Are you a small business owner with an online presence? If so, you’re likely already aware of how negative Google reviews can affect your bottom line.
The main issue with negative reviews is that they stand out. Even if you have hundreds of positive reviews, one well-written negative impression will make an impact. It won’t tank your brand, but it can cause you to lose potential customers to your competitors.
Seems unfair, right? Well, good news: you can do something about it! Here are three time-proven ways to remove negative reviews from Google.
Get Rid of an Inappropriate Review
There are ten types of content that Google won’t allow in their reviews. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Illegal content
- Fake and spam content
- Offensive content
- Sexually explicit content
- Conflict of interest
- Terrorist content
- Derogatory and dangerous content
- Restricted content
If someone writes a review that includes some of the above content, you can request to have it removed. Go to Google My Business, open the right listing, and go to Reviews. Then, click More > Flag as inappropriate.
You can also flag reviews from your phone! Open the My Business app, and head to Customers > Reviews > More > Flag review.
Once you’ve flagged the review, all that’s left is to wait. Google’s content review team can take a few days to assess bad online reviews.
Ask a Customer to Edit a Review
If the review isn’t inappropriate, you’re better off asking the customer to edit or delete it.
To do this, you’ll need to understand what made the customer upset in the first place. Then, respond by saying you understand their frustration. If it’s possible to fix the issue, guarantee that you’ll do so as soon as you can.
With some luck, the customer will respond and you’ll engage in a conversation. Talk about what went wrong and how you can mend your relationship. Once you’ve fixed the issue, you can politely ask them to edit their review.
If they refuse to edit the review—or don’t respond at all—consider contacting a reputation management company. Many of them offer guaranteed removals of any negative content about your business!
File a Legal Removal Request
Your final option to remove bad reviews on Google is to file a removal request.
This will only work in some cases, i.e. if a review slanders you or your brand. Slander is illegal in the U.S., so this is grounds for removal. Keep in mind that Google takes legal removal requests very seriously, so only do this if you’re sure you have a case.
To report a review, go to Google’s content removal tool and select Google My Business. Google will then ask you questions about your request and this specific review. Answer them as accurately as possible and wait for the response.
More on How to Remove Negative Reviews From Google
As you can see, it’s not easy to remove negative reviews from Google. Like most other difficult things in life, though, it’s worth doing. Consumers place a lot of trust in online reviews, so maintaining them can be crucial to the success of your business.