Bad reviews might hurt your ego, but the injury they do to your business will cost you more than just pride.
So, can you remove bad reviews on Google? The answer is yes.
Here are 6 reasons Google will delete your business’s bad reviews.
1. Inappropriate Behavior
If a user leaves a review with profanity, racial slurs, or any other offensive or explicit content, this is grounds for review removal.
Hate speech, harassment, and vulgar images also disqualify a review from existing on Google.
Since anyone, anywhere can leave a Google review, sometimes people leave reviews to places they’ve never visited.
If a news outlet picks up a story about your business, some people might leave opinions that have nothing to do with their actual experiences with your business. These reviews can be removed.
3. Wrong Location
If your business has several locations, you might find an angry customer who leaves a review at every single location—even ones they’ve never been to.
Reviews from users who leave feedback for locations that they didn’t actually have experiences at can be removed.
This also goes for the occasional mishap. Sometimes users leave a review for a distinctly different business. While it’s an honest mistake, these reviews could bring you down.
Spam accounts on Google abound. Good or bad, if your business has spam reviews, Google will hunt them down, then take them down.
Spam can be spotted by obviously fake accounts with no avatars, strange names, and similar or identical reviews.
Another form of spam comes from angry customers. They might make multiple accounts and leave multiple bad reviews for one business out of spite. Sometimes they’ll ask to use friends’ accounts, but either way, this is grounds for removal.
5. Fraud from the Competition
Is integrity a thing of the past? Some businesses try to injure the competition’s reputation by inundating their reviews with fake negative reviews. If a user leaves two reviews for similar businesses in a short period—one glowing and one horribly bad—it’s a sign that it’s a fraudulent account.
6. Employee Reviews
Reviews from employees violate Googles review guidelines as a conflict of interest. Employees also aren’t allowed to review their employers’ competitors.
How to Remove Reviews on Google
There are three main ways you can remove a review on Google.
First, you can flag it. You do this by selecting the three small dots in the top right corner of the review and selecting “Flag as inappropriate.”
Second, you can complete a “Report a Policy Violation” form. You can do this for any type of review, and I suggest filing a report and flagging the post to get it down quicker.
Third, you can submit a legal removal request. This is only for reviews that violate laws, such as slander or copyright infringement.
What to Do When Google Won’t Remove a Review
If you can’t get a review taken down—or if the process is taking too long, there a few other things you can do about bad reviews.
First, respond to the real reviews that reflect weaknesses in your business. Acknowledge their frustration, apologize, and work towards a solution. If you can turn a dissatisfied customer into a happy one, you might be able to turn a bad review into a good one.
If you have a customer that berates you or won’t reason with you, don’t argue with them for everyone to see. No matter what direction the conversation goes, engaging with unhappy customers on a private email thread is better than figuring it out in the comments on Google reviews.
Once you’ve solved your customers’ complaints—or if you spot a fake review—ask them to take their bad review down. When confronted politely, some people will discover their conscience and do the right thing.
If you’ve got bad Google reviews you want to be taken down, you should:
- Report reviews to google.
- Respond to them and solve the problem.
- Ask the user to remove them.
If you keep finding that your business receives negative reviews, you might want to take a hard look at your business model.