How to Remove Google Reviews
Wouldn’t it be great if you could click a button and delete that pesky negative Google Review?
Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Still, there may be a time when you come across a Google Review you’d rather not have appear in Google Search results — whether it’s a bad review, inaccurate one or spam comment that you feel is definitely worth flagging.
Why are Google Reviews important?
No matter if you’re an auto shop, home service provider or other small business owner, your Google Reviews can attract, educate and convert potential customers. Especially if you’ve racked up plenty of positive reviews. Reviews appear alongside your company’s business listing on Google Maps, which is the first impression for many people searching for you.
No one wants negative reviews, right? Of course not. But they can happen, despite your hard work and attention to customers.
Think of negative reviews as an opportunity to show users you have a healthy profile. Negative reviews can be a way for potential customers to see how you respond to issues, not just a blemish.
But there’s a difference between a justifiable negative review and an unfounded bad review (due to spam or someone’s personal vendetta).
We’re here to help guide you through getting a Google Review removed. We’ll walk you through the following key topics related to removing Google Reviews, including:
- Whether it’s possible to remove Google Reviews
- How Google removes reviews automatically
- What to consider when you come across negative reviews on your business listing
- 6 steps to take to remove Google Reviews
- How to get more positive reviews
Let’s dive in and get started on the path toward supercharging your online reputation.
Is it Possible to Remove Google Reviews?
Yes, it is possible to remove Google Reviews. Specifically, according to Google, reviews that are posted in direct violation of Google’s review policy can be taken down.
What Kinds of Reviews Can Be Removed from Google?
Google considers these types of reviews inappropriate, and grounds for removal:
- Spam or fake
- Sexually explicit
- Terrorist in nature
- Off topic
- Off topic
- A conflict of interest
- Prohibited content
Google cautions that it’s important that business owners only flag reviews that are in direct violation of Google’s review policy, and not simply flag reviews because they don’t agree with or like what’s being said.
Learn more about flagging google reviews as inappropriate.
Will Google Ever Delete Reviews Automatically?
There are scenarios in which Google may automatically remove a review from a business page. Per Google’s review policy, the company takes measures to automatically detect and remove reviews that most likely contain spam to improve the overall user experience on Google and ensure the only reviews for your small business are “authentic, relevant and useful.”
As a result, the company acknowledges that some “legitimate” reviews may inadvertently be flagged and removed through Google’s automated spam detection measures.
What to Consider When You Encounter Bad Reviews
Some negative reviews are inevitable, no matter the strength of your overall online reputation or reputation management strategies.
If you come across bad reviews as part of your presence on Google Maps or another Google property, it’s important to remember that not all critical customer feedback is bad.
Listening to your customers’ pain points can help you better serve them and solve their problems, which will work out in your favor in the long run and help you optimize your overall customer experience.
Is it a Fake Review?
If you encounter a bad Google Review, you’ll want to do is figure out whether or not it’s fake content.
Fake Google Reviews can slip through the cracks and tarnish your otherwise stellar presence. Work towards flagging the Google Review as inappropriate to get a review removed if you suspect fraudulent customer feedback.
6 Steps to Remove Google Reviews
Removing Google Reviews can be a challenge for small business owners. However, following these steps below can help streamline the process.
Step 1: Check Your Google My Business Account for Reviews
The first thing you’ll need to do is check your Google account for reviews. If you already know how to do this, you can skip this step.
Do the following to see and respond to your business’s Google Reviews:
- Verify your business, following these Google My Business instructions for claiming your business listing on Google
- Sign into your Google My Business account at business.google.com to review your business listing once your business is verified
- Click the “Reviews” tab to see and respond to all of your Google Reviews
Once you’re set up to be able to check out your reviews, it’s important to keep track of these on an ongoing basis as new reviews get submitted.
That way you can stay on top of reading and responding to both negative and positive reviews, without any delays.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Google Reviews — Detect and Eliminate Fake Reviews
Sometimes, you’ll know right away whether a review looks fake. Some telltale signs of obviously fake reviews include content that contains:
- Strange or vague language
- Tons of spelling errors
- References to people who don’t work at your company
Other types of fake reviews might be more difficult to spot. For instance, the fake reviewer may go into detail about why the company is so horrible.
At first, this may make them seem more believable. However, all you may need to do to debunk the negative Google Reviews is take a look at your records.
By comparing the details in the review to information you have on file, you should be able to tell whether or not the issue being described is real or not.
Step 3: Respond to Reviews Quickly and Politely
You can’t remove negative reviews but you can respond to them.
Responding to reviews in a timely fashion is important, and not only when you’re responding to negative reviews.
Being prompt with writing back to any review of your business shows past customers you care about their feedback and concerns — if they had a bad experience — and potential new customers can get a preview of the type of customer experience they might have when doing business with your company.
Effectively managing your company’s online reputation requires thinking before acting. Even otherwise successful companies can get in trouble by responding to customer reviews without developing a thoughtful approach for doing so.
If you do need to address a bad review, follow these best practices for following up with unhappy customers:
- Acknowledge the issue
- Explain your side only if necessary
- Make things right with the reviewer
- Use these templates for your review responses if you’re not sure how to word your replies
- Stay calm
- Do not let your emotions get the best of you
- Remember: Your job is to provide the best customer service
- Include your company’s contact information so they can reach out for support
Luckily, for any negative reviews you receive, you’re likely to have a lot more customers sharing positive experiences. Even though positive reviews often speak for themselves, it’s still important to respond to them — you want your happy customers to keep coming back and telling all of their friends about you, right?
Be sure to check out our guide on how to respond to positive reviews so you’ll find yourself searching for the right words to say.
Step 4: Flag Fake Reviews for Removal
Google understands that some fraudulent reviews may not be automatically flagged by the company’s spam detection filters.
That’s why the platform gives business owners the opportunity to flag these fake reviews through these products:
- Google Maps (open Google Maps on your computer, Android, iPhone or iPad)
- Google My Business (using any of the same devices)
- Google Search (using any of the same devices)
Flagging a fake review allows the team at Google to take a look at the content and decide whether or not it should be removed. Keep in mind that Google won’t get involved if there’s a difference in opinion between you and your customers about what has happened and it can take the company several days to review flagged reviews.
Step 5: Report the Fake Review to Google Small Business Support
If a review is especially harmful in nature or contains extremely inappropriate content, you may want to escalate the issue by getting in touch with Google Small Business Support either online or via social media by tweeting at @GoogleSmallBiz. It’s a good idea to include a screenshot of the issue you’re following up on.
For serious situations, you may consider working with a lawyer to submit a Legal Removal Request if you believe the content contained in a review is in violation of the law.
Step 6: Get More Positive Reviews
One of the best ways to offset bad reviews is to get new reviews added to your listing.
By asking your customers for reviews at the right time — immediately after a positive customer experience, you can get more online reviews that contribute to your digital marketing strategy, SEO and overall online reputation across Google, Yelp and other key review sites.
For Google specifically, check out our advice to get more Google Reviews for your business, as the process for asking for reviews from your customers is a little different for each review platform.
How Broadly Can Help You Get More Positive Reviews and More
At Broadly, we’re obsessed with helping local businesses grow by helping our clients gain new reviews and provide excellent customer experiences. Our experts are here to help your company get more reviews, streamline communications with both your team and your customers, revamp your website and more.
Book a demo to see how Broadly can help.
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