For business owners, negative online reviews are the bane of their existence. You work so hard to get your business up and running and promote it properly online, working with SEO and creating regular quality content, only to find that those reviews you see when someone searches for you have dipped a star because someone had a bad experience.
If it’s something you’re genuinely at fault for it’s upsetting, but something you can work with. But what about when it’s undeserved? Your competition can use reviews to sabotage you, ex-employees can use them to get their rage out, and activists can use them to tank your rating for doing something they don’t approve of.
In these cases, you’re going to want to get that review removed ASAP. But will Google do it? How do you even contact them to try? It’s time to find out.
Five Types of Reviews You Can Remove
There are five categories of reviews that Google will review and remove for you. To get to the reviewing process simply flag the review. You’ll then be prompted to enter your email address and if Google requires follow-up information they’ll get in touch.
If there is mention of illegal activity within a review, then it will likely be removed from Google. Mentions of racist organizations may also be removed. In many cases these reviews are meant to purely be sensationalistic and bring down a business’s reputation rather than deal with a real problem. However, if there is a clear and strong case presented, Google may opt to leave the review up.
Anyone can claim that a review is fake and ask for it to be removed, so how does Google determine which is which? If one account reviews multiple similar businesses or if multiple accounts leave reviews on one business in quick succession these are good signs.
Negative reviews left by current or ex-employees of a company will be removed immediately. Another case of a biased review will be one account leaving you a negative review and leaving your direct competition a positive one. In most cases this is your competition doing the writing.
Mistakes happen, and so do glitches. A client from the business down the street could get prompted to review your company, think you’re someone else, and before you know it you’re learning about someone’s bad graphic design experience while you’re just over here trying to run your restaurant!
Reviews After Controversy
Social media is great for spreading information, but that information isn’t always positive. If your business has been part of a controversial news story that resulted in hundreds of negative reviews from people who have never been clients, Google will remove those reviews.
We hope that some of those examples were a relief to you. Online it can often feel like we’re left without anyone to protect us from negative comments, but in quite a few cases Google will do exactly that.
Have you had any other types of reviews removed from your page that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!