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Negative Google reviews can adversely affect your business, including driving away potential customers, impacting your reputation, and lowering your business’ search engine rankings.
Fortunately, it is possible to remove negative reviews and rehabilitate your business image.
But keep in mind, negative reviews don’t necessarily have to adversely affect your business. There are ways to use negative reviews to your advantage.
5 Steps to Delete a Google Review
Negative Google reviews impact your overall online reputation, so knowing about them is step one in managing your online reputation. Getting rid of them is the next step to improve your online presence.
Fixing a damaged reputation isn’t easy, but ignoring a bad online reputation can cost you a lot. So resist the temptation to bury your head in the sand.
Staying on top of Google reviews is a great place to begin, and you have options as far as deleting the negative ones.
Admittedly, some of these steps work better than others. But you can also use a combination of the steps to fine-tune your results.
- Delete Your Own Reviews (Optional)
- Use an Online Reputation Management Company (WebiMax)
- Request the Author to Delete the Review
- Flag Fake or Inappropriate Reviews
- Get More Positive Reviews
The Easy Parts of Deleting a Google Review
Some parts of deleting a Google review are fairly straightforward.
For example, Google may consider deleting negative reviews made by your direct competitors. The conflict of interest in these types of reviews is strong grounds for asking Google to delete the review.
Google also removes reviews that infringe on its review policies. Taking down a negative review by a disgruntled employee shouldn’t be difficult, because it is against Google’s review policies for employees to post workplace reviews.
If you have a Google Business profile, you’ll also have access to Google’s Review Management Tool.
This is a quick and easy way to flag reviews for removal, view the status of flagged reviews, and submit appeals.
Google even uses spam detection to automatically identify spammy reviews. So some reviews could be deleted by Google without any intervention on your end.
Alternatively, you can hire an online reputation management company like WebiMax to delete the Google review. Simply provide the necessary information and pay the agreed-upon fee. Then, a dedicated expert will take charge of the removal process.
The Difficult Parts of Deleting a Google Review
Deleting Google reviews can be a complex process for business owners.
Like other review sites, Google wants honest and unbiased reviews on its platform. For this reason, owners cannot delete reviews of their businesses on Google. You’ll need to contact someone else to delete the review—like a Google site administrator.
Disputes between businesses and customers can be difficult to resolve. You may be right in asking Google to delete a review you know is false. But it’s often difficult or impossible for an external arbitrator to determine who is at fault.
You should also keep in mind that Google doesn’t delete third-party reviews. For example, Google cannot delete reviews from Yelp or Tripadvisor on your business page, so you’ll have to contact the third party directly.
Deleting a Google review can quickly get overwhelming. By the time you go through an arbitration process to prove the negative review in question is false, you may spend several hours on a single review.
This is obviously not a good use of your time. In such cases, hiring an online reputation management company is more effective in promptly removing the negative review.
Now that you know what you’re up against, here’s how to delete a Google review, step-by-step.
Step 1 – Delete Your Own Review
This step applies if you want to or edit delete a Google Business Profile review you wrote. Whatever your reasons for deleting, it only takes a couple of seconds.
Delete the Review
To delete a review you wrote about a business:
- Open Google Maps on your computer.
- Click Menu at the top left of your screen.
- Click Your contributions.
- Click More next to the review you want to delete.
- Click Delete review.
It’s still worth going through this step, even if the review isn’t yours. You may want to ask your customers to delete a negative review. So knowing the steps is helpful just in case you need to walk them through the process.
If you’ve responded to a Google review from your business profile, you can follow these steps to delete your reply as well.
Edit the Review
Deleting a review isn’t the only option. You can also edit it to reflect your current thoughts and feelings. For example, the business owner might have made amends, or the issue is no longer relevant.
You’ll simply follow the same steps as deleting the review, except you’ll click Edit review instead.
If you’re a business owner and you’ve resolved a customer complaint that stemmed from a bad review, you can always ask them nicely to edit the review.
Some people will do this without you asking, but it can’t hurt to mention it. You can always talk them through those steps if they’re unsure how to do it.
Step 2 – Use an Online Reputation Management Company
The simplest way to delete a Google review is to enlist the help of a professional. Online reputation management companies specialize in cleaning up your online image, including deleting unfavorable reviews.
So if you want more than just a quick and easy way to delete a Google review, working with a professional will be your best bet.
Choose Your Reputation Management Company
WebiMax is a top choice for several reasons. Its services are affordable. Plus, you won’t get locked into a long-term contract. You’ll only need to pay on a month-to-month basis.
WebiMax offers a host of online reputation management services. But, we’ll focus on its online review management service. The company takes a human-centric approach. So you’ll be assigned a digital marketing expert to help you with your problem.
Generally speaking, using a reputation management company just makes this process much easier. You’ll have to pay for results, but companies like WebiMax know what it takes to delete reviews on Google—whereas you might try and fail using your own approach.
You can sign up for WebiMax by visiting the official website.
While this is our top recommendation, there are other options to consider. You can check out our full list of the best online reputation management companies to compare alternatives.
