Google Business reviews impact on ranking positions
We are running e-commerce store. Signed up for Google Business account, so people can find us locally, check if we are open, call us or visit our website. It works fine, getting some views, customers checking our photos and so on. We ask our customers to leave a review. Not to leave a positive review, just a review, whatever their experience was. And we get 5 star reviews all the time.
However, this month, we received 3 negative reviews already. It's pretty obvious those are not from our customers as they use newly created accounts, leave no comment or feedback, just 0 stars review. We are 99% sure it's our competition, know exactly who that is, but there is nothing we can do about it. Google seems ignoring complaints and our review score is going down due to defamatory reviews.
The question. Are negative reviews in Google Business affecting our rankings? I can't say from our stats yet, they looks normal, but it's short time period and the overall score is not so bad yet. It's like 4.8 now.
But what if they went further and reviews were down to 3 or 2.5? Is it going to affect our rankings?
It might. I would imagine it depends on the niche. If you run a company that makes custom ski masks in a city that has a ton of other custom ski mask companies, then reviews/ratings will likely have a larger impact. Logically there are only a handful of meaningful ways to rank businesses online and quality of service is one of them.