Can You Remove a Google Review, and How?

Have you ever had a question or wanted some additional information about a business and you turned to Google for the answer? If you answered yes, you’d be in the 92% that does so before making a purchase for a product or at a specific establishment. People take Google reviews and the star rating that goes along with them quite seriously. Most people won’t go somewhere with 3 stars or less out of fear of having a bad experience.

 

Another thing people can find when they look a business or product up on Google, are reviews for the place or product they’re looking for. Whether you’re the owner of a company, a customer that left a review while angry or creator of a product, you may want to get rid of the less than positive reviews. Today we’re going to cover if it’s possible and how to remove a google review.

 

Can I Remove Reviews?

You may be sitting there wanting to get rid of a negative review from a customer and trying to remove it but can’t quite figure out how. This is probably because you’re likely not able to do so unless you posted the review yourself. Google reviews can only be deleted by two parties - whoever left the review and Google itself. As a business owner, you’re not able to remove the review left by others yourself but this doesn’t mean it can’t be removed. Let’s talk a bit more of the ways this can be completed.

 

Removing Reviews

There are two ways to get reviews removed from Google:

  1. Have whoever posted the review delete it

  2. Have Google delete it

 

Removing a Google Review as a Customer

If you had a bad experience somewhere or with a product and you wrote a review that you later regret or prefer to re-word, you are completely able to do so. It’s common for people to write negative reviews in the moments following the bad experience that they may regret later. Follow the next steps to remove or edit your own customer review:

 

  1. Open your prefered browser

  2. Pull up Google Maps

  3. Click on the menu (top left corner)

  4. Select the option “Your Contributions”

  5. Select “Reviews”

  6. Find the review you’d like to edit or delete

  7. Click on the three dots on the right side

  8. Choose delete or edit

 

Disputing Google Reviews

Though getting a negative review removed by Google is never a guarantee, you can still dispute the review hoping that Google will take care of the rest. Follow the next steps to file a dispute with Google about review negative or bad reviews:

 

  1. Open up Google Maps in your browser

  2. Find your business

  3. Find the specific review you’d like to dispute

  4. Select the three buttons on the right side of the review

  5. Flag the review as inappropriate

 

Google does have a policy list, which we talk about next that automatically will rid reviews that break the policy standards. Let’s talk about that more in detail.

 

Why Google May Remove Reviews

Whether you think a competing business posted a negative review to drive your business down or you think the customer review is fake, there are specific things when it comes to reviews that Google doesn’t allow. They have an entire policy for reviews that you can read here but we wanted to include the policies to give you an idea of what isn’t allowed:

  • Conflict of Interest: Google doesn’t allow users to post content that is biased or false. You are not allowed to review your own business, post negative reviews about competing businesses or post about any past or current employees.

  • Impersonation:  Google doesn’t allow reviews or users to mislead people, including false representation. If you are not represented or you do not work for a company, it can lead to legal action if you’re review that you are a part of that company.

  • Dangerous Content: This may seem like common sense but Google does not allow reviews that contain threats towards themselves or others, reviews that have statements that could be considered harassment or bullying or anything that’s considered discrimination in any form.

  • Spam: Google will remove reviews that contain spam or are posted in a way to make your business reviews better based off of manipulation. This includes one individual posting several reviews from different accounts.

  • Terroristic Content: Terroristic threats or content of any kind, including recruitment is not allowed in reviews. Legal action may be taken by Google if the reviews contain terroristic nature.

 

Confronting Deserved Negative Reviews

Sometimes you need to look at the reviews and see that they may be justified. For example, you might own a restaurant and were short staffed one day and someone wrote a negative review about the long wait and terrible service. This review is more deserved than someone writing out of pure anger or distaste. It’s like if you were to serve someone burnt toast or spoiled milk, it’s a legitimate reason to post their opinion for future customers to read. Mistakes happen and there are ways to change a guests mind that had a bad experience. It’s also good to keep in mind, people are much more likely to write a negative review than a positive one. Try to keep your Google rating between 4 to 4.7 to keep the customers rolling in.

 

Steps To Confront Customer Reviews

  1. The first thing to keep in mind when wanting to confront a negative review is to be calm when you do so. You don’t want to lash out to a customer, tell them why you think they’re wrong or how it’s their fault they had a bad experience.

 

Doing this is not only poor leadership practice but anyone who has access to Google will be able to see your reply. People reading an owner or manager go off on a guest will not be walking through your door and spending money at your establishment.

 

Take time to calm down and be in the right headspace before replying. Again, try to see things from their point of view and be sympathetic to whatever they experienced.


 

  1. Secondly, if you don’t respond to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative, shows that you don’t care or pay attention enough to what guests experienced. Again, potential customers notice whether or not reviews get responded to or not and what those responses are. A few things to make sure to do when responding to a review are:

 

  • Make sure the first thing you do is apologize for whatever issue they experienced

  • Leave direct contact information if they would like to talk more about the issue

  • Thank them for their business even though their standard wasn’t met

  • Offer them a refund if you see it fit. Whether that’s a full or partial refund is up to you

  • Offer them a discounted future visit. This not only gets them to return but also gives your business an opportunity to make up for whatever happened previously.

  • If it was a service issue, tell them you’ll be fixing the issue and talking to your staff, and actually do so.

 

  1. Lastly, if you feel comfortable doing so, you can ask the customer to remove the review. Make sure when doing this you are polite and don’t come off patronizing. Write out a rough draft, have a few people look it over and give their input and then post it whenever you’re ready. The worst that will happen is their review stays up. You have done what you could to address the situation and politely asked for it to get removed. If they choose not to, accept it and move forward.

 

Final Words

Now you’re a little more educated on not only Google reviews in general but their policies and how to go about getting one removed. You have a step-by-step guide on how to remove your own review as a customer, how to dispute a review with Google and lastly, what to do if you get a negative review that you, your staff or your company deserved and how to respond to them, or ask them to be removed.

 

Owning a business you’re bound to get good and bad reviews. Keep in mind people don’t usually post a positive review unless they had an outstanding experience. When people write negative reviews it could be fuelled by the tiniest thing, take it with a grain of salt and do what you can do fix any issues.

 

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