How to Remove Negative Reviews

Last Updated on August 29, 2023

Can you remove negative reviews from Google? The short answer is, yes, it is possible. Keep reading to learn the 4 steps to delete false reviews.

Customer reviews are an essential part of a successful business. Many potential customers will leverage the opinions of others before making purchases, and they will use reviews in their decision-making process. If your company or organization has bad reviews, they could be plaguing your business. Here’s how to remove negative reviews from Google and why it’s important.

Article Contents:

  1. Why are Google Reviews so Important?
  2. How to Respond to a Bad Review
  3. How to Tell if a Review Is Fake
  4. Removing Negative Reviews
  5. Burying Negative Online Reviews

How to Remove Negative Reviews

Why Are Google Reviews So Important? 

Potential customers heavily depend on review sites to trust a business. By reading information about previous customer experiences, new customers start to form their opinion based on others. 

Reviews Affect Purchasing Decisions

According to Medium, over 90% of online customers use online reviews to base their decision on whether or not to buy a product, and Google is a big part of the process.

Online Review Statistics

Reviews Affect Your Ability to Attract New Hires

Reviews can also affect new hires. Small Business Trends indicate that 83% of job seekers also look to online reviews of customers before applying to a new company. 

Bad Reviews of Online Visibility

Beyond what your consumers, Google factors reviews in its algorithm. Websites and businesses that boast great reviews can reap the benefits of better search rankings.

Whether reviews on Google, social media, or other platforms, your online reviews matter much more than you think. Read more about the importance of online reviews.

How to Respond to a Bad Review 

Bad reviews can happen. Negative reviews aren’t all that bad when they’re far and few between, especially if they are easily fixable with a simple response.

Best Practices:

  • Don’t ignore bad reviews
  • Get yourself on a calm mental state before responding
  • Respond as quickly and promptly as you can
  • Be cordial, understanding, and civil when responding
  • Don’t let your emotions get the best of you
  • Sympathize with unhappy customers
  • Remember, everyone can see your response online
  • Do what you can to make things better for the customer

Since reviews are often posted on public platforms, taking time to respond to negative reviews in a kind, insightful and timely manner can actually serve as a positive form of customer service. 

When bad reviews turn into a reputation crisis management situation, it is time to take serious action to address the ongoing issue.

How To Tell If A Review is Real or Fake 

Some business owners may encounter a situation where fake reviews are altering their online reputation and negatively affecting potential customers’ ability to trust the business entirely.

Reputation911 has developed an online review checker that can help you spot fake reviews, which is the first step to flagging the review and removing it for good. 

The negative online review checker is a free service from Reputation911 and can be used to check any suspicious reviews left on any review site. Learn more about how to spot fake reviews.

Removing Negative Reviews on Google

Many negative online reviews on Google end up being fake, but how can you detect fake online reviews, and what can you do once you find out?

If a business can prove that the online reviews are false, then contacting the review site directly is the best way to remove negative reviews

A few examples of being able to prove a Google review are fake could be:

  • a doctor’s office can show that they never had a patient by the reviewer’s name.
  • a restaurant owner can show that the reviewer’s IP address matches that of a nearby competitor.

Fake News

If the business owner recognizes the name of the customer who left the review, they could even have a customer service representative contact them to rectify whatever problem they had to have the reviewer remove the negative review.

How Do I Dispute a Google Review?

Sometimes bad reviews on Google can take a turn for the worst. Angry and upset customers may leave a negative online review, which substantially impacts your business’s online reputation.

Google reviews can leave a lasting impression on potential customers who are Googling your business’s name for the first time. If a bad review is the first thing a customer sees on your business listing, their opinion of your business will decrease drastically. 

As a business owner, you have the power to dispute any Google review that you feel violates Google’s policies to get the review removed. 

Sometimes, bad reviews can come from fraudulent accounts. An easy way to spot a fake reviewer is with multiple reviews posted on the same day, usually taking harsh hits to your business with very low stars. Unfortunately, fake Google reviews will leave negative reviews to sabotage a business.

Google’s Review Policy

The good news? Google has policies against these types of reviews, and you have the ability to take action against them.

Reviews are processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam.

  • Spam and fake content – reviews should not manipulate ratings.
  • Illegal content – related to any illegal activity, including infringement of others’ rights, sexual abuse, illegal acts and products, and images of violence.
  • Dangerous and Derogatory Content – incitement of hate, bullying or self-harm promotion.
  • Restricted content – gambling, alcohol, arms, adult and financial services, and health or medical offerings.
  • Off-topic content – reviews should not be not become forums for rants, social discussions or political conversations.
  • Conflict of Interest – self-promotion, or contain content about a current or past employment experience or about a competitor to manipulate their ratings. 
  • Impersonation – content attributed to another person, or that can be misleading or deceptive.
  • Offensive content – obscene language and gestures.
  • Explicit content – Explicit content is absolutely not permitted on Google reviews, particularly if it exploits children. 

4 Steps to Deleting a Google Review 

To dispute a Google review that is fake, misleading, or goes against Google’s policies, you can follow these steps to get a review removed:

  1. Pull up your business listing on Google maps to see a complete list of your reviews. 
  2. Make sure the fake review goes against Google’s policies for prohibited content considered spam, fake, restricted, illegal, explicit, offensive, derogatory, impersonated, or a conflict of interest. 
  3. Find the false review on Google and flag it as spam using the dots in the upper right-hand corner or the flag icon near the reviewer’s name.
  4. Choose the best reason for reporting the Google review (it will likely be spam, discrimination, or conflict of interest)

Burying Negative Online Reviews 

If removing a negative review is not an option, you can bury negative reviews. Some businesses feel consumers only pay attention to the overall score or only the most recent online reviews that the business has received. However, our research has shown that customers go through and read every or most online review a business has received when making a buying decision.

Reputation911 provides online review management services, using proven and effective strategies for business owners to increase the number of positive reviews written for their business while removing negative reviews that fake, false or misleading.

With an increase in online reviews, businesses not only reduce the impact of negative reviews but also have peace of mind that they are protected from fake negative reviews left in the future.

Get Professional Help to Remove Negative Google Reviews 

Since 80% of individuals have chosen not to walk into a specific business because of something they read about online, business owners must move quickly to remove negative reviews. Business owners, especially those who own small businesses, sometimes lack the time or resources to respond quickly enough.

Our review team specializes in recognizing fraudulent negative reviews and has several techniques to remove negative reviews. At the same time, our Engineering Team will work quickly to implement a system that works with your customers to increase the number of new reviews being written about your company.

Find out more about how Reputation911 can help you with online review management services and removing negative reviews. To fix your online reputation, fill out the form on the right side of this page or call us at 866-MY-REP-911. Explore more of our business reputation management services.

Free Consultation

About Reputation911

We are a reputation management company that helps to make you Look Good Online.