How to Remove Bad Reviews

Remove Bad Reviews

We all know that bad Google reviews can be a pain for a business. They can damage your online reputation and make it difficult to attract customers.

Still, it’s impossible to get only positive reviews.

At some point, a disgruntled customer will inevitably sit back and take the time to write a negative review of your business, no matter how high your average customer experience is.

How to Remove Negative Reviews from Google

Let’s be clear here.

It’s normal to get bad reviews. A business that only displays positive reviews will always be viewed with suspicion.

However, sometimes bad reviews are unworthy, misleading, defamatory, fake, or – even worse – a blatant attempt to harm your business.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to receive an exaggerated, false or misrepresentative review, read what comes next.

How to Remove Bad Reviews?

Removing bad reviews can be a challenging task, especially if the review is legitimate and accurately reflects a customer’s negative experience with your business. However, there are a few strategies you can try to address bad reviews and potentially have them removed or updated:

Respond to the review: In many cases, a negative review can be addressed simply by responding to the customer’s concerns and offering a resolution. This shows that you care about customer feedback and are willing to take steps to address their concerns. In some cases, a customer may even update or remove their negative review if they feel their concerns have been adequately addressed.

Contact the review platform: If you believe a review is fraudulent or violates the platform’s terms of service, you can contact the review platform (such as Google, Yelp, or Facebook) and request that the review be removed. Be prepared to provide evidence to support your claim, such as proof that the review is fake or was written by a competitor.

Use search engine optimization (SEO) strategies: If you are unable to have a negative review removed, you can try to push it down in search engine results by optimizing your website and social media profiles for relevant keywords. This can make it more difficult for potential customers to find the negative review and may help to mitigate its impact.

Seek legal advice: In some cases, a negative review may be defamatory or otherwise illegal. If you believe this is the case, you may want to seek legal advice to explore your options for having the review removed or pursuing legal action against the reviewer.

It’s important to remember that removing bad reviews is not always possible, and in some cases, it may be more beneficial to use negative feedback as an opportunity to improve your business and customer experience. Additionally, it’s important to maintain a professional and respectful tone in all interactions with customers, even those who have left negative reviews.

How to Remove Bad Reviews from Google

A bad review starts to get deleted

The process of flagging a review for review by Google is simple.

If you want to remove a bad review from Google Local (Maps + Search), follow these steps

Sign in to the Google Account associated with your business

Find your business on Google Maps

Open the review section

Find the review you want to remove

Click the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Flag as inappropriate” **

Fill the form and submit

How long does Google take to remove a review?

The process of removing a flagged review may take some time Don’t hold your breath on it.

The amount of time required will largely depend on the type of violation involved.

On average, Google will intervene between 2 and 60 business days However, in most situations, it is reasonable to expect Google intervention within 2 to 4 weeks.

However, the entire process may require more than clicking here and there on your Google MyBusiness account.

Sometimes you may end up in a loop where Google will ask you to provide more reasons and evidence that support your claim.

If the flagged review involves misrepresentations, misinformation or false statements, you may need to prove it somehow.

Google may still decide to reject your claim. This unfortunate scenario suggests that it’s best to have a plan B to deal with bad reviews (we’ll see some strategies later in the article).

Also Read: 3 Local Review Sites Worth Being On

How to Contact Google Small Business Customer Support

Sometimes it can be easier to deal with a human than an automated response system or AI.

Google offers several methods to reach their customer service. However, manage your expectations.

Google has billions of customers, so they ‘select’ the users who will receive support from one of their employees.

To contact Google Small Business Support, go to support.google.com/business.

Below, you can see the “Contact Us” button. Click on it and select a method for communication (phone, web chat, email.)

You should be contacted within 24 hours.

If you don’t get a reply, the option is to tag @GoogleMyBiz on Twitter. That is the official Google My Business account.

Someone should contact you from there, where you can continue your removal claim.

