Many business owners can receive a negative review on their Google Business Profile. The next question is generally, can you remove google reviews?
So how to Remove Google Reviews? Before we get to how to remove a fake or negative reviews, there are some things to understand about the Google Business Profile review platform.
Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) is a powerful free platform that can truly help your business grow, or it can have the reverse effect, particularly when a negative review is left on your Google Business Profile. When business owners receive these reviews they wonder how can they delete or remove Google reviews.
Here are 6 important facts to understand, why we should care about Google Reviews:
- Potential customers read many reviews before making a decision on whether they want to hire your company or not. The average Google user will look through 10 online reviews looking for reasons to hire or not hire your business.
- Younger people leave many reviews after using a service from your company. People who are younger adults and up to the age of 34 years old generally leave the most reviews out of all age groups. This peer group leaves around 95% of all reviews that are placed on the Google platform. Overall, just over 85% of all customers will leave a review and that is an extraordinarily high number of reviews. Reviews are very important!
- If your business has an overall rating of fewer than 4 stars, your company will be losing close to half of the potential customers that are searching. Almost 60% of customers will decide to hire a business that has a rating of 4 stars or more. 5 stars are the highest amount of stars that can be achieved.
- Customers care how long a review has been on your profile. Older reviews are great to have, but many potential customers will only look at reviews that are at max two weeks old. Potential customers want to know they are reading recent reviews and not old and stale reviews.
- There is nothing better than a personal recommendation, however, online reviews are becoming more and more of a trusted factor for potential clients. The younger generations, up to the age of 34, trust online reviews almost as much as a personal reference or recommendation.
- Almost 90% of all consumers take the time to read over review responses from the business. People read responses to understand and learn how a business might handle a customer who has experienced an issue.
The above statistics were gathered for local businesses to help develop a strategy for reputation management in 2019 by BrightLocal.
The world is changing fast and Google reviews are no different. As you can see in the above notes, it is not advisable to leave your Google reviews alone and ignore them, rather, you need to think of every review as a chance to interact with a customer or work to delete Google reviews.
One bad review can bring down your overall star rating and this can’t be ignored. If you are a small business owner and have been ignoring your Google reviews, there is no better time than now for you to get directly involved with your Google reviews.
We do understand that not all business owners have the time or the know-how to delete Google reviews or remove negative reviews, and that is why we are here to help. However, if you are a business owner and have time to work on your Google reviews, here are some helpful tips to help on how to remove Google reviews.
Your Reputation on Google
You woke up to find a negative review on your Google reviews. You’re angry, upset, and want to respond immediately with all your emotion. Stop!
It is important to understand that when leaving a response to a review, this is not only to respond to the negative reviewer, your response will be seen by all who visit your profile, your potential customers can also see them, so you are talking to the overall online community.
Never only respond to negative reviews. It is important to get active and stay active and interact with all reviews good and bad. These customers have taken the time to review your business, so it is important to acknowledge them for doing so.
Even when a customer leaves no words and only a star rating, it is great to reach out to them and ask for more feedback about the service they used.
Sometimes a negative review can be left on your profile and the review was not left by a real client. This is a fake review and Google Business Profile does allow for the removal of this type of review. Google will make the final decision if they will remove negative reviews.
How to Know if a Review is Legit or Fake
Although we would like to think all negative reviews are fake, Google will need to make the final determination. If you think you have spotted a fake review it is important to double check on your end that it is in fact a fake review, before responding to the review or reaching out to Google for help. Review the questions below to determine if it is a fake review:
- Do you have the customer in your sales software? (If not, they are most likely not a customer.)
- Do you have records of being contacted by a negative reviewer? (If you do not have records, provide them a path to customer service in your response. )
- Ask which customer agent they have been in contact with.
- Have you received many negative reviews in a short amount of time? (This can be a red flag for spam reviews.)
- Is a competitor named in the negative review? (This is a red flag that a competitor is behind the review.)
Report and Flag a Google Review
Google has taken steps in recent times to try and make flagging and removing fake reviews a more streamlined process. Be certain to understand which reviews to report for removal, before moving ahead, as Google can penalise you if you are flagging reviews that have not broken Google policy.
- Go to Google Maps and find the review. Find the three dots at the top right of your review and choose “Flag as inappropriate”.
- If you find a competitor is leaving negative reviews, try contacting the company directly and ask them to stop doing this. If this doesn’t work, report the business to the local Chambers of Commerce as well as the Better Business Bureau.
How to Remove Google Reviews
It has been determined you are dealing with a fake review that has broken Google’s Review Policy. The next steps will lay out how to remove Google reviews. Be sure to flag the review from your personal Gmail account, as described above. After flagging the review, it is time to ask Google to remove the review.
The only way to get a fake review removed is to use your Google Business Profile. Use the instructions below.
- Head to your Google Business Profile
- Click “Support”
- A help box will pop up, click “Contact us” and go through the process.
- If a company is slandering you, use this form.
If the complaint has been deleted but is still showing in Google results, submit the link, while logged into Google Search Console.
Those are the main steps about how to remove Google reviews.
Get More Positive Reviews
One of the best ways to fight negative reviews is to get more positive reviews. The overall score on your profile is an aggregate score based on all your reviews.
Getting more positive reviews will drown out the negative reviews, and those negative reviews will become less important and your overall score will rise.