In Google’s official guide to improving local rankings, managing & responding to Google Reviews is mentioned as one of the factors that helps local SEO. The guide claims that engagement on a Business Profile is what will help it rank highly in the Map Pack.
Google also instructs businesses to value all reviews. Having negative experiences with a business is natural, and showing how you react and respond in situations when you do have a dissatisfied customer is equally as important as thanking your positive reviewers.
Google’s Business Profile Help Center also contains a guide on responding to reviews. The guide instructs business profile owners that they don’t have to reply to every review individually, however, that general kind and courteous interaction is appreciated. In the case of negative reviews, personally attacking the reviewer is strongly prohibited.
In cases where you believe you’ve gotten a review meant for another business, you believe your business was a victim of a spam attack, or where the discourse of the review is inappropriate (by standards of Google’s guidelines on prohibited and restricted content), you can flag the review in question. The flagged review will be manually inspected by Google, so do not misuse this feature for negative, yet truthful reviews.
If you want more information on best practices for local SEO, schedule a free discovery call with Fire&Spark.