We’re pretty sure you missed this appalling news, from one week ago.

Phantom 4-Star reviews have appeared on local Google business listings, reports one sleuth in Sterling Sky’s Local Search Forum. While your business didn’t get spammed, 37 unlucky owners received early holiday gifts of 64,000 fake reviews.

Our concern is how Google will pre-empt or respond to review spam, moving forward.

We have questions for Google. What filters get used before posting ratings? How do you track irregularities? Which algorithms deflect bad actors?

We offer advice to Google. Please consider unusual review volume, unsigned reviews, absence/presence of comments, off-shore reviews and even reviews beyond service areas. Then compare results, based on business category and geography norms, to surface outliers.

It’s disheartening to lose trust, as Google’s coin-of-the-realm listings help local businesses thrive. #BanGoogleReviewSpam