[2021] How to Remove Google Reviews

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Professor M

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If you are reading this article, you want to remove one or more Google Reviews:

  • Negative reviews from a disgruntled customer
  • Negative reviews from a former employee
  • You found one or more fake reviews on your Google My Business Profile

I created this step by step guide for you, it is easy to follow and customized for different review issues. Choose within the following options:

How to remove a bad/negative customer Google review.

I completely understand how infuriating it is to provide great customer service and the customer goes ahead and gives your business a bad review or didn’t give you the chance to put things right.

If the review is from a real customer, you will have two scenarios:

The review does not violate Google Review policies

Google will not get involved and will not remove the review. Google statement: “Google doesn’t get involved when businesses and customers disagree about facts, since there’s no reliable way to discern who’s right about a particular customer experience.”

So any disagreements, issues and even the customers are being very unreasonable, Google will not remove them if the reviews do not violate its policies. Also, Google will not remove a review because you don’t recognize the customer name or you don’t like what the reviewer had to say.

What is the best thing to do? Check the Best Defence is a Good Offence Section or you may want to speak with a law firm, if there are grounds to sue (there are examples of successful cases in UK and Australia).

The customer review violates one or more  Google Review policies

Violation of Review policy means:

  • It should not be posted just to manipulate a place’s ratings- fake review, post the same review  multiple times and for the same place from multiple accounts. To deal with this go to how to remove Fake Reviews
  • The review is not relevant to your location/business, sometimes customers get confused and review the wrong place
  • General political, social commentary, or personal rants. Like complaining about Face Mask Policies.
  • Offensive, Sexually, Explicit, Dangerous and Derogatory content on the comment 
  • Conflict of Interest –  ex-employees bad reviews goes under this
  • Privacy concerns, Personal details are disclosed
  • Legal issue 

If violates the policies, follow these steps to request removal:

Steps to Remove Customer Google Reviews violating the review policies
  1. Go to the “Reviews” section
  1. On the review you want to flag, press on the 3 vertical dots on the right
  1. Then press “Flag as inappropriate”
  1. A pop-up box will appear and choose the reason to report the review for removal:
  1. The last step to press submit:

What happens next

Google will decide in the next 3 days, you can access the Google reviews workflow tool here. See how to navigate the worktool here to check the status and even make an appeal.

if you need to appeal, gather evidence to sustain your case images, links, or other details that back up your claim.

After you appeal it, a Google support associate will advise you of whether or not they will escalate the review(s) to a “specialist,” who will determine the outcome.  You will receive a phone call or email confirmation from Google to advise you of the decision.

If they refuse to remove the review, it’s the perfect time to check  the “Best Defence is a Good Offence” Section.

How to remove fake Google Reviews

Unfortunately, fake/spam reviews exist, the sole purpose is to  either “destroy” competition business reputation or increase a business reputation.

If you feel/know the review is fake the first step is to flag the review(s).

Flag the Google Review(s) as inappropriate

You have 3 methods at your disposal, but you only need to use one:

Flag a review through your Google My Business Dashboard

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
  2. In the menu on the left, click Reviews.
  3. Choose the review you’d like to flag
  4. On the review you’d like to flag click More >  Flag as inappropriate.

Flag a review on Google Maps

  1. On your computer, open Google Maps.
  2. Find your business listing.
  3. Find the review you’d like to flag.
  4. Click More >  Flag as inappropriate.

Flag a review in Google Search

  1. On your computer, go to Google.
  2. Find your business listing.
  3. Click Reviews.
  4. Find the review you’d like to flag.
  5. Place your cursor over the star rating.
  6. Click Flag as inappropriate 

 Then explain what type of violation you’re reporting.

Check the status of your request

Google will decide in the next 3 days, you can check the request status in the Google reviews workflow tool. See how to navigate the worktool here to check the status and even make an appeal.

If you need to make an appeal, follow the tips below to make your case.

You should use the text box to make your case and add links:

You will need enough data to prove these are fake reviews. Collect all information possible about the reviewers by going to their profiles (click on their profile name and Google Maps will open up with the profile):

  • Are the profiles new accounts/low review count
  • Do they have no profile photo
  • If they have a profile photo,  perform a quick reverse image search to check if it is a genuine image or a stock photo
  • If they haven’t made any legitimate reviews before,  all reviews in similar niches, left 5 or more reviews in quick succession
  • Are all reviews in your local area (town, city) and surroundings or are they dotted around the country/ world
  • If all these reviews came overnight

After you appeal it, a Google support associate will advise you of whether or not they will escalate the review(s) to a “specialist,” who will determine the outcome.  You will receive a phone call or email confirmation from Google to advise you of the decision.

If they refuse to remove the review, it’s the perfect time to check the “Best Defence is a Good Offence” Section.

Important Google Reviews Provisions

First, I must warn you:  Removing Google Reviews is very difficult, unfortunately, even professionals struggle with it. Especially if the reviewer only leaves a star rating without commenting. You need try to remove the reviews anyway but don’t get disheartened if you can’t.

Second warning: Don’t pay hundreds/thousands to “Reputation Management Companies” to remove reviews, I know of a case where a business owner paid $6k to remove reviews and they were not removed. Only Google can remove it and in this article I show the best way to get a review removed.

Third Warning: Do not engage with people offering to provide reviews for your business. 

First, if your business is caught by Google doing this you can lose all your reviews, even worse, your profile. 

Second, the business typically will ask you for more money to keep the reviews and if you don’t they will remove the 5 star reviews and substitute them with 1 star reviews, in other words, extortion. Even if you reply to them with a “no thanks” they can post negative reviews and ask for money to remove the reviews they leave, again, don’t engage with these types of services.

Best Defence against Negative Google Reviews

  • Respond to the negative Google reviews professionally
  • Pro tip to replace negative reviews from Review Summary (coming soon)

How Google My Business Reviews Workflow Tool Works

You access the Google Review workflow tool here.

When you visit the above link, it will bring you to a page whereupon Step 1 you need to select your business:

then on Step 2, click on “Check the status of a review reported previously” and press on “Continue”

On step 3 you will see a list of the Google reviews that you currently have reported and their current status. You can select a review to check further information about the status, specially if it was denied as you have in the next step the option to appeal the decision.

Step 4 You will see more information about the removal status/decision, you submit an appeal if your removal request was not accepted.

You can learn more about Google Reviews and how to take advantage with my Google My Business Training – GMB Empower.

More articles about Google Reviews and Google My Business:

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