Can you remove bad reviews from Google?

According to BrightLocal, 78% of consumers use the Internet to gather information about local businesses multiple times a week.

Now, guess which one is the top mapping app with over 150M monthly users

Google Maps

Therefore, it is important to manage your Google MyBusiness profile to be found on Google Maps and manage what users read.

If you haven’t already, you need to register your business on Google MyBusiness and take full control of what information is displayed.

Having a Google My Business profile is also a system that business owners can use to manage and delete bad reviews

Surprisingly though, you don’t have the ability to do it with one click.

Google, like most high-tech companies, doesn’t give you full control of your business profile on its platform.

However, because they want to keep their platform clean and reliable, there are situations where you can ask for a bad review to be removed.

It’s all about Google’s policy.

Let’s learn when you can ask Google to remove a bad review.

What you need to know about Google review policies

Google’s main goal (as a business) is to provide complete, timely, and useful information to its customers.

Google, however, sets up policies and standards for its community (aka Google users) to engage with Google platforms and applications.

Whether it’s Google Maps, Images, Search, YouTube, Google Play-Store or any other Google-owned platform, content cannot violate Google policies.

These policies apply to all types of content: videos, photos, messages and – of course – reviews

As stated by Google in the Google Maps Policy:

β€œThe following policies apply to all formats including reviews, photos and videos Content that does not meet these criteria may be rejected from publication on Google Maps”

Google automatically analyzes what is posted on its platform and removes inappropriate content.

However, the process is done through artificial intelligence and is still not perfect. Therefore, content that violates its policies may be missed

Additionally, people and software that voluntarily write bad reviews are becoming more sophisticated at circumventing Google AI filters.

Therefore, Google welcomes the initiative of business owners to flag reviews that conflict with their policies.

These are the main violations that can lead Google to remove content:

Harassment, hate speech, offensive content, personal/personal information

Fraudulent content, misrepresentation, misinformation, fake engagement

Obscene, suggestive, sexual, and violent content

Restricted, dangerous, illegal, terrorist content

Off-topic, ad, sarcasm

If you think a bad review targeting your business falls into one of these categories, you can ask Google to remove it. Here’s how to do it.

Alternative methods to remove a negative review from Google

Unfortunately, it’s not rare that Google decides not to delete your flagged bad reviews.

Given the subjectivity of most reviews, Google often has no incentive to remove bad reviews. And no, one business owner who disagrees with the feedback received is not enough.

However, there is an alternative method to remove a negative bad review from Google.

One such method asks the reviewer to edit or delete bad feedback.

This process is completely legal and involves you with the customer who wrote the review.

The first step to take is to respond to the review in a polite and empathetic manner.

Ideally, you want to bring the conversation out of public view. It may therefore be useful to receive the conversation in a private channel (eg e-mail).

If you resolve the issue or have a dialogue with the customer, you can ask them to _update_ their feedback.

It’s not uncommon to see users cancel reviews after a business provides sincere feedback.

Additionally, anyone reading this review will appreciate the business’s commitment to a conversation with its customers.

What to do when you can’t remove a bad review

Regardless of the platform the review is published on, you should always have a plan B in case you can’t remove a bad review.

While it’s not always possible (not necessary) to remove negative feedback, you must respond to all reviews – especially the negative ones.

Surprisingly, most businesses do not respond to negative reviews while 53% of consumers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews quickly.

A business that doesn’t respond to negative reviews will be seen as a business that doesn’t care about its customers.

Additionally, a rebuttal to a bad review helps frame what actually happened. This will provide an unbiased view to internet readers who are making up their minds about your niche.

So, feedback on reviews is essential.

In addition to responding to bad reviews, you want to receive positive reviews as well.

In fact, the best way to make a negative review irrelevant is with a ton of positive reviews.

Implement a process to ask customers to review your business and their experience. In no time, you will have hundreds of reviews that will provide a reliable picture of your business.

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