We all know why reviews are essential for any business. They can make or break potential customers’ first impressions of your establishment. Google reigns supreme as the top three local review sites worth being on, so those are the most crucial. Bad Google reviews and fake reviews can be a pain for a business. They can damage your online reputation and make it difficult to attract customers.
Nonetheless, it is impossible only to get positive reviews.
At some point, a disgruntled customer will inevitably sit and take the time to negatively review your business regardless of how high quality your average customer experience is.
Let’s be clear here.
Receiving negative Google reviews is normal. A business showcasing ONLY positive Google reviews will always be seen with skepticism.
However, sometimes bad reviews are undeserved, misleading, defamatory, fake, or - even worse - an overt attempt to damage your business.
If you’re unfortunate enough to have received exaggerated, false, or misrepresenting reviews, can a company remove Google reviews, and will Google review defamation statements? How do I delete a Google review? Learn more about Google’s review policy and how to dispute a Google review.
How To Remove Bad Reviews From Google
Can Google reviews be deleted, and can someone remove negative articles from Google? While we don’t have ways to remove pieces, deleting Google reviews begins with the simple process of flagging a review on Google. Let’s go over how to take down a Google review.
Follow these steps if you want to remove negative reviews from Google Local (Google Maps and Google Search):
- Sign in to the Google account connected to your business listing
- Find your business on Google Maps
- Open the reviews section
- Find the review you want to remove
- Click the three dots in the top right corner and select “Flag as inappropriate.”
- Fill out the form and submit it.
How Long Does It Take Google To Remove Negative Reviews
The process of removing the flagged review can take a while.
The review response time required to delete reviews will depend on the violation involved. On average, Google will intervene within 2 and 60 business days.
However, in most circumstances, it is reasonable to expect Google intervention within 2 to 4 weeks. Nonetheless, the entire process might require more actions than just clicking here and there on your Google My Business account.
Sometimes, to get a review removed, you might end up in a loop where Google will ask you to provide further reasons and evidence that support your claims. If the flagged review involves misrepresentation, misinformation, or fake statements, you might need to prove it somehow.
Google might still decide to reject your claim. This unfortunate scenario implies that it is better to have a plan B to deal with false and bad reviews (we will see some strategies later in the article).
Sometimes it might be easier to deal with a human being than with an automated response system or AI to report a bad Google review.
Google provides different methods to reach their customer service. However, manage your expectations. Google has billions of customers. Therefore they ‘pick’ the users who will receive support from one of their employees.
If you received an illegal review, meaning one that applies slander against you or your brand’s online reputation, you could report it. Use the Content Removal Tool and answer questions relating to your complaint in the Google Business Profile Manager. Once again, if the review violates slander laws, you have a greater chance of deleting a Google review.
For any other negative Google reviews, contact Google Small Business support by going to support.google.com/business. At the bottom, you can see the “contact us” button. Click it and select a method for being contacted (phone, web chat, email.) You should be contacted within 24 hours. If you do not receive any answer, an alternative is to tag @GoogleMyBiz on your Twitter. That is the official Google My Business account.
Someone should contact you from there, where you can carry on your claim to delete a Google review.
Can You Remove Bad Reviews From Google?
According to BrightLocal, 78% of consumers use the internet to gather information about local businesses more than once a week.
Now, which is the leading mapping app with over 150M monthly users?
Therefore, managing your Google MyBusiness profile is critical to be found on Google Maps. Users will open Google Maps for directions to your business location and to read customer reviews. Users will click reviews in their search results to hear from locals on trusted sites. A positive review on Google will lead to greater brand awareness in your area.
If you still need to, register your business with Google MyBusiness and take complete control of what information is displayed.
Can I delete a Google review, or can a company delete Google reviews? Can restaurants delete Google reviews? A Google My Business profile is the system business owners can use to manage and delete bad Google Maps reviews. Unsurprisingly, you need more power to remove Google business reviews in one click.
Like most high-tech companies, Google does not give you complete control of your Google business profile on THEIR platform. However, as they want to keep their platform clean and reliable, there are scenarios where you can ask to remove Google reviews from your business listing.
It is all about Google’s review policy. Let’s find out when you can ask Google to remove negative reviews.
What You Need To Know About Google Review Policies
The main goal of Google (as a business) is to provide complete, punctual, and valuable information to its customers.
However, Google set up policies and criteria for its community (a.k.a. Google users) to engage with its platforms and applications. Content cannot breach Google policies, whether the Google Maps app, images, searches, YouTube, Google Play Store, or any other Google-owned platform. These policies apply to all types of content: video, photo, message, and - of course - new reviews.
