How to Get a Google Review Removed?

9 min read
Jun 27, 2021 3:06:53 PM

Customer feedback is the currency of credibility in the world of business. They help you understand the needs of your target demographic and improve your product or service.


However, with the rise of online ratings, most companies have encountered fake reviews. This can hurt your company, especially if you are a new or a small business. 


So, how do you spot fake Google reviews? And how do you remove them? 


This article explores all of that.


How much do reviews matter?


Think about the last time you bought something. Did you consult the customer reviews first? Most probably, yes. Consumers want reliability; they want to invest their money in something others trust, even if they are strangers on the internet.


Naturally, if there are any negative fake reviews against your business, potential customers can make decisions based on them. One convincing fake review can be enough to damage your enterprise. If you own a small business, it's even worse.


Google reviews hardly need any verification processes. Anyone can post a review as long as they have an account. This has resulted in a surge of fake Google reviews, either from competitors trying to slander your reputation or from trolls who want to troll.


Either way, such bad players can damage the reputation of your brand, which is why it's essential to know how to spot fake reviews.


Can you delete Google reviews? 


In short, yes. There may be times when false or libelous comments make it, so you must know how to remove Google reviews. You can take steps if you feel that your company has been wronged with a review or has been faked.


Understanding the Challenge


The good news is that you can dispute a Google review. However, it is not an easy process, and there's no guarantee you'll be successful. Unfortunately, deleting a Google review is not as simple as going to your account on Google and removing the review yourself. Instead, you can contact Google and flag the review with the hope that they will remove it, but there is no guarantee that they will listen to what you say and remove the review for you.


Google's Review Policy


According to Google's policy, reviews and other content types like photos and videos may be removed for five general reasons: civil discourse, deceptive content, misinformation, regulated, dangerous, or illegal content, and issues related to information quality. Within these categories, Google outlines 20 reasons that content, including reviews, could be taken down. These reasons include many factors, such as harassment, hate speech, impersonation, deceptive engagement, obscenity, adult-themed material, and more.


Examples of Reviews Eligible for Removal


Within online reviews, small businesses must distinguish between legitimate feedback and reviews that breach Google's content policies. Understanding these instances can help your business maintain a fair and accurate online reputation.


  • A disgruntled employee calling their boss names.
  • Recognizing when a review is motivated by internal conflicts rather than genuine customer experiences is crucial. An employee venting frustrations in a public forum can harm your business's reputation and may qualify for removal.
  • An actual customer who uses slurs / offensive language when describing the business.
  • Google prioritizes maintaining a safe and respectful online environment. Reviews containing offensive language or slurs tarnish your business image and violate Google's content policies, making them eligible for removal.
  • A competitor is leaving a fake review promoting their own business.
  • Unfair competition can extend to the digital realm, with competitors attempting to manipulate your online reputation. If you can identify a review as fake and posted with the intent to promote a competing business, Google may consider removing it.
  • It's a review about something other than the business and was posted on the wrong listing by mistake.
  • Misplaced reviews can occur, and it's important to distinguish between genuine mistakes and intentional efforts to mislead. If a review is irrelevant to your business and was posted in error, Google may be open to removing it.
  • A fake review is posted to make the business rank higher or lower.
  • Some unscrupulous individuals may post fake reviews to manipulate a business's online visibility. Google aims to provide accurate and helpful information to users, and reviews intended solely for ranking manipulation may violate its policies.


How to Delete a Review from Your Google Business Profile


While you can't directly delete reviews, you can take action to manage them and protect your business reputation. Here's a step-by-step guide to navigate the process:


1. Log into Your Business Hub:


First, log in with your credentials to Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). If you haven't already, creating a profile is quick and easy.


2. Locate the Review:


Once logged in, dive into your "Reviews" section. Find the specific review you want to address, whether glowing or concerning.


3. Flag for Review:


Click on the three dots (often representing "Options") next to the review. Choose "Flag as inappropriate" or a similar option based on the context.


4. Report the Violation (Optional):


Provide details and evidence in a report if the review blatantly violates Google's content policy (e.g., hate speech, spam). Be specific and objective in your explanation. Click "Report" to submit your request.


5. Await Google's Decision:


Google will review your report and determine if the review violates their guidelines. This might take some time, so be patient.


6. Seek Additional Support (Optional):


If Google doesn't remove the review after your report, and you strongly believe it violates their policies, consider contacting Google Business support for further assistance. They can offer additional guidance and insights.


7. Address the Issue Publicly (Optional):


Even if Google doesn't remove the review, consider responding publicly, professionally, and respectfully. Address the reviewer's concerns directly and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. This can help mitigate the impact of a negative review and showcase your professionalism.

fake Google reviews


Editing and Deleting a Review You Wrote on Google


Here's a quick guide to editing or deleting your own Google reviews, whether you're using a computer or phone.


