A Google review is the opinion of a customer regarding a business or its products or services. Google reviews are publicly posted on the business’s Google page and can consist of a star rating, written review, images, as well as videos.
In the digital world, most of us do a quick Google search and skim through the ratings and reviews to find the best places for food, entertainment, and travel, among others. However, not every review we see can be trusted. Due to this, business owners need to know how they can hide or remove Google reviews.
Can You Delete a Google Review?
Google does not offer a simple “delete” option for its reviews. You can take certain steps if you feel a review is fake or that your company has been wronged with a review. You can “flag the review as inappropriate” which alerts Google that the review does not comply with its policies. When you choose this option, you will be guided to a landing page where you need to complete a brief report of the issue and submit your email for follow-up communication.
It’s important to note that Google has built-in spam checkers that automatically analyze a review for inappropriate, misleading, or irrelevant content. However, sometimes the reviews are overlooked which can impact a business negatively.
What is Google’s Review Policy?
According to Google’s review policy, people can post reviews as well as other content including images and videos. Reviews can be removed for the following reasons:
- Civil discourse: Reviews that contain hate speech, personal attacks, or harassment.
- Deceptive content: Reviews that contain false information or are written by fake accounts.
- Misinformation: Reviews that contain explicit or graphic content.
- Regulated, harmful, or illegal content: Reviews that promote illegal activities, such as drug use, or violate regulated industries like finance or healthcare sectors.
- Issues related to information quality: Reviews that contain off-topic, gibberish, or irrelevant content.
How to Delete Google Reviews Posted by Others?
As a business owner, if you have received fake or spam reviews, you can flag the review to Google. Follow the below steps on how to possibility delete reviews for your business:
Step 1: Sign in to Google Business
Log in to your Google Business account using your business credentials. If you do not have one, the first step is to create one.
Step 2: Locate the Review
Once you are logged in, find the review you want to delete in your business’s profile “Reviews” section. You can also access the Google review page through Google Maps.
Step 3: Flag the Review
The next step is to flag the review. To do so, click on the three vertical dots (Options) which are located next to the review. From there, select “Flag as inappropriate” or a similar option, depending on why you are flagging it.
Step 4: Report the Violation
In this step, describe the reasons why the review violates Google’s review policy. Be specific and provide evidence if possible. After this, click on “Report” to submit your report.
Step 5: Wait for Google’s Review
Google will review your report and decide if it violates its policies. This may take some time.
Step 6: Contact Google Support if Required
You can reach out to Google Support if Google does not delete the review and you believe it violates their policies. You can contact Google Business support for assistance.
Log in to your Google Account by visiting the Google Business support page. In the first dropdown menu, select the relevant business followed by specifying your option in the next field. You can select “remove a review” in this option. After this, click “Next Steps” and select your preferred contact option.
Step 7: Address the Issue if Needed
If your problem wasn’t solved, you can consider responding to the reviewer or take other actions to ensure it doesn’t significantly impact your business. Abide by Google’s guidelines throughout the process.
The process of Google’s review assessment is quite slow and does not guarantee that the review will be removed. Moreover, Google aims to provide its users with unbiased feedback and if the customer experience is poor, Google wants its users to be aware of them. So, if you are not happy with a customer’s opinion, the chances of the review removal are slim. Take necessary action according to Google’s review policy if you want the desired result.
How to Hide Google Reviews?
It is not possible to entirely hide Google reviews. A business can choose not to display their overall ratings or individual reviews by turning off the “Show my rating” or “Show my reviews” settings on their Google My Business account. However, it is generally not recommended to hide reviews as it can be seen as a lack of transparency and authenticity.
What Can You Do When You Cannot Remove a Review?
Not all negative reviews can be taken down as they might not be eligible for removal. In this case, you can do a few things to mitigate the potential harm of a negative review:
- Respond to the Review
The most effective way to handle a negative review is by responding to it. Show your empathy and genuinely apologize to the customer. Show your commitment to improvement so that you can provide a better customer experience in the future. You can also solve the customer’s problem by asking them to email them and providing you with a proper solution. If the review is positive, you can thank the reviewer and show your appreciation.
- Reach out to the Reviewer
You can reach out to the customer and ask them to delete the review. Connect with the customer and solve the matter. In this case, you can choose to leave the review up as you have already closed the matter as you are highlighting how you solved the problem.
- Focus on Improving Your Business
Although negative reviews can impact your business, they provide valuable insight into how your business is performing. Consider these feedbacks seriously and work on solving them so that similar reviews are not repeated.
- Consider Legal Actions
You can consider legal action if a review violates Google’s guidelines or is defamatory. Note that this step should be the last resort and should only be pursued if the review is truly harmful to your business.
How to Edit or Remove Reviews on Google as a Customer?
Now, if you are a customer, you can easily edit or delete your Google reviews. Simply follow the below steps to do so:
- From Browser
To edit or delete your reviews from your web browser, sign in to your Google account and go to Google Maps. Click on “Your contributions” and then click on “Reviews.” Locate your review and click on it. Click on the three dots (more options), and select “Edit review” or “Delete review.” Make your changes and then select save.
- From Google Maps App
If you want to know how to remove reviews from Google Maps, it’s quite easy. Open the Google Maps app from your smartphone and tap on your profile picture. Select “Your contributions” and then go to “Reviews.” Find the review you want to edit or delete and choose the relevant option. Make the changes and update your review.
Thus, as a business owner, you cannot directly delete Google reviews. Follow the necessary steps highlighted in this blog to flag the review and increase your chances of getting it deleted. In case your review is not deleted, you can contact Google support or resolve it by responding or taking necessary actions.