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How to Remove Negative Google Reviews

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    How to Remove Google Reviews

    Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to remove Google reviews, part of our content removal guide and review removal guide series to help individuals and businesses take control of their online reputation.

    This guide is designed to provide you with clear, step-by-step instructions on how to assess, and when necessary, remove reviews from your Google Business Profile. Whether you’re dealing with reviews that violate Google’s policies or simply want to address customer feedback effectively, this guide will equip you with the necessary tools and strategies. Our goal is to help you maintain a positive online presence, enhance customer trust, and ensure your business is accurately represented on the world’s most prominent search platforms.

    Step by Step Guide

    Before you jump ahead to the steps to remove Google reviews below, we recommend pursuing any Google review removal in a sequential order to maximize your chance of being successful:

    1. Attempt to resolve the poster’s complaint by contacting them directly.
    2. Assess the Review to determine the policy it most closely violates.
    3. Flag the review on Google Maps.
    4. Report the review on Google Search.
    5. Flag the review from your Google Business Profile.
    6. Report the review from the Google Reviews Management Tool.
    7. Submit a one-time appeal from the Google Reviews Management Tool.
    8. If appropriate, consider taking legal action if appropriate.
     

    Remember when you follow these steps:

    • Google does not have a simple “delete” option for reviews.
    • Reviews can only be removed if the poster deletes it or if it’s flagged and found to violate policies.
    • Reporting a review does not guarantee removal.
    • Negative reviews are not removed unless they violate policies.
    • Patience is necessary as the review process can take time.
     
    If you are struggling to remove a negative Google review that you believe should be removed but aren’t having success on your own, or you simply don’t have the time, Guaranteed Removals’ team of experts is always available to assist.

    Step 1: Assess the Google Review Before Attempting Removal

    Google’s review guidelines are in place to ensure that reviews on Google Business Profiles are authentic, relevant, and respectful. Understanding these guidelines can help you effectively leverage them when flagging inappropriate reviews. 

    Here’s a look at how to use each guideline to your advantage:

    1. Off Topic

    • When to Use: Flag a review if it doesn’t pertain to an actual experience with your business. This includes random comments or irrelevant content.
    • How to Do It: Select the ‘Flag as inappropriate’ option and choose ‘Off topic’ to indicate that the review does not relate to a genuine experience.
     

    2. Spam

    • When to Use: If a review seems to be from a bot, a fake account, they are posting fake google reviews or contains ads and promotions, it’s considered spam.
    • How to Do It: Flag these reviews for containing promotional content or appearing automated, under the ‘Spam’ category.
     

    3. Conflict of Interest

    • When to Use: Reviews from individuals affiliated with your business or a competitor’s business fall under this category.
    • How to Do It: Flag these reviews as ‘Conflict of interest’ to indicate bias or unfair competition.
     

    4. Profanity

    • When to Use: Reviews containing swear words, sexually explicit language, or graphic violence should be flagged.
    • How to Do It: Use the ‘Profanity’ option when flagging to indicate the inappropriate nature of the content.
     

    5. Bullying or Harassment

    • When to Use: If a review personally attacks an individual, it’s considered bullying or harassment.
    • How to Do It: Choose ‘Bullying or harassment’ when flagging such reviews to highlight the personal attack.
     

    6. Discrimination or Hate Speech

    • When to Use: Reviews containing harmful language about an individual or group based on their identity must be flagged.
    • How to Do It: Select ‘Discrimination or hate speech’ to report reviews that are offensive or prejudiced.
     

    7. Personal Information

    • When to Use: If a review includes personal information like an address or phone number, it should be flagged.
    • How to Do It: Flag these reviews as containing ‘Personal information’ to protect privacy.
     

    Best Practices:

    • Always read the review thoroughly before flagging.
    • Choose the most appropriate category that matches the violation.
    • Remember, flagging does not guarantee removal. Google will review flagged content to determine if it violates guidelines.
    • Maintain professionalism and objectivity when flagging reviews.
     

    By understanding and correctly applying Google’s review guidelines, you can effectively manage your business’s online reputation and ensure that the reviews on your profile are fair, relevant, and respectful.

    You can review all of Google’s content guidelines here and learn how to remove a google review that’s harming your business.

    Step 2: Flag The Review Via Google Maps

    1. Open Google Maps.

    2. Find your Business Profile.

    3. Locate the review you wish to report.

    4. Click “More” (the three vertical dots)a highlighted red box indicating where the Google Maps report review options are located.

    5. Click “Flag as inappropriate.”

    a flag as inappropriate option highlighted within report review

    6. Select the type of violation.

    the full list of google maps review violations with the profanity option highlighted.