As stated by Google in its policies regarding Google Maps :
“The following policies apply to all formats, including Reviews, Photos, and Videos. Content not meeting these criteria may be rejected from publication on Google Maps.”
If you’re wondering why a Google review of your business is not showing up, Google automatically analyzes what is posted on its platform and eliminates inappropriate content. However, the process is done through Artificial Intelligence and is still in progress. Therefore, content that breaks its policies might be missed.
Additionally, people and software writing bad reviews on Google are getting more sophisticated at dodging Google AI filters. Therefore, Google welcomes business owners’ initiative to flag reviews that contrast their policies.
These are the main violations that can cause Google to remove content:
- Harassment, hate speech, offensive content, personal/private information
- Deceptive content, misrepresentation, misinformation, or fake engagement
- Obscene, sensational, sexually explicit, violent content
- Restricted, dangerous, illegal, terrorist content that violates local legal regulations
- Off-topic, advertising, gibberish
If a negative or fake review targeting your business falls into one of these categories, you can ask Google to remove it. Here is how to do it.
Alternative Methods To Remove a Negative Review From Google
Unfortunately, it is not rare that Google decides not to delete the bad review you flagged.
Given review subjectivity, Google is not incentivized to remove bad online reviews. And no, a business owner that doesn’t agree with the feedback received is not enough. However, an alternative method is to remove a negative lousy review from Google.
One surefire way to boost your hospitality service reviews is to ask the reviewer to edit or delete the bad feedback. This process is perfectly legal and involves you engaging with Google reviewers.
The primary action is to respond politely and empathetically to the review. Ideally, you want to bring the conversation off the public view. So it might be helpful to discuss the discussion on a private channel (emails). If you fix the problem or dialogue with the customer, you can ask to update their feedback.
It is not uncommon to see users scrapping a negative or fake Google review after a business provides sincerity. Furthermore, whoever reads that review will appreciate the business’s commitment to dialogue with its customer.
What To Do When You Cannot Delete Google Reviews
Regardless of the platform where the negative review is published, it would help if you always had a plan B should you not be able to remove a bad review.
Although removing negative feedback from a review site is not always possible (nor necessary), you must answer all the reviews - whether fake Google reviews or positive or negative reviews.
Surprisingly, most businesses do not respond to negative reviews, while 53% of customers expect companies to answer negative reviews promptly.
A business page that does not answer negative reviews will be noticed as a business location that does not care about its customers. Following a reputation management guide to online reviews can transform your brand image with customers for the better. Stay up-to-date on articles to gain the upper hand with new marketing ideas and improve customer satisfaction scores.
Additionally, a rebuttal to a bad review helps frame what happened. It will provide a neutral vision to internet readers who are making up their minds about your venue.
Facebook also recommends commenting on the few negative reviews a company might receive. Figuring out how to delete Facebook reviews and how to remove reviews from Facebook are other matters. The Facebook Community Standards outline what would be considered an inappropriate review so you can report it. You can also note fraudulent reviews only if you comment on them as a natural response before reporting them.
Thus, responding to reviews is essential for a business owner.
How To Get More Positive Reviews
In addition to responding to bad reviews, you also want to get good reviews on Google. The best way to make a negative Google review irrelevant is to have many positive reviews.
This could lead you to find out if you can buy Google reviews or pay to remove Google reviews. It would be best if you avoided this tactic. Buying Google Maps studies could lead to legal trouble and damage your reputation. This could also drive potential customers away.
We have seven effective methods to get more Google reviews. Implement a process for asking customers for a review of your business and their experience.
How To Deal With Other Review Sites
In addition to Google reviews, your business can also benefit from other local review sites. Learning how to get Yelp reviews creates broader visibility on multiple platforms. Can companies remove Yelp reviews? Like Google policy, Yelp will review reported studies and may delete them if they violate Yelp content guidelines.
We enjoy reading bad TripAdvisor reviews as a leisure activity. But sometimes, you must know how to handle bad TripAdvisor reviews as a business. Taking a bit of time to collect thoughts before responding is critical. However, you should always respond within 24 hours to a disappointed reviewer, thank them for their feedback, and apologize. Remember, you can always take things offline to resolve the issue.
If you want to encourage business reviews on other sites, consider the difference between SMS and email marketing. SMS marketing can boost revenue and support by sending surveys for customer feedback. Email marketing takes pricing and scalability into account. In no time, you will have hundreds of reviews that will provide a reliable picture of your business.
Now that you know how to remove Google reviews and obtain more positive than poor reviews, take the next step for your business with WiFi marketing. Beambox is an all-in-one WiFi solution that accomplishes all of the above. Accelerate your business growth — start your Beambox free trial today!