How To Remove Negative Reviews From Google

Last Updated on April 23, 2024

how to remove negative google reviews Customer feedback is essential for any business to succeed. However, when people can publicly air their grievances online, they might leave some nasty comments about your business. Bad reviews mean that more customers turn away from your business, but you can remove them. In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to remove negative reviews from Google.

Why Are Google Reviews So Important? 

Reviews are important for a number of reasons, and they are particularly important on Google. By far, Google is the most-used review site for people to evaluate local businesses.

which review sites do customers use

81% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses. (BrightLocal).

Since most people go to Google to make buying decisions, you should focus your attention there. You want people to see an accurate representation of your brand. Here are some other reasons why Google ratings are important:

Influence purchasing decisions

Shoppers rely heavily on online ratings when making purchasing decisions. This is true for online purchases, as well as in-store buys. According to PowerReviews, 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchasing decisions. Furthermore, 57% of shoppers read them while in-store to assess potential purchases.

An abundance of positive feedback might just sway a potential customer into buying from you. But, anything negative will deter them from choosing your brand.

Get free marketing

Every customer review is essentially a form of free advertising for your products or services. Reviews might even help your marketing efforts even more than paid ads. That’s because word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of advertising.

92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising (The Social Media Hat). Plus, 86% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family (Status Labs).

This works because of a concept called social proof. It basically means that, when we see other people doing something, we learn from their behavior and copy it. When a customer sees that others have purchased a product and were happy with it, they want to purchase the product too.

Attract new hires

Reviews don’t just influence customers; they also affect your ability to attract the right talent for your company. Potential candidates check sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and even forum sites to research employers.

According to a survey from Software Advice, 52% of respondents use Glassdoor at some point in their job search. Nearly half read employee feedback before they even start the job seeking process to narrow down their search.

the importance of employee review sites

More than half of jobseekers use Glassdoor to research potential employers. They mostly want to know about compensation and benefits. However, they also look for things like work/life balance, culture, values, and career opportunities.

Nearly half of respondents also said they only take comments written in the last 6 months into consideration. So, to attract your dream team, work on getting better feedback about your company on employer review sites.

Boost search visibility

Beyond what your consumers think, Google also factors reviews in its algorithm. To reap the benefits of better search rankings, aim for an abundance of recent, positive feedback. This helps people find you in local search queries and Google Maps. In turn, this will drive more organic traffic to your website.

To get more of this positive feedback, sometimes just asking customers is enough. According to Bright Local, 69% of consumers recall leaving a business review when prompted.

how to get more reviews

To get more reviews, try just asking your customers to leave feedback! 69% of consumers recall leaving a business review when prompted.

Can You Remove Bad Google Reviews?

Yes, you can remove bad Google reviews. However, the catch is that they must violate a Google policy for them to remove it. Google will not remove the review just because you disagree with it or don’t like it. Google doesn’t involve themselves in disagreements between owners and customers.

In cases like this, it is better to direct your focus to responding to the review rather than trying to remove it.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Google Review?

Owners do not have to pay anything to remove a Google review. However, there is no guarantee that Google will take the review down. Contact Google to report the review if you believe it violated one of their policies.

If you are having trouble removing your negative Google reviews, consider hiring a professional review management service. Check out our blog post about reputation management costs for more information.

Will Deleting My Google Business Account Delete The Reviews?

Unfortunately, no, people can still see your reviews even after you delete your Google My Business profile. In fact, it is actually a lot harder to manage or delete them if you delete your account. Instead of deleting your profile, focus on attracting more positive feedback.

How Do I Turn Off Reviews On Google?

Google does not allow owners to disable reviews on their Google My Business profile. However, Google may temporarily block them if you get a lot of bad ones in a short time, as this may be spam.

Since you can’t disable reviews, focus on creating a positive experience by responding to them professionally.

Replying To Bad Reviews

Bad reviews happen to every business, and they can be a real nuisance. But, you can fix the situation if you know how to reply in the right way. Here are some tips for responding to bad reviews:

  • Don’t ignore negative customer criticism. Ignoring it will only make people think that you don’t value the customer experience. In fact, 88% of customers are more likely to use a business to respond to all their reviews (BrightLocal). Customers are actually more likely to use a business that only responds to negative feedback vs a business that doesn’t respond to it at all.
  • Get yourself in a calm mental state before responding. Don’t get defensive or confrontational, as this will only damage your reputation further.
  • Respond as quickly and promptly as you can. Quick replies show that you emphasize customer service, so aim to respond in 24-48 hours.
  • Be cordial, understanding, and civil when responding. Always be professional to show that you respond to criticism gracefully. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
  • Sympathize with unhappy customers and acknowledge their concerns.
  • Do what you can to make things better for the customer, and try to resolve the issue as much as you can.
the importance of replying to reviews

According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers are more likely to use a business that responds to all of their reviews. Less than half will use a business that doesn’t respond to review at all.

Remember, everyone can see your response online, not just the customer you are responding to. Taking the time to respond to negative criticism can actually serve as a positive form of customer service. If you can turn the customer’s experience around, they might even amend their review.

Some negative feedback might actually be a good thing, believe it or not. According to PowerReviews, 46% of shoppers are suspicious of products with an average 5/5 star rating. Having too perfect of a rating might equally indicate fake reviews as much as having too many bad ratings. 

