How to Remove Google Reviews: 5 Steps for Removing Bad Reviews
Before buying your products or using your services, people read reviews about your business. They look at positive and negative reviews to help determine if they’ll become your next customer.
But what do you do if you have reviews on Google you don’t want?
On this page, we’ll tell you how to remove Google reviews from your Google My Business profile. Plus, we’ll provide steps you can take to remove bad reviews without removing them. If you need help managing negative reviews, browse our review management services today!
How to remove Google reviews posted by others
When someone leaves a negative review on your Google My Business profile, your immediate reaction is to delete it. You don’t want people to say bad things about your company because you’re worried about how it will affect your reputation.
Unfortunately, removing Google reviews isn’t as simple as going to your profile and deleting them.
Google doesn’t give companies the option to delete negative reviews because all feedback, both positive and negative, helps maintain authenticity. People rely on reviews when deciding whether to make a purchase.
Not surprisingly, 80% of people say online reviews have changed their minds about a purchase.
Reviews have a substantial impact on the buyer’s journey, so Google doesn’t allow you to remove bad reviews from your Google local listing. The only time you may get a bad review removed is when it’s a fake review.
How to remove fake Google reviews
Google lets you remove fake Google reviews, but they must check the review first.
To report a fake Google review, follow these steps:
- Go into your Google My Business account
- Choose “Reviews” from the left-hand menu
- Select the fake review
- Click on the three-dotted bar in the right corner
- Click “Flag as inappropriate”
By following this process, you’ll get the reviewer’s feedback sent to Google. Google can then evaluate it to see if the review is fake.
If you’re looking for a more direct way to remove fake Google reviews, contact Google directly.
Go to your Google My Business dashboard and find “Support” in the menu.
From that point, you can talk with Google via phone, chat, or email.
This option allows you to get in contact with Google faster to remove the review.
Google will not remove the review if it is authentic and a customer’s experience that occurred at your business. If it’s an authentic review that wasn’t meant for your business, you can appeal to have it removed.
For genuine negative reviews, jump to the next section!
From 1-star to 4-stars: How to remove Google reviews without actually removing them
Removing negative Google reviews isn’t as simple as deleting them. If the reviews are authentic, you have to take an alternative approach to “remove” those reviews. The best thing you can do is address the reviewer and try to fix the situation.
Let’s take a look at five steps you can take to remove Google reviews posted by others.
1. Don’t react negatively
When you first receive a negative review, your initial reaction may be to lash out at the person who left the review. You’re passionate about your business, so it’s easy to get upset when people say bad things about your company.
The first step in handling negative reviews, however, is not to react negatively.
If you react badly to someone’s review, it will only make your business look worse. People will see your business as unprofessional. It also leaves people feeling skeptical about your company because you don’t acknowledge problems with your products or services.
As you can see from this example, the owner’s response was passionate and angry. While it may have felt good for the owner, this response leaves a lasting negative impression on the customer and causes others to view that business negatively.
To prevent more negative Google reviews, don’t react negatively to feedback from your clients.
Remember — bad reviews aren’t the end of the world!
It’s common to have negative and positive reviews.
People trust your profile more when you have positive and negative reviews because your profile appears more genuine. If you only had five-star reviews, people would remain skeptical as to whether the comments were authentic.
People care about others’ negative experiences, but they care more about how you handle those negative experiences.
So, take a breath and get ready to address the negative feedback positively. Remember, there are best practices for responding to negative reviews.
2. Evaluate the review
If you want to know how to remove Google reviews, start by evaluating the review.
First, establish that the review is authentic.
Sometimes you’ll get fake reviews from competitors or people who never interacted with your business. You may even get reviews that aren’t for your company, like this example of someone leaving a review about a haircut on a florist’s Google profile!
For reviews that appear fake, follow the earlier steps above on reporting and flagging false reviews.
Even if you think the review is fake, you should compose a response. It takes Google time to remove false reviews, ranging from five days to as many as 20 days.
In that time, you could have dozens of people viewing your profile who don’t know that the review is fake.