Get Your Free Review Analysis
Next, WebiMax offers a free review analysis on demand. This is a perfect opportunity to find out if other reviews require attention. You may be surprised at how much negative press is out there about your business. Additionally, you’ll receive a free review action plan and quote for the job.
The review analysis contains:
- All of your reviews and the overall sentiment of your cusomters
- Review data related to what you’re doing well and where you’re falling short
- A review strategy that includes goals and desired results
- A realistic timeline to achieve your goals
- Pricing for different service offerings
WebiMax uses various strategies to delete Google reviews. The specific approach depends on your circumstances. For instance, the company has a team of lawyers if you need to file legal notice to compel Google to delete the review.
Alternatively, the company’s digital marketing team may discover that the review breaks Google’s policies. In this case, the company will follow up with Google to remove the review.
Finally, WebiMax can also suppress negative reviews. This process essentially involves generating authentic positive reviews to counter the negative. This method works when there are no legal or policy grounds for deleting the review.
Whatever the case, you’ll receive a detailed quote for what the company will do to get rid of the upsetting review. Simply fill in your details in the required fields and click GET MY FREE PROPOSAL to get started.
There’s no risk in reaching out.
It’s worth it to at least see what their plan is, the estimated timeline, and how much it will cost. At worst, you can always decide not to proceed if it’s not something you’re comfortable with.
Let WebiMax Manage Your Reviews
You might also consider also letting WebiMax handle your online reviews going forward. Of course, you can decide this once you have a full report of your online reviews.
To this end, WebiMax offers a comprehensive list of services, including:
- Providing a unified dashboard to manage all your online reviews.
- Directing unhappy customers to give you feedback directly, rather than Google.
- Automating review requests for happy customers.
- Notify your business about negative reviews instantly.
WebiMax also makes it easy for you to highlight your best reviews and promote them on your website and other marketing channels.
In terms of getting new reviews, WebiMax can set up custom QR codes that direct your customers to the appropriate review pages. Between this and automated email requests, the influx of new reviews can help drown out the negative Google reviews during the removal process.
Again, WebiMax offers pocket-friendly reputation management services. It’s easy to see why hiring a professional company to handle your online image guarantees a return on your investment.
Step 3 – Request the Author to Delete the Review
Some customers may be willing to redact or edit a negative review if you ask nicely. For example, the customer might have had time to cool off or may have changed their views based on your actions. Either way, consider asking them to delete the review.
This won’t always work, but it’s worth trying if the situation presents itself.
Reply to the Review
Contacting the reviewer out of the blue may aggravate the issue. The best first step is to reply to the review before reaching out to the author with a removal request.
Start by assessing the review. Make sure you understand the exact complaint before responding. Try to be empathetic and see things from the customer’s perspective.
Keep your response brief. Own up to the complaint or at least empathize with the customer. Also, apologize for the experience and offer a solution to the problem, such as a refund or replacing a faulty product.
Try to respond to all feedback within 24 hours, where possible. A quick response shows that you care about your customers. You’ll also have a chance of persuading the reviewer when the experience is still fresh in their mind.
Replying to a Google review is easy. Just follow these quick steps:
- Open Google Maps on your computer
- Search for your business name
- Open your business profile and scroll to Reviews
- Click Reply on the appropriate review
It’s a good habit to reply to all reviews, not just the bad ones. But for additional guidance, we have a complete tutorial on how to respond to negative reviews.
Request the Removal
Offer to resolve the matter privately once the customer responds to your feedback. You can now get into the details of what you’ll do to make amends and prevent the same incident from happening again.
Most reviewers will have warmed up by this point. This is especially true if you successfully resolve their issue or address the complaint. Then, politely ask them to remove or edit the review to make it more positive.
When a customer edits an original review or offers a new reply in the review thread to show that you took steps to deal with the complaint, this is just as beneficial as a positive review in the first place. Potential customers will appreciate that you took the time to try to solve the problem that led to the negative review.
As we mentioned earlier, though, be wary of how much time you are spending to try to change a customer’s mind on a negative review. If you spend several hours trying to remove each negative review you have, you may end up neglecting other areas of your business, which could lead to more frustrated customers and negative reviews.
Letting an online reputation management company handle the issue for you may be the better solution in a case like this.
It’s also worth noting that this process doesn’t work for reviews on third-party sources. For example, Google may pull reviews from TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or another platform and display them in the results. But to get those reviews removed, you’d need to create a business account on those platforms and go through a separate removal process directly with them.
It should be fairly obvious when this happens, as the review source is called out below the customer’s name. You’ll also see that reviews from third-party platforms don’t have three dots for you to click on for additional actions.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll stick with Google reviews—as the removal process varies slightly as you get to other sources.
Step 4 – Flag Fake or Inappropriate Reviews
Not all competitors are above shady business practices. For example, it’s not unheard of for unscrupulous business owners to post fake reviews on competitors’ Google Business Profile. Similarly, some customers may be aggressive, rude, or offensive in their complaints.
Fortunately, Google is sensitive to these types of scenarios. The platform readily deletes reviews that break its policy and terms. So you only need to flag the review and wait for Google to take it down.
