Removing Google Reviews - When It’s Necessary and How to Do It
By Jane Garfinkel - Review Response Specialist
It’s no question that online reviews are valuable: 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much an in-person recommendation. This means great reviews can help bring customers to your door, without you ever lifting a finger. Since Google has the most monthly traffic of all leading review sites, it might be the most important review site for your business.
To get the most out of your Google reviews, monitor and respond to all of them. Negative reviews, although frustrating, are actually the most important to answer. By explaining your side of the story you have the chance to redeem yourself in the eyes of viewers. Better yet, by apologizing and continuing the conversation with the customer offline, you might inspire them to edit or delete their poor review.
Unfortunately, some negative reviews go too far. Whether they’re from an angry customer, a competing business, or a troll, these reviews do not have to remain online. Google’s Review Policy explains what content is not allowed on their site and should be reported. As of January 2019 this includes:
Spam and fake content - Reviews should reflect the real experience of a customer and not be posted to simply increase or decrease a company’s rating.
Off-topic - Reviews should be explicitly relevant to the service the customer was provided.
Restricted content - Certain products, such as alcohol and tobacco, cannot be promoted through reviews.
Illegal content - Illegal content is not allowed.
Sexually explicit content - Sexually explicit content is not allowed.
Offensive content - Profane language is not allowed.
Dangerous & Derogatory Content - Reviews cannot contain language that threatens someone or incites hatred.
Impersonation - Reviews cannot be made under someone else’s name.
Conflict of Interest - Content should be unbiased. For example, business owners should not review their own business.
How to Report a Review
To report a Google review, go to the review you’d like to report. Click the vertical three dots in the top right-hand corner and then click “Flag as inappropriate.” If the review falls under Google’s policy, they will delete it. If a few days have passed and the review is still on your site, don’t hesitate to contact Google support. You can talk to a specialist on the phone, chat online, or send an email.
Only a handful of reviews will ever need to be reported. All reviews, however, should be answered to ensure that your business is providing the best customer service both in-person and online. Proper online reputation management will keep your Google My Business page in peak condition and impress potential customers from the get-go.