Written by: Missy Williams
Published: 3 March, 2021
Have you come across a review on your Google My Business profile that doesn’t seem legitimate for your business, is wildly inappropriate, or just totally unrelated to what you do? I’m not just talking about negative reviews – though I’m sure most negative reviews don’t spark joy – bad reviews are honest customer experiences and shouldn’t be removed just because we don’t like them. However, in the case where a review is malicious or not related to your business, you may be able to successfully remove them since a review that isn’t relevant doesn’t represent your business appropriately. I’ll show you how in this post.
First and foremost, you should only report reviews that violate Google’s policies. Don’t report a review just because it’s negative or you don’t agree with it. Reporting too many reviews that don’t violate Google’s policies can limit Google from taking anything you report seriously. You know what they say about the boy that cried wolf? Also, if an account only has positive reviews, it can look fake. It's good to show you're real. Here’s a summary of the types content that can be reported:
Once you identify a review that violates Google’s policies, the process to flag a review for removal is pretty simple. You can either flag a review in Google Maps or in your own Google My Business account. If you have a Google My Business account, this method is recommended as it will show credibility as the owner reporting the issue to Google instead of just any user. You will also be able to see when changes are made to your listings. (Note: If you haven’t already verified your listing(s), I recommend you claim all your locations’ listings. This will allow you to manage and respond to reviews.) You can also report reviews on Google Maps and the process is very similar.
Keep in mind, it may take a few days for Google to review and remove a review, photo or video that violates their policies so be patient.
Now that you know how which reviews you can report and how to report them, you may be wondering how you can reduce or respond to negative reviews on your Google listings. To help keep negative reviews to a minimum, try your best to:
In addition to reducing negative reviews, you’ll also want to increase positive reviews. This will help your overall star rating increase and can move the bad reviews further down in your profile. Some ways to encourage more positive reviews are:
The best Google My Business profiles have a human element to them. If users see it’s not just a faceless company they are reviewing but actual people that are responding to reviews and actually listening to feedback, they are more likely to provide more positive reviews or at least take negative feedback off a public forum.
Need help managing your local SEO? Contact CRO:NYX Digital for a free consultation.
Missy is the Inbound Marketing Manager at CRO:NYX Digital with a strong focus on digital strategy, SEO, and social media. Driven by results, she takes pride in growing website traffic, conversions, and engagement for companies in a variety of industries.