Connect with us

SEARCHENGINES

Google Is Taking Action On Recent One-Star Review Scams & Blackmail

Published

on

Google Is Taking Action On Recent One-Star Review Scams & Blackmail

A recent New York Times piece highlighted blackmail threads taken on small restaurants that threaten and blackmail the owners. These threats say the person will leave a one-star review, hurting the business’s reputation in Google Maps and Google Search if they do not send money through digital gift cards.

Google responded on Friday by posting a notice in the Google Business Profiles Help forums saying Google is aware of this issue and taking action. Kara from Google wrote:

We’ve recently become aware of a scam targeting businesses on Google with the threat of 1-star reviews unless they send money via gift cards. Our policies clearly state reviews must be based on real experiences, and our teams are working around the clock to thwart these attacks, remove fraudulent reviews, and put protections on business profiles that may have been affected.

If your business is being targeted by these scammers, please do not pay them. Instead, please flag the reviews here or reach out to Google support via our Help Center, so that our team can review and remove policy-violating content. If you haven’t yet claimed your business profile, you can do so here.

You can also learn more about how our review moderation systems work to ensure that Google reviews remain helpful and authentic.

The NY Times explained, “a new scam targeting restaurants, criminals are leaving negative ratings on restaurants’ Google pages as a bargaining chip to extort digital gift cards.” The text threat was the same in each email: “We sincerely apologize for our actions, and would not want to harm your business but we have no other choice.” The email went on to say that the sender lives in India and that the resale value of the gift card could provide several weeks of income for the sender’s family. The emails, from several Gmail accounts, requested payment to a Proton mail account.

So if you do get these email extortion threats, follow the details above posted by Google.

Forum discussion at Google Business Profiles Help.

Advertisement

Source: www.seroundtable.com

SEARCHENGINES

Google Merchant Center No Longer Disapproves Listings For Missing Return/Refund Policy Or Insufficient Contact Information

Published

on

Google Merchant Center No Longer Disapproves Listings For Missing Return/Refund Policy Or Insufficient Contact Information

Google has updated its Google Merchant Center policy for free listings only specific to the “Insufficient contact information” or the “Missing return and refund policy.” Free listings will no longer be disapproved but instead, they may “have limited visibility on Google,” Google wrote.

Google posted that these “enforcement type has changed for the free listings policies. However, the policies themselves have not changed.” Google explained “Previously, Merchant Center accounts with the “Insufficient contact information” or the “Missing return and refund policy” issue were automatically disapproved. Now, free listings accounts with these issue statuses will remain active, but their products will have limited visibility on Google. This policy change applies to free listings only.”

Google added that the “Insufficient contact information” issue status means that customers can not find out how to contact you on your website in at least one way. Google provided examples of how they should be able to contact you on your website include, but are not limited to: a contact us form, a link to your business profile on social media, an email address, or a phone number. Business information, such as a physical store address and a verified phone number, must also be available in your Merchant Center account or your third-party platform (if applicable), Google wrote.

With the “Missing return and refund policy” issue status means that your website doesn’t have return and refund information. Your website must clearly state how you handle these actions, including all requirements and any timelines. If returns and refunds aren’t accepted, you will need to clearly state this on your website, Google added.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish