There is no question that a plethora of good online reviews can help your business succeed, but what do you do when you receive an unfounded bad review? Now you’re frantically googling, “How to remove a Google review” because you know that a bad review can do your business as much harm as a good review helps your business. Learning how to remove a Google review is not as simple as hitting the delete button.
The decision to delete a review is out of your control. Either Google or the reviewer needs to remove the bad review. This can leave you feeling hopeless. Will you be stuck with this stain forever? While the ultimate decision is out of your control, learning how to remove a Google review does not just include the actual deleting. Contacting Google or the reviewer respectfully can go a long way to getting the review deleted or edited. In this article, you will learn how to remove a Google review and how to handle both false and deserved bad reviews.
Why Are Online Reviews Important?
Before we get into how to remove Google reviews, you need to understand why reviews are important and why you might want one removed. At its core, the purpose of a review is to give potential customers an idea about whether or not your business is professional, credible, and an overall good fit for them. If a customer is considering buying from a new business, they are more likely to take a chance on them if they have high reviews. On the other hand, if the business has more low reviews than high reviews, the customer will likely choose not to do business with them even if the business is exactly what they are looking for. Good reviews will also give you an SEO boost and get your brand name out to potential customers.
Bad reviews can be frustrating and as a business owner, you might be worried about how they are affecting your reputation. So what do you do when you get a bad review? Before learning how to remove a Google Review, you need to consider if going to Google to remove it is the best course of action.
Delete Google Review
So, how do you remove a Google review? Google will only delete Google reviews that violate their policies. This includes spam, fake content, offensive content, terrorism, explicit content, illegal content, and conflicts of interest. They will not delete Google reviews just because you disagree with them or it makes you look bad. Google gets the final say. If Google believes it is an honest review, it gets to stay.
If you think that a review violates Google’s policies, you can report the bad review for removal. While getting Google to remove a bad review is not easy, the process of reporting a review is very easy. Below are the steps you can use to learn how to remove a Google review.
- Go to your Google My Business profile.
- Go to the review you want to be removed.
- Click more, the three vertical dots.
- Choose which violation best matches why you think the review should be removed.
Once you submit your report, it will take Google several days to review the report and make a decision. Even after submitting the report, Google might rule in favor of the reviewer. In this case, the bad review will stay up. If the review stays up after reporting it, you should contact Google My Business support.
Google My Business Support
Google My Business Support is a page with information to help you solve any problems you encounter while using Google My Business. There are many FAQ pages and articles filled with information about Google My Business, but there is also a place to contact real people to help you. If you fail to get a dishonest review removed through their reporting system, you can contact Google My Business Support to have a real person review your case. Contacting Google My Business Support is easy.
- Go to the Google My Business Support Page.
- Select Contact Us.
- Click “Customer Reviews and Photos.”
- Select “Manage Customer Reviews.”
- You can contact a Google My Business Support representative by phone, web chat, or e-mail within 24 hours.
Once you get into contact with Google My Business Support, detail why you believe the review violates Google’s policies. Share screenshots over email or web chat to support your case. From there, the Google My Business Support representative could escalate your case. At that point, the case will be out of your control. It will take a while for them to come to a decision. Hopefully, they will contact you with the news that they will remove the review. If they choose not to remove the bad review, you will not have many options left. The good news though is that if the bad review was not honest, it is probably the only one. One bad review and even a few bad reviews will not ruin your business.
Now that you know what to do if someone falsely reviews your business, you are probably wondering what you can do if you get an honest bad review. If the bad review is honest, there is nothing you can do to ensure that it is removed. The customer who wrote the review will be the only one who can remove it.
While bad reviews can make you feel awful, they are not the end of the world. After all, you can not please everyone. Sometimes a bad review will come from someone who did not understand what they were buying or someone who just did not like what you were selling through no fault of your business. In these cases there is not much you can do. If the vast majority of your reviews are good, you will not need to worry much. In fact, a few bad reviews can build credibility. A few bad reviews show that your good reviews are honest; that you did not pay people or ask your friends to flood your page with good reviews.
If you do not have enough reviews to drown out the effects of the bad ones, you can encourage people to leave honest reviews. Oftentimes it will be as simple as asking a customer to write a review. An easy way to encourage reviews is to send the request with the order confirmation. Most people will be willing to take a few seconds to give a product they like a nice review. While you can ask people for reviews, you can not pay people for good reviews. If you get caught, Google will remove the paid-for reviews, fine you, and seriously harm your reputation. Stick to legal ways of dealing with both positive and negative reviews. Often, all you need to do to keep the majority of your reviews positive is to practice effective communication.
Responding to Bad Reviews
Though you can not remove bad reviews at will, there are some things you should do every time you receive a review, especially a bad one. The most important thing to do when you receive a bad review is to reply to it and do your best to fix whatever problem they had with your business. Be kind and understanding. If you get defensive, you can make the situation worse. Apologize if needed and offer to make things right. Did a product come broken? Send them a replacement. Are they having trouble figuring out how to use your product? Offer a tutorial. Did they have a bad experience with an employee or was there a mistake on the part of your business? Offer them something to make up for it, like a coupon. If you are accommodating, many reviewers will change their bad reviews to reflect that. Great customer service can often be enough to get customers to remove their bad reviews.
After you resolve the issue and the customer hopefully retracts their bad review, you should do some investigating. What happened that caused your customer to have a bad experience? Was it a fluke or is it a symptom of a deeper problem? If the same issue comes up over and over again in multiple bad reviews, you need to find out why it keeps happening and find a solution.
Will the Review Be Removed?
Now that you know the process to get a Google review removed and some tactics you can use to improve your overall ratings, you should get to work cleaning up your reviews. You should scroll through them and look for any that violate Google’s policies and respond to as many as you can to make amends with the unhappy customers. Learning how to remove a Google review is easy, but removing it is difficult. Keep customer service standards high and do the best work you can to avoid bad reviews in the first place. Just remember that your business is likely to receive a bad review at some point, so try to take it in stride. Take it as an opportunity to identify problems within your organization and work to solve them. You might not be able to remove the bad Google review, but you can prevent future reviews detailing the same issue.
- Why are reviews important for small businesses?
- Can I remove a bad Google review?
- Can I pay for reviews?
- What should I do if I get a bad review?
- How should I respond to a bad review?