Consider the last time you searched for an Italian food restaurant in a new city.
You are not familiar with the area and don’t have any personal recommendations that you can rely on.
You probably unlock your phone, do a Google search for [italian food near me] And find many restaurants.
Do you pick the first restaurant that pops up?
The answer to this is probably no.
Instead, you will most likely look for customer reviews and choose the restaurant where customers have a positive experience.
And you are in good company.
for local businesses, 98% of consumers read online reviews.
In addition, 81% of consumers turn to Google as their preferred business review platform to strengthen their purchasing decisions.
While customers can control the content they post in their reviews, companies unfortunately cannot.
Good reviews are not a guarantee, and even if your business provides superior customer service, an unhappy customer may result in a negative review.
However, companies should constantly monitor their Google reviews and ensure that spam comments are deleted as soon as possible.
In this post, we’ll cover when or if you should delete Google reviews, what to do if you can’t delete weak reviews, and the steps your business should take to flag a review for removal.
When should a Google review be deleted?
Not all negative feedback your business receives is eligible for removal.
If a customer has already had a bad experience with your business and expresses that opinion in the form of a review, you cannot ask Google to remove that review.
Instead, Google will only remove a review if it violates Google policies.
Fortunately for businesses, Google takes review removal very seriously, and there are very few types of content that it considers inappropriate.
Below are some of the types of reviews that are eligible for deletion.
Google statesAnd the
We do not allow users to post content on harassment other persons or companies, or encourage others to engage in harassment.”
It also does not tolerate hate speech or offensive content in a review.
Offensive content may include “obviously and intentionally provocative content”.
Google will also delete reviews that contain personal information — like credit card details, medical records, and more.
It is considered deceptive if the content is not based on real experience or does not accurately represent your site or product.
Google may also consider sharing such content with impersonation, misleading information, misrepresentation, or a false post as deceptive.
Google will remove any explicit content that uses profanity, is sexually explicit, uses adult themes, or contains violence or gore that constitutes offensive adult content.
Regulated, dangerous and illegal
Content that includes calls to action for products or services that may face local legal restrictions or that promotes dangerous activities is eligible for removal by Google.
This also includes inappropriate content that a child cannot view.
As mentioned earlier, Google’s content policy states that review content should be “based on your experience or questions about experiences in a particular location.”
Content of a political nature, general rants, information related to COVID-19, and more is not allowed.
Advertising of a specific product, service or business is also not allowed in the review.
In short, if your work receives bad reviews, that’s not necessarily grounds for removal.
Instead, your online reviews must include one of the above factors to apply for removal.
If the content of your review includes any of the above, it is warranted and recommended that you ask Google to remove the review.
What is a google review?
It may seem obvious. However, with the countless review guides available online, it’s best to be clear on what counts as a Google review.
A Google review helps your business highlight what customers think of your brand and what potential customers can expect.
These reviews appear on your Google Business Profile in Search and Maps.
Google reviews use a star rating system, where customers can leave between one and five star ratings.
A five-star review means that the customer was extremely happy with their experience with your brand.
On the contrary, a 1-star rating means that the customer has a negative experience with your business.
To view reviews on a Google Business Profile, click on the business’s star rating or the blue hyperlink containing the number of reviews the business has received.
You will then see a breakdown of the number of ratings per star, the top keywords used in the reviews, followed by all of the remaining reviews for that site.
You can sort reviews by most relevant, newest, highest rated, and lowest rated.
Can you delete a google review yourself?
Google doesn’t enable businesses to delete reviews from their Google Business Profile.
This helps prevent companies from deleting bad reviews because of bad experiences.
To remove a comment, the person who wrote the comment can delete the comment, or the business can ask Google to remove the inappropriate comment.
Companies can report a review for removal through Google Maps or Google Search.
Here are the steps to take for both.
How to report a review on google maps
- Open Google Maps on your computer.
- Find your Business Profile on Google.
- Find the comment you want to report.
- Click More, irrelevant tag.
How to report a review in Google Search
- on your computer, Go to Google.
- Find your Business Profile on Google.
- Click on Google Reviews.
- Find the comment you want to report.
- Click More, review report. Then select the type of violation you want to report.
How to report a review on your account
- on your computer, Sign in to manage your Google Business Profile.
- Choose the review you want to report.
- For a single business: Open the Google Business file you’d like to manage. On the right, in the menu, click Comments.
- For multiple companies: In the left menu, click Manage Reviews. Then use the dropdown menu to choose a location group.
- On the review you want to report, tap More, then mark as inappropriate.
Google also takes its own review precautions.
It will automatically detect spam or fake review and remove those reviews on its own.
google notesAnd the
“These actions help improve people’s experiences on Google and ensure that the reviews they see are authentic, relevant, and helpful.”
Once you mark a post for removal from your Business Profile on Google, Google notes that it can take several days for the review to be removed.
For hotel brands, it’s also worth noting that you can’t report hotel reviews from third parties, even if policy violations were committed in the course of the review.
What should I do while I wait for Google to remove a review?
Whether your business receives positive or negative feedback, the customer service team must respond to all reviews.
Responding to reviews shows others that you care about your customers’ experiences and want to provide the best experience possible.
Develop a thoughtful response to every review you receive, especially negative customer reviews as you have the opportunity to reshape the customer’s perception of your business, and respond as quickly as possible.
This applies even to spam reviews while Google is waiting to remove them.
Your Google Business Profile is the digital storefront for your business website.
It also serves as an opportunity to share ideas from your customers directly through reviews.
However, you do want legitimate reviews to appear on your profile.
So you can (and should) report any reviews that violate Google’s review policies to maintain a strong review profile overall.
Take action on reviews that meet the above criteria to remove these reviews from appearing on Google Maps and Search when a potential customer searches for your brand.
- The Complete Guide to Google Business Profile Reviews
- 5 ways to boost your SEO with third-party reviews
- A guide to local search engine optimization
Featured image: Irina Shatilova/Shutterstock