Whether authentic or fake, check the review’s content. Try to verify that the person filing the complaint was an actual customer. You may have a record of their buyer’s journey that can help you evaluate their experience better.
Look at the situation described in the review.
You’ll want to take notes on the details so you can compose a genuine response.
Once you’ve evaluated the negative Google review, you’ll write your response.
3. Compose a genuine and straightforward response
The next step to remove Google reviews posted by others involves composing an honest reply. You must make your customers feel heard. Keep your response brief, but ensure you acknowledge their problem.
It’s also ideal that you respond to these reviews quickly. Typically, you’ll want to respond to a negative review within 24 hours of its posting. A fast response shows dedication to providing the best customer service.
Don’t have the time to dedicate to responding to reviews?
Use review management services, which can help you stay on top of and respond to all your negative and positive reviews. If you want to handle review management on your own, follow these steps for providing a genuine and straightforward response:
- Own up to the complaint
If you want to know how to remove Google reviews posted by others, start by owning the claim. Don’t pretend like it didn’t happen or that it isn’t valid. If you don’t take responsibility for the complaint, it will only make customers angrier with your company.
Even if it’s not your fault, apologize for the negative experience. Don’t blame the reviewer or accuse them of lying. Apologizing for the faulty product or poor experience goes a long way in removing negative Google reviews and turning them into positive ones.
Remember — sometimes, people want you to recognize their issue and feel heard. A simple apology goes a long way in showing these customers that you listen to them and recognize their negative experiences.
- Offer a solution
People want your company to take action when they have a negative experience. If you want to know how to remove Google reviews that share a bad experience, offer a solution to the person’s problem.
Whether it’s a solution or reconciliation, you must attempt to fix the situation.
Don’t leave a comment like, “We’re sorry this happened,” and that’s it.
Offer solutions or opportunities to fix the situation.
When you offer solutions, follow up with them. Don’t make empty promises and say you’re going to take action and then do nothing. Follow through to help remove negative reviews from your profile.
You must offer fixes for your future customers to see. They want to know how you handle a dissatisfied customer. If you’re providing solutions and reconciliation, these prospective clients will feel more comfortable choosing your business.
4. Fix the situation
If you want to know how to remove Google reviews that negatively impact your business, fix the situation. This part is the hardest for companies because it often requires evaluating your process, products, or customer service to make changes.
It’s hard to admit when a problem is your organization’s fault, but if you keep getting negative reviews about the same issue, it’s time for change.
Let’s say you’re a coffee mug company and sell insulated travel mugs. People buy them and keep leaving reviews about how your coffee mugs are cheap because the lid never stays on, causing constant spills.
If multiple people have the same experience, you need to review and improve your products.
This approach saves you time in the long run, too.
In this case, improving your travel mug to have a secure lid leads to less negative reviews and, potentially, more sales. Improving your process or products is well worth the investment because it leads to a more positive experience and a healthier bottom line.
The same process applies if you offer services. If people leave reviews and keep saying that they feel scammed about your pricing, you may need to alter how you present pricing on your website and to clients.
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5. Stay vigilant with your reviews
If you want to know how to remove bad reviews from Google local, stay on top of your reviews. You can’t remove Google reviews if you aren’t on top of them. Check your local listing often to see if you’re getting new reviews.
When you’re proactive about your reviews, you build a better reputation for your business.
People will see that you take the time to address issues and help solve problems. This vigilance can encourage previously dissatisfied people to change their reviews, too, because you’re on top of their concern and willing to solve it fast.
By staying alert and resolving issues fast, you’ll help remove Google reviews posted by others that highlight your business negatively. While this approach won’t remove all negative reviews, it will help you turn unhappy customers into happier ones.
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Need help managing your reviews on Google?
Now that you know how to remove Google reviews, you can start taking control of your Google My Business profile and you can work on further optimizing GMB to get better ratings. By managing negative reviews and offering solutions, you can turn negative reviews into positive ones for your company.
At WebFX, we can help you manage your review profile.
With our team of over 200 experts, we’ll help you manage your reviews and respond to negative feedback. With our review management services, you’ll get everything you need to help you stay on top of your reviews.