The reviews section of business listings are often found on the receiving end of spam and hate comments. As someone who is managing the business, you’d not want these things to damage your establishment’s online reputation. In other words, you’ll probably look for a way to remove spammy or bad reviews that the business receives.
When your customers leave you a bad review on Google, you need to make sure you handle the issue tactically and help mitigate the bad situation for your customer. According to a study (reported by Forbes), most adults in the US ran a Google search for a certain business to decide whether or not they wanted to make a purchase transaction. Furthermore, 45% of the respondents in the study decided not to transact purchases with a business because they found negative reviews and news; 56% were impacted with positive information that urged them to make a purchase transaction with the businesses they ran a Google search for. Therefore, it is crucial that business owners try to handle a negative-review-situation on Google by rectifying the customer experience for the reviewer.
Although, sometimes, your business reviews might be false, hateful and malicious. Such things can go beyond your control, and that’s when you need to report the review to Google and request its removal.
Given how negative reviews can impact the growth of your business, you need to make sure you tactically handle your situation. In this little guide, we’ll familiarize you with the Google content guidelines and show you how you can flag a review.
The Google Content Guidelines
Every major local listing platform that has review generation functions comes with content guidelines to make sure that the content is of good quality, and that users are provided with accurate and honest content. Google has guidelines that don’t allow just anyone to leave unsolicited negative reviews. And that’s where their content guidelines comes into the picture. By familiarizing yourself with these guidelines, you’ll be able to remove bad Google reviews.
1. Spam or Fake Reviews are a big no-no. Google ensures that reviews that appear to be spam or have fake content can be removed. Reviews that appear multiple times, and reviews that are posted by one reviewer from multiple accounts can be removed; they count as spam. Similarly, reviews that are not based on personal experiences and content that is blatantly added to manipulate ratings can be removed.
2. Irrelevant reviews can be removed as well. Any commentary on political, social or personal issues can be flagged and removed. Google wants its users to count on trustworthy review content to make informed decisions.
3. Google restricts the sharing promotional offers, website landing pages on reviews. Reviews having content that provides contact information to purchase illegal products or services. According to Google, the following comprises of illegal activities:
- Content that infringes copyright laws, or anyone else’s legal rights.
- Content that depicts sexual abuse imagery or represents children in a sexual manner.
- Content that promotes the sale of endangered animal products, or illegal drugs.
- Content that depicts illegal acts of human trafficking, organ sale or rape.
- Content that contains or promotes graphic violence.
- Content posted by terrorist groups or content that promotes terrorism.
4. Google also allows the removal of reviews that promote hate speech, obscene or offensive content. Review content that has blatant or implied harassment or bullying can also be removed.
5. In addition to the above said, Google also allows removal of reviews posted by the business owner, employees (both current and past experiences), and reviews posted about competitors to manipulate ratings.
So, when the review you want to flag and remove pertains to any of the above said, you can report them and request for them to be removed.
How to Report and Remove a Bad Google Review
Step 2: Go to Reviews
You’ll see all your business reviews in this category. Find the review you want to flag.
Step 3: Flag the Review
Once you’ve found the review you need to flag, click on the three dots that appear at the top-most corner of the chosen review. Now click on “flag as inappropriate.”
Step 4: Choose the Reason for Removal
You will be led to a different page with the following box. Choose the reason you want to flag the review, and click on submit.
Now, you’ve successfully submitted your request to remove the bad Google review you received. The process will take some time before the moderators come to a decision as to whether or not your case qualifies for removal. Once the approval comes through, your review will be removed.
Think you can handle the situation without having to remove bad Google reviews?
It’s always best to try and resolve a bad situation to better your business’ reputation. So, to begin with, respond to the negative Google review within 24 hours, and try to get in touch with the reviewer. It can be overwhelming to draft up a response, hoping that it fully communicates how much you regret your customer’s bad experience. But, worry not! We’ve got just the thing for you. Try our easy-to-use review response templates to come up with a response to negative reviews.
Synup can help you manage your business reviews efficiently!With Synup, you can manage reviews across 48+ review directories, get notified with daily updates when you receive new business reviews, and respond to them from – all of this from ONE UNIFIED DASHBOARD!
Find out how we can help you optimize review management for your business’ growth.