January 24, 2019

How to Report a Google Review

You can flag reviews as slander, false, a conflict of interest. If you have a bad Google review here are the steps you can take to report it.

By Jane Garfinkel - Review Response Specialist

If you just received a negative review on your GMB, you might be wondering how to remove bad Google reviews.

We understand why. Online reviews are extremely 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.

This being said, you should almost never try to remove negative Google reviews. Instead, monitor and respond to all of them. Critical 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 June 2020 this includes:

  1. 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.

  2. Off-topic - Reviews should be explicitly relevant to the service the customer was provided.

  3. Restricted content - Certain products, such as alcohol and tobacco, cannot be promoted through reviews.

  4. Illegal content - Illegal content is not allowed.

  5. Terrorist content - Terrorist organizations are not allowed to use Google’s review service.

  6. Sexually explicit content - Sexually explicit content is not allowed.

  7. Offensive content - Profane language is not allowed.

  8. Dangerous & Derogatory Content - Reviews cannot contain language that threatens someone or incites hatred.

  9. Impersonation - Reviews cannot be made under someone else’s name.  

  10. 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.

An online reputation management company will keep your Google My Business page in peak condition and impress potential customers from the get-go. At Widewail, we respond to Google reviews along with reviews on other popular sites such as Yelp, Facebook, and DealerRater. Partner with us today.


Jane Garfinkel

I’m a New Jersey native who joined the Widewail team during my brief stint in Burlington. Now living in Jersey City, I currently serve as the Response Team Lead and Content Specialist. My background is in writing and my work has been published by Thrillist, Reductress, McSweeneys, The Rumpus, and more. I occasionally update my own blog No Meat, Some Potatoes, and in my free time I hang out with my dog Jake.

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