Reviews are extremely important for modern companies. Since they represent “social proof” for potential customers and help build trust from the outset among users. However, no matter how good the positive reviews of your company are, the negative ones can represent a real and proper disaster for your online reputation, especially if they appear on Google Reviews.
Google is a valuable resource for those who rely on it for information, but also to guide their purchases. It is one of the most reliable and certainly the most widely used search engine, and offers its users a wealth of information that is very useful when deciding where to buy and from whom.
If you start receiving positive reviews on Google, your business may benefit from increased popularity, trust and profitability. But if your customers leave negative reviews, your reputation will undoubtedly suffer.
So the question we have is: can a negative review be removed from Google? And if so, how to do it?
In this Rodanet article, we will explain what Google reviews are, how to remove them and what to do if you are unable to do so. We will discuss the contexts in which you may want to remove a review on Google; understand whether you can remove reviews left by others on Google and Google Maps, and much more. Here we go!
Índice de contenidos
- 1 Why Google reviews are crucial for your business
- 2 Do you need advice for your online reputation?
- 3 What do negative Google reviews imply?
- 4 Why remove a negative review from Google?
- 5 Can a Google review written by someone else be removed?
- 6 When can I delete a Google review written by someone else?
- 6.1 1. Spam or false content
- 6.2 2. Invectives and out-of-context comments
- 6.3 3. Promotion of illegal actions or articles
- 6.4 4. Publication of illegal contents
- 6.5 5. Terrorist threats
- 6.6 6. Sexually explicit language or content
- 6.7 7. Blasphemous or offensive content
- 6.8 8. Harassment, intimidation or incitement to violence.
- 6.9 9. Identity theft
- 6.10 10. Dishonesty
- 7 How to report a Google review step by step
- 8 If the above methods do not work…
- 9 How to remove a review I have written on Google
- 10 How can I improve my online reputation?
Why Google reviews are crucial for your business
Google continues to dominate the search engine market, and no wonder; the Mountain View giant’s goal has never been a secret: to provide its users with the best possible search results that comprehensively and efficiently answer their queries. Therefore, Google is constantly working on the development and improvement of its search engine.
One of the fruits of their efforts is the so-called “.Knowledge Graph” or Knowledge Graph, introduced in 2012: if, for example, we search for the name of a particular company, a clear summary of all relevant information about the business in question will appear to the right of the search results tab, including. photos, address, contact information and opening times. In addition, we will have access to all Google reviews (from 1 to 5 stars) that the company has received from customers and business partners. The same information will also appear in the company’s search results on Google Maps, provided that a corresponding entry has been created.
Do you want to know how to appear on Google Maps? We explain all the details in our Rodanet post.
As you may have already understood, safeguarding our online reputation is fundamental, and for this reason, we must not underestimate the impact of reviews at all. Did you know that, according to a recent study by Growth from Knowledge (GfK), 66.4% of respondents say they use online reviews as a basis for their purchasing decisions, and 31.9% that they are influenced by them? Nowadays, reviews on search engines and comparison sites carry as much weight as direct recommendations from friends and acquaintances.
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What do negative Google reviews imply?
Just as good reviews can have a positive impact on your company’s reputationHowever, it is also true that the negative ones can have a detrimental effect on your business, since, on the one hand, they scare away potential customers and, on the other hand, they can also can influence your ranking in Google.
The danger of negative reviews should not be underestimated; in fact, experience has shown that dissatisfied or angry customers are the most likely to report their experiences on the Internet. In addition, positive reviews are subject to a kind of general suspicion of being fake or bought, and for this reason, they tend to enjoy less credibility than critical reviews. A single 1-star rating can cost you several potential customers who will go directly to your competitors.
Why remove a negative review from Google?
There are many reasons why someone might want to delete a review on Google. However, Google does not remove legitimate reviews, even if they reflect a negative opinion about a company.
Reviews carry enormous weight in shoppers’ opinions: 9 out of 10 users base their decisions on reviews before making a purchase. 79% of consumers trust the reviews they read. That’s why negative reviews can be potentially catastrophic for a company.
