negative reviews on their page in the span of a few minutes. She noted at :

I was so disheartened to see that someone had hired over 100 people to give us fake one star reviews. In the span of just a few minutes, we went from a gleaming 5 star reputation to just barely over 2 stars.

Initially Facebook refused to do anything. After several attempts by Lynelle at communicating with Facebook they have agreed to reexamine the situation and apparently have at least temporarily removed the review page.

One hopes the Facebook steps up and resolves this particular case of abuse but it points out that their review platform in being unregulated and unsupervised is rife for this sort of attack on small businesses. Reviews are a particular pain point for most small businesses and if Facebook does not put in place both filters and processes that handle these sorts of events effectively, what trust they have built up with businesses will soon dissipate.

Facebook has clearly committed resources to their local efforts. If reviews are going to be part of that effort then Facebook has to “put on their big boy pants” and start to be a steward of that trust in a way that respects both the consumer and the business. And part of that trust is putting in place both algorithmic and management processes that minimizes the impact of these sorts of review attacks.