So you want to delete a Google review?
This post will go through what you need to do, step by step.
- Want to remove a Google review that you’ve left.
- Or – you want to remove a review that someone else has left.
Generally – you should know, the second one can be harder to achieve, particularly if that grievance that someone left was a legitimate one. Google’s review system makes it as difficult as humanly possible to remove a bad review someone left for your company – and for that reason Google reviews are more trustworthy than some platforms where you can just block or delete things easily. (*cough, cough* – Facebook.)
How to remove a review from Google Maps:
- On your computer, open Google Maps – or use this link.
- In the top left, of the screen click Menu or the icon that looks like this: ☰ Then click “Your Contributions” and choose “Reviews.”
- Next to the review you want to edit or delete, click “More” or the 3 dots stacked on each other (image below) Choose an option and follow the instructions.
But what if you’re trying to delete a review on your business?
Google does not have a clean option for doing it – so you have 3 options:
- Don’t delete it – respond to it as though every future customer will see your response. Be calm and level-headed, and think about the future business you will get from being Calm Online™. It’s really best to rectify these situations – even if it’s hard work.
- If it’s fake or – Simply flag the review and give clear reasons. It only takes 1 flag to remove a Google review as long as you give Google enough evidence that the review violates Google’s policies. Google removes reviews based on whether they violate policy, not based on the number of times a review gets flagged as inappropriate. (Check out the full list of criteria that Google legitimately will remove below this section)
- Atomic mode – It’s not a scalable solution, but if you really want to increase your chances, you can potentially ask several people to report the review. Your best bet is still to only report illegitimate reviews, and wait a few days for them to take down that illegitimate review. Whatever you do – DO NOT freak out on people online though, your long-term reputation is worth more than telling someone off online.
Reasons Google will remove a review when you flag it
- Posting multiple times, including from different accounts. Fake and/or spam content that is posted to manipulate ratings.
- Off-topic posts that are general in nature, such as personal rants or political commentary.
- Promoting actions or items purchased that fail to comply with local legal regulations. Such restricted content includes promoting alcohol, pharmaceuticals, adult services, gambling, guns and more.
- Illegal or depict illegal activity, such as copyrighted content, endangered animal products, graphic violence, human trafficking, etc.
- Alludes to terrorism
- Sexually explicit or in any way sexually exploits children.
- Offensive, profane or obscene.
- Anything considered harassment or intimidating, dangerous or meant to incite hatred.
- Impersonating other people, or falsely representing themselves.
- Reviews of your own business (or having a current or former employee do it for you) and trying to manipulate a competitor’s ratings, so this is one that we often see talking to small businesses.
Do NOT leave bad reviews for competitors or rivals (you literally can be sued)
“And the CRFA still leaves room for business-owners to sue for defamation in cases where a customer, or even a rival, posts false negative reviews online. “Nothing in [the CRFA] prohibits a business from suing a customer for defaming them, for saying something false that damages the business,” Settlemeyer says.” – From CNBC
It’s also illegal to threaten consumers for negative reviews
“Some companies had been using contract provisions – including their online terms and conditions – to threaten to sue consumers or penalize them financially for posting negative reviews or complaints. The new law makes that illegal.” – Federal Trade Commission
Want to downplay a negative review? Get a metric ton of positive reviews
Getting more reviews doesn’t have to be hard.
- Make a system for asking for reviews. (For instance, you could have a project manager email customers 1 month after a job is finished.)
- Incentivize your team with $20, $50 or $100 for every customer that reviews (don’t incentivize the customer – that’s frowned on.)
- Use a platform like Podium or – my personal favorite PulseM, to scale out getting more positive reviews.
And remember – having a 5-star mindset, and providing amazing customer service is the #1 way to get more positive reviews, and having 50+ positive reviews makes any negative review way less important (but still respond to negative reviews in a kind and professional way.)