How to Delete a Google Review

You are not alone if you’re wondering how to delete a Google review from your online presence. Small businesses and local businesses across locations and industries have received fake reviews and negative Google reviews at some point or another.

What can you do about these bad Google reviews if they’re affecting your online reputation? While business owners can’t delete every negative review, there is a process to delete reviews that violate Google content guidelines. Keep reading to learn what reviews qualify for deletion and how to delete them.

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Can I Delete My Google Review as a Business Owner?

Yes, it is possible to delete some Google reviews. Business owners can ask Google to delete or remove inappropriate or explicit content from their Business Profiles, specifically online reviews that violate Google’s policies, as explained in the guide “How to remove Google reviews.”

According to Google’s review policy, these include fake reviews, reviews that have a conflict of interest, personal rants, and dangerous, illegal, or adult content.

How Can I Delete Google Reviews?

First, be sure to report only reviews that violate Google’s review policy. Don’t flag customer reviews containing legitimate negative feedback about a bad experience just because you don’t like or agree with it. Google won’t get involved in disputes between business owners and unhappy customers.

If you determine that you have illegitimate reviews, use Google Maps, Google Search, or your Business Profile account to flag the inappropriate reviews and initiate the review removal process.

Flag a Review to Be Deleted Using Google Maps

Step 1: Open Google Maps on your computer or mobile device and sign into your business account.

How to flag a review to be deleted using Google Maps: Step 1

Step 2: Search for your Google Business Profile in the search bar to locate your listing.

How to flag a review to be deleted using Google Maps: Step 2

Step 3: Tap or click “Reviews” and find the customer feedback you want to report.

How to flag a review to be deleted using Google Maps: Step 3

Step 4: Tap or click the three dots beside the review then select “Flag as inappropriate.” From there, fill out the form to explain your reasoning.

How to flag a review to be deleted using Google Maps: Step 4

Flag a Review to Be Deleted Using Google Search

Step 1: Open Google on your computer or mobile device.

How to flag a review to be deleted using Google Search: Step 1

Step 2: Make sure you are signed into your business account, and search for your listing by typing the name of your business. Once located, tap or click “Google reviews.”

Flag a review to be deleted using Google Search: Step 2

Step 3: Find the customer reviews you want to report and click the three dots next to the feedback. Select “Report review.” Follow the instructions that appear on the form to submit your reasoning for deletion.

Flag a review to be deleted using Google Search: Step 3

Flag a Review in Your Business Profile Account (2 Ways)

From Your Google Business Profile Panel

Step 1: Sign in to your Business Profile account from your computer and search for your business in the search results. If you see this list of options on the left side of your listing, you can confirm that you are signed in.

How to flag a review in your Business Profile Account

From here, you can follow the same steps we covered for reporting a review on Google Search.

From the Review Removal Form

Step 1: Visit the Remove reviews from your Business Profile on Google support article and click “Request review removal.” You may need to confirm your email address before you proceed.

How to flag a review in your Business Profile Account: Step 1

Step 2: If you have multiple businesses, select the one associated with the review you want to remove.

How to flag a review in your Business Profile Account: Step 2

Step 3: Once you have selected your business, click “confirm” at the bottom.

How to flag a review in your Business Profile Account: Step 3

Step 4: Locate the review you would like to remove and hit “Report.”

How to flag a review in your Business Profile Account: Step 4

Step 5: Fill out the reason for requesting the removal and click “Submit.”

How to flag a review in your Business Profile Account: Step 5

Are There Consequences for Having Bad Reviews on Google?

While positive reviews about positive experiences can strengthen your online reputation, bad reviews about negative experiences can lower your Business Profile’s overall star ratings and harm your brand reputation. If potential customers see a poor customer experience reflected in your reviews, you may start to lose business.

There’s no reason, however, for fraudulent reviews or reviews that violate Google’s policies to hurt your Google presence. These should be flagged as inappropriate or illegal activity using the removal request steps described above.

Are Reviews on Google Permanent?

Not all reviews on Google are permanent. Google has a review removal process for small businesses to request the deletion of fake Google reviews. In addition, Google also has automated spam detection filters in place to remove some fake reviews automatically.

Learn more about how long Google reviews last.

What to Do When You Can’t Delete a Google Review

In an ideal world, local businesses would have complete control over their online reputation, allowing them to remove any negative reviews with just a few clicks. However, the real world doesn’t work that way, and there are situations where Google will refuse to remove a poor review. 

These instances may take the wind out of your sail, but there are alternative strategies you can use to address the challenges posed by the reviews that overstay their welcome. Let’s explore what to do when deletion isn’t an option and how to manage these reviews proactively.

Understanding Negative Reviews

Negative online reviews are an inescapable aspect of the digital age for businesses. That’s why it is important to recognize that the majority of these negative reviews are valid expressions of customers’ experiences, opinions, or concerns. What that means is that they should be acknowledged as genuine feedback that reflects the diverse perspectives of your clientele. 

While these reviews may not always be flattering, it’s important to remember that they contribute to the authenticity and transparency of your online reputation.

Responding to Negative Reviews

When confronted with negative reviews, it’s key for local businesses to respond appropriately. This process involves addressing customer feedback, mitigating concerns, and showcasing your commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Responding means that you have the opportunity to transform a negative experience into a positive one. For a more comprehensive guide on crafting effective responses to negative reviews, consider referring to our article “How to Respond to Negative Reviews.”

Requesting Deletion

One common temptation local businesses face when dealing with negative reviews is asking customers to remove their unfavorable feedback. However, it’s important to exercise caution when considering this approach. 

Requesting a review be deleted is generally discouraged for several reasons. The most important reason is that it can backfire, potentially leading to further negative feedback or damaging your reputation even more. That’s why, first and foremost, the focus should be on addressing the issue, demonstrating your commitment to customer service, and finding ways to resolve their concerns.

Crafting Effective Responses

When responding to negative reviews, it’s a good idea to employ a thoughtful and professional approach. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Take Time to Cool Down: Before crafting a response, give yourself some time to cool down, ensuring your reply is objective and devoid of emotional reactions.
  • Avoid Defensiveness and Personalization: Maintain a non-defensive tone and refrain from making responses personal, focusing on addressing the issues raised rather than personalizing the exchange.
  • Offer Apologies When Necessary: If the situation warrants it, don’t hesitate to offer a sincere apology. It can go a long way toward resolving conflicts and demonstrating your commitment to excellent customer service.
  • Take Sensitive Conversations Offline: In cases where it’s suitable, consider moving the conversation offline to address concerns privately and effectively. This can be done via email or over the phone.

Why Do I Need to Monitor My Small Business’s Online Reviews as Part of My Company’s Brand Reputation?

Google reviews on Google Maps and in Google search engine results are vital for local businesses. Online reviews drive online reputation, overall brand reputation, and business growth.

Taking the time to track your reviews—both negative reviews and positive reviews—is an essential online reputation management strategy that can even help small businesses improve their search engine optimization (SEO) rankings and uncover new ways to improve the customer experience.

Though staying on top of new reviews takes time, it will be well worth the effort, especially since organic search engines like Google Search account for over 50 percent of all website traffic. Plus, 93 percent of consumers say online reviews influence their purchase decisions.

How Broadly Helps with Online Reputation Management

Broadly is the go-to digital marketing platform for partnering with small business owners like you. A wide range of review management tools will help your company stand out on Google, Yelp, social media, and other review sites.

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This article was updated on October 25th, 2023.