Google reviews are highly respected, and considered an objective source by many users, and Google intends to continue to feed them. Fifty-nine percent of consumers consult Google reviews when searching for a company or product.
Can a Google review written by someone else be removed?
While it is true that it is possible to delete a review left by another person on Google, you need to know that there must be a reason to justify such deletion. And by this we mean that you need more than just the fact that you don’t like what they have said about your company.
The removal of a review on Google will only be possible if someone has violated Google’s rules. This means that you must be able to prove beyond doubt that someone has maliciously violated one of Google’s rules.
You can’t delete any criticism you don’t like. 62% of consumers do not trust a company that censors opinions.
In fact, reviews are reliable when they offer an unbiased view of a company from the perspective of users who have tried your services. If buyers, real or potential, think you are trying to cheat the system by censoring criticism, the whole process loses credibility.
When can I delete a Google review written by someone else?
If the review does not violate any rules, you have no choice but to contact the person who wrote it directly. If he responds, it could be the first step in opening a dialogue in which you directly answer his criticisms and even make improvements based on his comments.
However, if a Google rule has been violated in the review, you can report it, bringing it to Google’s attention. So the question is: when should a review be reported? You need to be aware that there are major guidelines set by Google that are grounds for immediate removal:
1. Spam or false content
A content is considered spam when it has an obvious commercial bias or promotional content. Any content posted multiple times by the same person in multiple places may also be considered spam.
2. Invectives and out-of-context comments
Google reviews must always talk about a purchase or service experience and stick to the topic. If the author goes completely off topic and starts ranting about something unrelated to your service, you can inform Google that this person is using your company as a sounding board to spread their ideas.
3. Promotion of illegal actions or articles
If the author promotes illegal actions or items in his comment, you can report this to Google.
This could include the promotion of theft or piracy of content, as well as drugs or links to pages where illegal items can be purchased. If you discover any such problems among your reviews, report them immediately.
4. Publication of illegal contents
If anyone posts any illegal content, such as depictions of drug use or any indication of exploitation of minors under 18, you should report it to Google immediately.
5. Terrorist threats
Threats of violence or any type of terrorist attack are a clear violation of Google’s content review guidelines. Google takes this issue seriously and so should you.
6. Sexually explicit language or content
Any sexually explicit language or content is a clear violation of Google’s rules. Any reference to inappropriate behavior may be grounds for complaint.
7. Blasphemous or offensive content
The use of profanity or offensive language in comments directly violates Google’s rules. This includes profanity, obscene phrases, racist, homophobic or transphobic insults or any other insult of this nature.
8. Harassment, intimidation or incitement to violence.
No harassment or bullying is allowed in a Google review. If someone leaves a review about your company that attempts to intimidate or incite violence against you or someone else, you must report it. Google is usually quick to respond to such questions.
9. Identity theft
If someone is impersonating someone else, their review is not legitimate. Someone who claims to be the president of the United States cannot leave a review about a company criticizing or praising it. This is grounds for removal and you should report it immediately.
Finally, if a review contains very obvious lies, you can report it to Google. To get it removed, you may have to prove that the opinion was written dishonestly.
How to report a Google review step by step
If you have identified a review about your company that has violated one of Google’s ten rules of conduct, it’s time to report it. The procedure is simple:
- Step 1: Sign in to your Google My Business account.
- Step 2: Select the correct activity. If you have more than one business associated with your Google Account, be sure to sign in to the one that contains the review in question.
- Step 3: select the review(s).
- Step 4: Click the 3-dot menu next to the offending review and click “Report as inappropriate” to make Google aware of it.
Once the opinion is reported, Google may take a few days to review it. You can speed up the process by asking other people to do it as well. If several users report the review, Google may take it into consideration more quickly.
If all of this doesn’t work either, it may be time for you to contact Google Small Business support.
To access the support page, visit www.support.google.com/business.