    Step 3: Report the Review Via Google Search

    1. Go to Google on your computer.

    2. Find your Business Profile.

    3. Click “Google Reviews.”

    a highlighted box indicating the position of the google reviews within a google business profile on the google search results page

    4. Find the review to report.

    5. Click “More” (the three vertical dots)

    a highlighted box indicating the location of the Google Search reviews more options

    6. Click “Report review.”

    The Google search Google reviews report review field highlighted

    7. Select the type of violation.

    Google Search google reviews report violation

    Step 4: Flag the Google Review Via Your Account

    1. Sign in to manage your Business Profile at business.google.com. 2. For a single business, open the profile and click “Reviews” in the menu. For multiple businesses, click “Manage reviews” and choose a location group. A screenshot of the Google Business Profile Manager with a highlighted box indicating the options to manage the reviews. 3. On the review, click “More” A screenshot of the Google Business Profile Manager with a highlighted red box indicating the location of the more options area. 4. Click “Flag as inappropriate.” A screenshot of the Google Business Profile Manager flag as inappropriate field 5. Select the type of violation. A screenshot showing the Google Business Profile Manager list of possible review violations

    Step 5: Report the Review Via the Reviews Management Tool

    1. Go to the Google Reviews Management Tool.

    2. Ensure the correct email address is used for your Business Profile.

    3. Confirm your email.

    A screenshot of the Google Reviews Management with a red highlighted box showing the location of the Confirm button for confirming an email address

    4. Select your business and then “Continue.”

    A screenshot of the Manage your Google Business reviews section, with a business selected and a red highlighted box indicating the location of the Continue button.

    5. Select then “Report a new review for removal.”

    A screenshot of the Manage your google Business reviews area with the Report a new review for removal field selected.

    6. For each review, click “Report”

    The Google Reviews Request to report a review section with a highlighted red box indicating the position of a button named Report to report a specific review.

    7. Select a category, and submit.

    A screenshot of the Google Reviews Management settings, with a full list of all potential review violations.

    How to Check the Status of a Flagged Google Review

    1. Go to the Google Reviews Management Tool.

    2. Ensure the correct email address is used for your Business Profile.

    3. Confirm your email.

    A screenshot of the Manage your Google Business reviews email confirm dialogue box with a red highlighted box showing the location of the confirm button.

    4. Select your business and then “Continue.”

    A screenshot of the Manage your Google Business reviews section where a verified business can be selected with an indicator showing a selected verified business and also the location of the Continue button.

    5. Select your business and check the status of reported reviews and appeal options.

    A screenshot of the Manage your Google Business reviews options for checking the status of a reported review, with Check the status of a review I've already reported and my appeal options, selected.

    6. Select your business and check the status of reported reviews and appeal options.

    A screenshot of the Google Reviews Management Business review submitted review status screen.

    When you have reported a review you will typically receive an email confirmation.

    A screenshot of the Google dialogue box indicating a submitted review report has been received by Google.

    If you submit the report through the Review Management Tool or as a user connected to the Google Business Profile it will look a little different:

    A screenshot of the Google Review Management Tool progress dialogue box indicating a removal request is being assessed.

    If you own the Google Business Profile you will receive a message if the review is found to violate Google’s policies and gets removed.

    A screenshot of the dialogue box presented within the Google Business review removal tool confirming a review has been removed from the business profile.

    You will also receive a notification when review removal attempts are unsuccessful.

    A screenshot of the Google Business profile dialogue box confirming a review removal request has not been successful.

    Submit a One-Time Appeal

    1. If a flagged review is deemed non-violating, you can submit a one-time appeal.

    2. Use the Reviews Management Tool to select “Appeal eligible reviews.”

    A screenshot of the Google review report unsuccessful appeal dialogue box with the Appeal eligible reviews option highlighted by a red box.

    3. Select the reviews that you would like to appeal and click “Continue.”

    A screenshot of the Google Review Management Tool eligible reviews for appeal dialogue box with all applicable reviews selected.

    4. On the next screen click “Submit an appeal.”

    A screenshot of the Confirm reviews for appeal dialogue box within the Google Business profile with the submit an appeal option highlighted by a red box.

    5. Fill out the appeal form and submit.

    A screenshot of the request removal of inappropriate reviews section of the google business profile.