On Desktop or PC:


  1. Log in and Locate: Sign in to your Google account and head to Google Maps. Click on "Your contributions" and then "Reviews."
  2. Find and Fix: Spot the review you want to edit. Click the three dots (those handy "more options") and choose "Edit review." Make your changes and hit save. It's that simple!


On Mobile:


  1. App it Up: Open the Google Maps app on your phone or tablet and tap your profile picture.
  2. Contribution Corner: Select "Your contributions" and then "Reviews."
  3. Edit or Erase: Find the review you want to adjust. Tap on it, choose "Edit review" to make changes, or "Delete review" if you're ready to say goodbye. Remember to save your edits!


You can only edit or delete reviews you've written yourself. And if you encounter a review that violates Google's policies, you can report it for removal.

edit a google review


What To Do If A Google Review Can't Be Removed


While not all negative reviews qualify for removal, and Google may disagree with your request, don't despair! Here are strategies to minimize the impact:


Respond Proactively


  • Acknowledge and empathize: Thank the reviewer for their feedback, even if it's critical. Show you understand their frustration.
  • Apologize sincerely: If appropriate, take responsibility for any mistakes and express genuine regret for the negative experience.
  • Offer solutions: Propose a solution to address their concerns.


Maintain Professionalism


  • Keep it cool: Avoid defensiveness or personal attacks. Focus on the issue, not the person.
  • Be concise and clear: Get to the point without rambling.
  • Move the conversation offline: Offer to discuss further via email or phone to avoid lengthy online exchanges.


Turn Negatives into Positives


  • Show your commitment: Highlight your customer service efforts and willingness to improve.
  • Showcase positive reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to balance the negative ones.
  • Embrace feedback: Use the review to identify areas for improvement and enhance your business.


A well-crafted response can turn a negative review into an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.


How to spot a fake review?


There are many foolproof ways to spot fake Google reviews. However, there are specific trends these reviews tend to follow. We can focus on these trends to find the bad apples in the basket.


Research the reviewer & verify the account. 


The first step in spotting fake reviews is to research the reviewer and verify their account. Often, fake reviews are written by accounts with minimal presence on other websites or social media outlets. 


If the reviewer has a robust online presence and looks legit, this could be enough verification for you. But if something appears off or suspicious, it's important to do further research and double-check before deciding to remove the review.


Check Other Reviews


These reviewers often open fake accounts to post multiple 1-star reviews. Hence, after the first step, your next best option would be to look for any other reviews this person might have posted. There are three broad things you may come across:


  • They have posted similar negative reviews for other companies as well. In that case, they are a troll.
  • They have only posted a negative review for your product but seem to overtly appreciate some other competitive brand (emphasis on "overtly"). This certainly looks dicey, and you would need to look into the matter more.
  • They have other reviews, but those seem genuine. This can be because of several reasons. The review might be genuine; in that case, you can look into the criticism more carefully. Or perhaps they posted it for the wrong company – a rare scenario, but it happens. You can post a reply asking further questions if this happens.


Notice the content, tone, and language used


As overcompensation for lies, fake Google reviews might use very simplistic and generic language, have lots of exclamation marks, or mention information utterly irrelevant to the product.


They might also be making entirely false accusations- let's say, about the material or a specific function of the product. If such accusations seem outright impossible, you will need to take steps to try to remove them.

 example of a fake Google Review

Do they have a picture attached to their comment? Then, it might be real. It could be a biased customer or a competitor if they don't have images on your review but on others. You can further examine the content of the review again to get a clearer idea.


Empty Ratings


One-star ratings with no comments attached neither help you understand what went wrong nor help other customers get a clear idea. These are genuine since people can be too busy to comment on anything. This is why it isn't ideal to flag every single empty rating.

 reporting a fake review

So, to give them the benefit of the doubt, you can crosscheck the name, and if it's not there in your customer history, you can flag it. You may also ask them what went wrong in a reply, but they probably won't check your answer if they need more time to post a comment.


Use a review management tool to track reviews.


A review management tool can help you keep track of reviews on all your platforms, including Google. With a review management tool, you'll easily identify any suspicious or fake reviews and respond quickly — with one click, you can report the reviews and have them removed by Google. 


Additionally, these tools will provide analytics to gain insights into customer sentiment and ensure your reviews reflect accurate feedback.


How to Contact Google My Business Support


You can contact Google My Business Support directly if you need further assistance or have a more complex issue.


Here are your options:



Contact NewReputation for Expert Assistance


If navigating the intricacies of Google's review removal process seems daunting, consider seeking expert help. At NewReputation, we specialize in online reputation management services. Our team is equipped to handle the complexities of disputing and removing problematic reviews, ensuring that your business maintains a positive and authentic online presence.


While deleting Google reviews may not be straightforward, understanding Google's review policy and recognizing instances eligible for removal can empower you to take action. Whether it's a disgruntled employee, offensive language, or a competitor's tactics, addressing these issues promptly is essential for safeguarding your online reputation. If you find the process overwhelming, contact professionals who can guide you through the complexities of online reputation management.

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