Negative criticism can quickly turn into a reputation crisis management situation. In this case, you must act to address the ongoing issue.

How To Spot A Fake Review 

Fake reviews can be a huge detriment to business, and they are on the rise. In 2023, Google blocked or removed over 170 million reviews that violated their policies – 45% more than in 2022. Spam reviews can alter your online reputation (usually for the worse) and affect potential customer’s trust in you.

It can be hard to spot fake or spam reviews, but it is vital that you report them. If you aren’t sure if a review is fake or not, use our free online review checker.

What Is Google’s Review Policy?

Before you report a review on your Google Business Profile, you must understand Google’s review policy. As a business owner, you can’t delete reviews simply because you don’t like them. The review has to meet certain criteria for Google to remove it.

Google conducts a manual review process to determine whether or not they will delete a review. Familiarize yourself with prohibited and restricted content on Google so you don’t waste your time.

Prohibited content includes:

  • Fake engagement
  • Impersonation
  • Misinformation
  • Misrepresentation
  • Harassment
  • Hate speech
  • Personal information
  • Obscenity/profanity
  • Violence/gore
  • Child endangerment
  • Advertising/solicitation
  • Defacement/mischief
  • Any content that is offensive, adult-themes, sexually explicit, restricted, dangerous, terrorist, off-topic, or gibberish and repetitive

If you believe that a review contains any content from this list, go to the next section to learn how to report it.

7 Steps to Delete Google Reviews

Receiving negative reviews on Google can have a huge impact on your business’s online reputation. You can’t remove every bad review, but many times, bad criticism can come from fake or spam accounts.

As a business owner, you have the power to dispute any Google review that you feel violates Google’s policies. If you have comments like this, follow these steps to delete them:

  1. Sign into your Google Business account.
  2. Navigate to Google Maps and search for your business.
  3. Click on your listing and click on the “Reviews” section to see all your feedback.
  4. Select the review that you believe does not meet Google’s guidelines. (Scroll up to read the review policy and make sure the review actually violates the guidelines).
  5. Click on the three dotted button at the top-right corner of the review. This will take you to a separate “Report Review” page.
  6. Select the reason that you want to report the review, and then click the “Submit” button.

    how to report a review on google

    Select the best reason for reporting a Google review, such as low quality information, fake or deceptive content, not helpful, etc.

  7. Wait for Google to conduct their manual review process. This usually takes a few days before you see the review removed. 

What To Do If You Can’t Delete A Bad Review

Removing negative criticism isn’t always an option, but you do have another option. In a previous article, we taught you how to bury negative Google search results, and guess what? Reviews are no different.  With the right strategy, you can suppress or bury the bad feedback that you can’t delete.

Use these tips:

Increase your positive reviews

To bury negative reviews, you have to get even more positive ones. As we said earlier, a majority of customers will leave a review if you prompt them to. You can do this at check-out, or via email after an online purchase, or through a follow-up message.

Make it as easy as possible for customers to leave feedback. Provide them with direct links to review pages in emails, on receipts, or in text messages.

Address good and bad reviews

Reply promptly and professionally to every bad review. Apologize if necessary and try to resolve the situation offline. On the flip-side, thank each customer that leaves a good review. This shows your customers that you appreciate them, and encourages even more satisfied customers to leave reviews.

Improve your services based on feedback

No business owner likes to read negative reviews. However, they can provide you with valuable feedback that you need to improve your products or services. If several comments mention the same issue, make sure to address the problem.

After you make improvements based on review feedback, make sure to tell your customer about it. Sometimes, this can turn critics into brand advocates.

Offer quality customer service

Be proactive about negative reviews by reaching out to potential customers to resolve issues before they escalate. Teach your staff about the importance of customer feedback. Give them the training they need to effectively handle complaints.

Leverage social proof

Use your website and social media accounts to showcase positive customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies. This can offset the visibility of negative criticism. Consider partnering with influencers who can endorse your brand in an authentic way.

To learn more about leveraging social proof, check out our social listening guide for brands.

Monitor your online reputation

Staying on top of reviews is so important for businesses. Plenty of tools exist to help you monitor mentions across all review platforms, like Google Alerts. Make sure to keep your business information up to date, and stay active on review sites and social media platforms. Having an active online presence can mitigate the damage of bad feedback.

Conclusion: Get Professional Help to Remove Negative Google Reviews 

Customer feedback, whether good or bad, has a huge effect on businesses, but don’t let it stand in the way of your brand’s success. Use these tips to remove negative reviews, or suppress them if you can’t delete them.

When dealing with poor ratings, sometimes it is best left to the experts. Reputation911 provides online review management services. We use proven strategies to increase positive reviews while removing or suppressing the negative. We monitor your reputation so you can focus on what’s important – your business.

free reputation consultation

Learn more about how Reputation911 can help you with review management and improving your business reputation. We post weekly reputation management blogs to help businesses like yours navigate their online presence. Contact us for a free consultation, and we will create a custom plan to manage your reputation.

About The Author

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William DiAntonio is the Founder & CEO of Reputation911, a reputation management firm he founded in 2010 that has earned the trust of its clients for over a decade by helping individuals, businesses and brands control their online search results.

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We have helped thousands of individuals and businesses remove and suppress negative content and unwanted search results since 2010.