Once there, type “Contact“. You will be presented with several options such as “How to remove reviews from your Google Business Profile” or “How to request removal of customer photos“.
Ultimately, you can contact the Google team directly. Once this is done, you should receive assistance within 24 hours.
If the above methods do not work…
If the negative reviews left for you on Google have not violated any rules, all is not lost. Although there are no official measures to remove reviews, there are a few methods you can use to try to solve the problem.
First, you will have to respond publicly to all reviews, positive and negative. Replying to a positive review is easy and there is no need to elaborate. However, doing so with a refusal is critical in these situations.
It is essential that you do not act defensively or respond aggressively. Be humble and thank the customer for their feedback. Next, try to solve the problem. Do not point out to him what, according to you, he has done wrong. Rather, apologize for the situation that has upset him and propose a solution.
If you solve the problem, ask him to remove the feedback or edit it to emphasize the steps you have taken to remedy and ensure his satisfaction.
Even if the author refuses to remove the criticism, you will have done something useful. Users will be able to see your responses to negative reviews, and how you have tried to go above and beyond to fix the problem. This is very important for potential customers.
You can also solicit new reviews from your customers, but you must be very careful in doing so. If you know that a client of yours is satisfied with your services, let them know that they can write a review on Google. Don’t ask for a positive or five-star review directly.
Finally, do not try to encourage reviews with commercial techniques. You cannot offer rewards for a positive review: this would be a direct violation of Google’s rules. If you are caught, you may be penalized.
How to remove a review I have written on Google
If you want to remove a review you have posted on Google, the procedure is much simpler. Google does not force anyone to leave reviews they have written. If you have created something, you have the right to remove it.
While the process of deleting reviews left by others can be long and tedious, it is much easier to delete something you have posted. It is a simple elimination process that anyone can perform.
You may wonder why someone would want to delete a review they have left, and you should know that the reasons could be many:
- It may be a review published by mistake on your own page. It could be a review you wanted to leave for another company, but accidentally left on your Google page. This could be embarrassing, especially if it lowers your average score. You should stealthily delete the review before anyone else notices.
- Perhaps it is a criticism of another business that you have regretted. Maybe something didn’t satisfy you, but then the company went out of its way to rectify the mistake and ultimately left you with a positive feeling.
- It could also be that your opinion of a particular company has changed. Sometimes we realize that we have judged too harshly or too quickly.
- Of course, it could also be the exact opposite. Maybe you left a rave review about a company and then it did something that let you down.
If you no longer want your previous opinion to work against a company’s reputation, it’s easy to make amends. Whatever the reason, there is a simple procedure to remove a review on Google.
- First, log in to your Google account. To do this, log in to any Google channel, such as YouTube, the Chrome browser or Gmail. You can also click on the top right corner of the Google home page.
- Then click on Google Maps. This is where we can find most of the Google reviews, now click on the three-line menu to open a list of options.
- Select “Your contributions” in the list and then select “Reviews”.
- A collection of your reviews will open. Find the one you want to delete and click on the menu with the three dots.
- You can then choose whether to edit or delete the review. If your opinions have changed and you want to leave a positive or negative comment about the company, you can choose to edit the review instead of deleting it.
- If, on the other hand, you wish to erase your review from the face of the Internet forever, click on the “Delete review” button.
How can I improve my online reputation?
In conclusion, removing a review from Google can be a difficult and not always guaranteed process, but it is important to keep in mind that there are different options to resort to in order to try to solve the problem.
The first thing to do is to try to respond to the review in a respectful and professional manner to address any issues that have generated the negative review. If the review is false, offensive or inappropriate, it can be reported to Google for removal.
You can also contact the user who posted the review and ask them to voluntarily remove it. If none of these options work, you can seek legal advice or assistance from a
digital marketing specialist
to help you solve the problem.
In any case, it is essential to maintain a good relationship with customers and be prepared to face constructive criticism to help improve the business.
Do you want to improve
of your business? Don’t wait any longer! Get in touch with our team of online reputation experts, and get ready to reap the rewards of our work.