    6. An email will inform you of the verdict.

    Resolve the Complaint Directly

    If you’ve followed all of the steps above and still haven’t been able to remove the Google review, another effective way to address negative reviews is by attempting to resolve the poster’s complaint directly. This approach not only has the potential to rectify the issue but also demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction. Here’s how you can do this:

    • Reach Out Privately: If possible, contact the reviewer privately. This could be through email or a private message. The goal is to understand their concerns in a more personal, one-on-one setting.
    • Acknowledge and Apologize: Begin the conversation by acknowledging their experience and offering an apology for any inconvenience caused. This shows empathy and a willingness to listen.
    • Understand the Issue: Ask questions to get a clearer picture of the problem. This helps in providing a more tailored resolution.
    • Offer a Solution: Based on the complaint, offer a solution. This could be a refund, a replacement, a discount on future services, or simply an assurance to improve. The solution should aim to address their specific concerns.
    • Request Review Update/Removal: Once the issue is resolved, politely ask if they would consider updating or removing their negative review. Explain how important customer feedback is to your business.
    • Learn from the Experience: Use this interaction as a learning opportunity to prevent similar issues in the future.
     

    Directly resolving complaints shows other customers that you value feedback and are proactive about customer service. It can turn a negative experience into a positive one, potentially converting a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one.

    How to Deal with Upheld Negative Reviews on Google

    When Google upholds a negative review that you believe should be removed, there are several steps that can be taken:

    Explore Legal Action

    • If the review contains defamatory content or illegal material, legal action might be a viable option.
    • Consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and the viability of a case against the reviewer or the platform.

    Understand the Risks of Taking Legal Action Against a Reviewer

    • Attempting to suppress information can inadvertently lead to more publicity.
    • Legal action may be perceived negatively by consumers, potentially damaging the business’s reputation further.
    • Legal processes can be expensive and time-consuming.
    • There is no guarantee that the outcome will be favorable, and the process may draw more attention to the negative review.

    Hire a Review Removal Specialist

    • Like our team at Guaranteed Removals, these are professionals specialized in online reputation management and content removal. They understand the intricacies of content removal across different platforms and can provide strategic advice.
    • They might have more success in navigating the review removal process due to their expertise and experience.
    • Ensure the specialist is reputable and understands Google’s policies thoroughly to avoid any unethical practices.

    Generate More Positive Reviews

    • Actively encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. This can help in diluting the impact of the negative review.
    • Build strong relationships with your customers, improving the likelihood of them leaving positive feedback to generate more positive reviews.
    • Utilize marketing strategies to showcase positive customer experiences.
     

    While negative reviews can be challenging, it’s important for businesses to handle them with tact and professionalism. Often, the focus should be on improving service and encouraging more positive feedback rather than fixating on a single negative review.

    Frequently asked questions About How to Remove Google Reviews

    Google Review Removal

    Can you delete Google reviews?

    Yes, but Google does not provide a direct “delete” option for reviews. Reviews can only be removed if the reviewer deletes them or if they are flagged and found to violate Google’s policies. You can use the resources in this guide to navigate the removal process or contact us and our team of experts can help to remove unwanted reviews.

     

    What are the steps to flag a review via Google Maps?

    Open Google Maps, find your Business Profile, locate the review, click “More” (the three vertical dots), then click “Flag as inappropriate” and select the violation type.
     
    Go to Google, find your Business Profile, click “Google Reviews”, find the review, click “More”, click “Report review”, and select the violation type.
     

    Can I flag a review from my Google Business Profile?

    Yes, sign in at business.google.com, select your profile, click “Reviews”, find the review, click “More”, then “Flag as inappropriate”, and choose the violation type.

    What is the process to report a review using the Google Reviews Management Tool?

    Access the Google Reviews Management Tool, verify your email, select your business, and then “Report a new review for removal”. For each review, click “Report”, choose a category, and submit.

    How do I check the status of a flagged review?

    Use the Google Reviews Management Tool, confirm your email, select your business, and check the status of reported reviews and appeal options.

    Can Guaranteed Removals remove Google reviews?

    Yes, Guaranteed Removals offers expert services in online reputation management and can help navigate the review removal process with a deep understanding of Google’s policies. We’ve successfully removed thousands of Google reviews for satisfied clients over the past 15+ years.

    How long does it take to remove a Google review?

    The removal timeframe for Google reviews varies. It depends on how “legitimate” the review appears, the complexity, and the service provider and how long it takes to get someone at Google’s attention. Simple cases may resolve quickly in a matter of days, while complex ones can take up to 90 days. Negotiations with the reviewer also influence the removal timeline, ranging from days to several weeks or more.

    How much does it cost to remove a Google review?

    The cost of removing a negative Google review varies. Self-removal can be free, while professional services typically range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Legal action can be expensive, including lawyer fees and court costs. Pricing depends on the approach and service provider.