Google plays a major role in business success. If you have a local business and want to be found by potential new customers doing local searches, it’s a requirement to have a Google Business Profile (GBP). It’s also important to manage your reviews on your profile — which includes knowing when and how to remove a Google review.
Let’s start by talking about the times when it makes sense to remove a review on Google.
Instances When You Can Remove a Google Review
Google has a clear breakdown of the types of review content it prohibits or restricts, which is worth understanding so you know when review removal is necessary and possible. The categories of content are:
- Civil discourse that includes harassment, hate speech, offensive content, and personal information
- Deceptive content that includes fake engagement, impersonation, misinformation, and misrepresentation
- Mature content that includes obscenity and profanity, sexually explicit content, adult-themed content, and violence and gore
- Regulated, dangerous, and illegal content that includes restricted and dangerous content, illegal content, child safety considerations, and terrorist content
- Off-topic content that impacts the Information quality such as advertising and solicitation, and gibberish and repetitive content
For more details about Google’s prohibited and restricted content, read about them here.
The Impact of Inappropriate or False Reviews
There may be situations when a wildly inappropriate review shows up on your GBP. Maybe someone harassed an employee or another customer. Maybe the review included someone’s personal information. Or maybe the review is from someone who was never a customer or includes false information. In these instances, removing the review is a good idea so it doesn’t hang out there for the world to see, harming your business reputation and sinking your ratings.
Online reviews hold substantial sway over consumer decision-making. And 54% of customers won’t buy a product if they suspect it has fake reviews.
False reviews, whether maliciously fabricated or driven by ulterior motives, can mislead consumers, distort perceptions, and erode trust in the brand. Inappropriate reviews, including those containing offensive language, personal attacks, or discriminatory content, tarnish a brand’s image and can alienate potential customers. Any of these kinds of reviews can lead to decreased sales, damaged credibility, and even legal ramifications.
As a result, it’s crucial to actively monitor and address inappropriate or false reviews promptly to safeguard your brand reputation and maintain customer trust.
In many cases, Google is able to detect reviews that violate its policies and remove them automatically. But you can still ask for removal if you come across an inappropriate review that made it past Google’s filters. Take note, it can take several days for the team at Google to look at your request and take action.
Comprehensive Guide to Google Reviews
How to Remove a Google Review
Removing a Google review can be a challenging process, but there are steps you can take to address the issue. Firstly, it’s important to understand Google’s review policies and guidelines to determine whether the review violates any specific rules. If it does, you can flag the review as inappropriate by navigating to the Google Maps or Google My Business page where the review is posted:
Go here if you need additional information on how to remove a Google review.
Be sure to provide a clear and concise explanation as to why the review should be removed. If you’re unable to remove the review or it takes time to remove it, respond to the review professionally and politely, stating your concerns and providing factual information to counter any false claims.
You Can’t Just Remove a Bad Review on Google
Removing inappropriate reviews is completely justifiable. But understand this doesn’t include removing reviews you just don’t like. Though it’s true that negative reviews can impact people’s opinions of your business, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll get a negative review at some point. And provided it’s from a real customer, of course, a negative review isn’t the end of the world. Here’s why:
- If the problem mentioned in the review is actually pretty minor, potential customers may be more than willing to shrug it off and not let it stand in the way of buying from you.
- No business is perfect 100% of the time; in fact, a near-perfect rating can make your business seem less credible. So a negative review here or there is a good thing.
- If the negative review is legitimate, it’s an opportunity for your business to publicly show empathy, clear up misunderstandings, and make things right with a disgruntled customer—all of which help to shape your online reputation in a more positive way.
- Customer feedback is critical to identify ways to improve your product or service. Negative reviews are also the first indication that there is a problem in your business. So take note of what customers are saying and if you start to identify common themes you know it’s time to take action.
Removing a review is ultimately at Google’s discretion, and the process can take time. In the meantime, focus on generating positive reviews and engaging with satisfied customers to counterbalance the impact of inappropriate or false reviews. To help, we created a comprehensive guide to help you manage your Google reviews — including how to get more of them, download it here.
Expand Your Review Efforts with GatherUp
Paying attention to your Google reviews is critical. In reality, though, all customer reviews are important, including first-party reviews from customers who post them directly to your website and third-party reviews on other review sites like Yelp or industry-specific sites like TripAdvisor.
Using GatherUp’s review management platform, you can expand your review efforts by gathering reviews from a variety of places—not just Google—so you can use them to effectively market your business and win more customers.