Assess the Review
It’s good practice to assess all negative reviews for credibility. You can check the reviewer’s name against your customer database to verify if you’re dealing with a real customer. If so, their profile should match the data in your records.
You can also view the author’s review history to check for inconsistent patterns that may indicate a fake review. For example, a generic review with no details about the experience might be fake. On the other hand, genuine customers tend to be specific about their experience, whether positive or negative.
Additionally, check for red flags in the reviewer’s profile. Fake profiles typically don’t have a consistent review history and have generic avatars or profile names. You’ll generally feel that you’re not dealing with a real person.
You may also want to consider replying to the fake review. It can take time before Google finally removes it from your profile. Meanwhile, potential customers may think it’s real.
It’s best to remain professional in your reply. First, mention that you don’t seem to find the customer in your records. Then, again, offer to address the complaint. This strategy will help buy time while you flag and hopefully get Google to remove the review.
Flag the Review
Start by going through Google’s policy to identify potential violations in the review. You can also get Google to remove a “real” review if it violates the policy.
For example, Google may delete the review if it’s a personal rant from a disgruntled ex-employee or family member. Similarly, Google also deletes offensive, profane, or obscene reviews. The same goes for harassing, intimidating, bullying, or threatening content.
To flag the review:
- Search your Business Profile on Google Maps. Alternatively, sign in to your Business Profile.
- Click Google Reviews.
- Click More next to the review you want to report.
- Click Report review.
- Choose the reason for reporting the review and click Flag as inappropriate.
It may take several days before Google finally removes the content. You’ll receive an automated email confirming that Google received your removal request and is assessing it.
Google also has a spam protection feature. It automatically identifies and removes spam reviews and content. So you might not need to do anything. But it’s always a good idea to flag all spam reviews just in case Google’s spam detectors miss them.
Check the Status of a Flagged Review
Flagging a review on Google doesn’t automatically delete it. But you can still keep track of what’s happening in Google’s Review Management Tool.
To check the status of a previously flagged review, you must be logged into the appropriate account. Google will ask you to confirm your email address before you proceed.
Once you’ve confirmed the account and selected your business, you’ll see something that says Check the status of a review I reported previously. There are three possible statuses:
- Decision Pending: The review has been flagged, but it hasn’t been checked by anyone at Google yet.
- Report Reviewed – No Policy Violation: The review has been checked by Google, but it does not violate Google’s review policies.
- Escalated – Check Your Email For Updates: The review has been escalated, and the final decision regarding its removal will be sent to your inbox.
Once a review has an Escalated status, then it can’t be escalated again.
Submit an Appeal
If you flag a review but Google doesn’t remove it, you have the option to submit a one-time appeal of the review. This is essentially a second chance to get the review looked at again.
From the Google Reviews Management Tool, go back to the screen that says Check the status of a review I reported previously.
At the bottom of this page, you’ll see an option for Appeal Eligible Reviews.
Google lets you select up to ten reviews for an appeal at once. Then just fill out the form, and the review will be escalated.
A final decision regarding the appeal will be emailed to you. It’s also worth noting that all flagged and appealed reviews remain live while the status is pending.
Step 5 – Get More Positive Reviews
A handful of negative reviews may work in your favor. Many customers may think it suspicious if you don’t have a single negative review on your Business Profile. But you don’t want too many, and it helps even more if you have a lot of positive reviews to counter the few negative ones. So a great way to blunt the effects of negative reviews is by increasing the amount of positive feedback you have.
Meet Your Customer’s Expectations
It might sound obvious, but meeting customer expectations is the best way to increase your positive reviews. This is because happy customers are more likely to share their positive experiences. It’s also a good way of attracting new customers.
Again, it helps if you know how to leave a Google review. Some customers may not be familiar with the process and may require your guidance. Consider also having a link to your Google Business Profile on your website to make it easier for people to leave a review.
Ask Customers to Leave a Review
There are several ways to ask customers to leave a Google review. For example, you can do this after you complete a job, through email, or when you send a bill. Many customers won’t be inclined to leave a review if you don’t ask.
Alternatively, you can use a professional service like WebiMax to boost your positive reviews. A digital marketing expert will help you create a custom action plan to increase your online reviews, including your Business Profile.
WebiMax uses a combination of these methods to increase your online reviews. You’ll also get a unified dashboard to manage all your online reviews when you sign up for the service.
Automate the Process
Automation is the best way to get more positive reviews. This step will look a bit different for everyone, as it depends on your business type and communication channels.
For example, an ecommerce business can set up automated review requests via email ten days after a product gets delivered.
If you’re running a salon or local service business, you send automated text follow-ups to customers an hour after an appointment. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses can even set up QR codes at the point of sale or print them on receipts. If you have a mobile app, you can leverage push notifications to request reviews from all app users or trigger them based on in-app behavior.
Regardless of the situation, there are plenty of ways to automate the process. This will help you get hundreds or even thousands of reviews faster than ever before—so a few bad Google reviews won’t really matter in the long run.