Any Google user can leave a review of a company; there doesn’t need to be an invitation; the Google reviews feature is there for anyone to use.
While Google my business can be a great new feature for businesses because it has been shown, positive reviews can increase sales.
However, there are many companies, which receive less than glowing reviews, or there are the individuals who wish to leave anonymous reviews on Google my business without leaving their names.
Here in this guide, you can find the answers to all these questions and more. If you want to know how to write a Google review without a Gmail account, you can learn that, and if you are a business, you can learn the smart way to deal with bad reviews. (Read the Business Owners Guide to Local SEO)
How Do I Hide My Name on Google Reviews?
It should be noted before heading off that you may find some Google services may not work without you signing up for a Gmail account or Google account. Google maps are one of the most common.
However, it is possible to hide your name if you follow these steps. You will find you are not hiding your name as such, you are signing up for a Google account without creating a Gmail account, and being a different Google user.
Here is how to leave a Google review by using a new name rather than your main account.
- If you have a Google account already, sign out
- Open your browser in incognito mode or private browsing mode (this doesn’t hide everything)
- Any Google service you try to open will ask you to sign in
- Here, you need to create an account using your current email address and not Gmail (create a burner email address or Gmail alternative, Proton Mail a good option)
- Fill in your name or any alias you wish to use
- Add a password and confirm
- Click next and verify the email with the sent code
- Click verify
From here, you can post anonymous Google review that will show your alias rather than your real name. You do, however, need to sign in every time in incognito mode to leave anonymous reviews, and not from your primary account.
One other option you can add to offer more anonymity is to use a VPN service. You can use this through the sign-up process, so the Google sign up procedure will think you are in a different location, as well as leave your anonymous reviews.
Can a Google Review Be Traced?
Anyone who leaves online reviews can have their IP traced by people who have the capability. Google will know your IP when leaving anonymous reviews, and your ISP will see because they retain all your online activity for 2-years in Australia.
If you use a VPN, you can mask your real IP address, as your location will be spoofed by selecting another VPN server outside the country.
Can You Block Someone from Leaving a Google Review?
Google reviews are there to enable the public to voice their opinions, so they can post a review on Google my business, or for other services.
For this reason, it isn’t generally accepted, any business can manipulate reviews to serve their purposes, or anyone leave anonymous reviews.
You will see that in no area does Google offer the chance to delete Google reviews, and thus if a business receives poor Google reviews, then they are there for others to see.
However, there is an option for a business to flag any business reviews they think go against the Google review guidelines. If you flag any reviews, then this goes back to Google who will then consider any moderation.
A couple of things that are worth noting here is that getting a full range of 5-star business reviews may not be as vital as you think them to be.
- Over half of buyers trust products that come with a few negative reviews
- One-third of online consumers understand many online reviews are fake, especially if there are nearly zero negatives
- Buyers are less concerned with negative reviews now than they used to be
If you wish to highlight any particular negative or anonymous reviews, the only way you can go to block it is by flagging the said review.
- Log in to your Google My Business account
- Select the location of your business and click on ‘Reviews’
- Find the review in question and then click on the three dots to open the menu on the right
- Select ‘Flag as inappropriate’
One issue crops up when you get a one-star review with no comment. Such a review can still find its way onto a Google My Business page without violating any policy.
One tactic any business can take with negative reviews is to respond to it. Many consumers are not expecting a reply. In some instances, the consumer may do nothing to change their review, however some will.
Besides, a business can reply by stating they think the negative review is fake; this is the right approach if there is no record of any person making a purchase. While others can see your response, it can help Google decide to remove this review.
It can be favourable for any business to embrace their new reviews, although there does come a time when they need to take action. One of the best is being engaged and reacting to both new positive reviews, as well as negative ones.
Suppose you need to leave reviews, which won’t flag as being fake or overly negative. Using the VPN, option to mask your location and creating a new account using another Gmail alternative is the best way you can achieve this.