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December 22, 2022

How to Report a Google Review

Removal isn't guaranteed, but businesses can report Google reviews as misinformation, slander, or other policy violations. Here are the steps you can take.

If you just received a negative review on your Google Business Profile - that is unhelpful, aggressive, inappropriate or obviously fraudulent - you might be wondering about the best way to attempt to have it removed.

We certainly understand why. Online reviews are extremely valuable: 77% of shoppers say they 'regularly' read them when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020). This means great reviews can help bring customers through your door without you ever having to lift a finger. Since Google has the most monthly traffic of all leading review sites, it might be the most important record of social proof for your business.

Be that as it may, attempting to remove Google reviews should be done sparingly. It’s best to focus on monitoring and responding to all of them instead. Critical reviews, although frustrating, are actually the most important to answer. By prioritizing these, you get to explain your side of the story and earn a chance to redeem yourself in the eyes of current and future consumers. Better yet, by continuing the conversation with the customer offline, you might inspire them to update their review. 

In spite of our best efforts in regards to response management, sometimes negative reviews just take things too far. These reviews can be addressed - whether they’re from an angry customer, previous employee, competing business, or a good, old-fashioned online troll. You have options, and Google’s Review Policy explains what content is not allowed and deserves to be reported.

Inappropriate review content according to Google's Review Policies:

  1. Civil Discourse: Reviews should never include examples of harassment, hate speech, offensive content or the sharing of personal information.

  2. Deceptive Content: Reviews from fake accounts, that impersonate an individual, or provide misinformation/misrepresentation will not be tolerated.

  3. Mature Content: Obscenity, profanity, violent, adult-themed or sexually explicit content is not allowed.

  4. Regulated, Dangerous and Illegal: In addition, terrorist organizations are not allowed to use Google’s review service. Shocking, we know.

  5. Information Quality: Reviews that are off-topic related to a business, feature advertising/solicitation or contain "gibberish" may be reported. 

  6. Conflict of interest: Content should be unbiased. For example, business owners should not review their own business.

How to Report a Google Review

To report a Google review, first navigate to the review in question. Click the vertical three dots in the top right-hand corner and then select “Report Review".

If the review content violates Google’s policy, they will likely delete it. If a few days have passed and the review is still visible on your Google Business Profile, don’t hesitate to follow up with their GBP support team. You can talk to a specialist on the phone, chat online, or send an email in the interest of resolving your issue.

Only a handful of reviews will ever need to be reported.

Google Review Troll Meme

All reviews, however, should be responded to - ensuring that your business is providing the best customer service both in-person and online. Consistent replies are also a best practice for increasing Google reviews in general.

To be clear - we're not suggesting you need to respond to a review that you also plan to report. Some trolls should be left under the bridge.

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

We invite you to reach out with questions, to request a demo, or anything else you may wish to discuss - today!

* This post was updated on 12/22/22 and originally published on 1/24/19.

What's Widewail?

Widewail is a reputation management software and services company based in Burlington, VT. We help hundreds of small local businesses and national brands like Lexus and BH Property Management generate and respond to reviews.

Learn more about our core products:

Engage: Review response managed services

Invite: Send automated SMS review requests to all your customers

Invite Video: Generate customer video reviews via SMS. 

Free GBP Performance Tool  Analyze Your Google Business Profile Find Your Business on Google

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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