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18 January 2021
Before booking a hotel to stay in or deciding on a place to eat, most of us (nearly 75% of people in fact) will first consult reviews online before taking action and deciding to book or make a purchase.
93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions and with Google being the go-to review site for potential customers (63%), one negative review could be detrimental to a potential sale.
That’s why you are here right? Have you found yourself asking the question, “How do I delete a negative review on my Google My Business account?”. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand that can instantly erase a review.
Google won’t let you remove a review simply because it’s negative because after all, the whole point of Google reviews is to provide consumers with unbiased feedback and evaluations from other customer experiences. If someone has a negative experience, Google wants others to be aware of the issues.
Positive and negative reviews help maintain authenticity amongst you and your competitors, as well as encouraging businesses to offer the best service possible to its consumers.
So, if you are looking to remove a review simply because they have said bad things about your company or the level of service they received, I’m afraid you're out of luck. The only time that you will be able to report a negative Google review is if it’s not legitimate.
There are a few occasions when requesting a Google review to be removed are warranted:
Google aims to only show authentic and accurate reviews. The last thing that they want to do is provide deceptive content to its users. If you feel like a review doesn’t apply to your business and what you offer, then you can flag this with Google to be removed.
If any reviews contain obscene language, includes any profanities or can be seen as threatening or derogatory, you are within your rights to flag them. Google will also remove content that is posted by terrorist groups, contains sexually explicit material, or incites hatred or discrimination against specific groups or individuals.
Google only wants genuine and unbiased reviews. Don’t post reviews for companies that you work for, own or have a close relationship with.
On the other side of the coin, don’t leave negative reviews for competitors to get a foothold in the market over them, as Google will not look kindly on you trying to manipulate appraisals in your favour.
It is also against Google guidelines to use incentives to encourage positive reviews, you can’t run any competitions or giveaways for any customers that leave you positive reviews. If you feel that a business or competitor is guilty of this, you have the right to flag this with Google.
If you feel that a review is guilty of any of the above issues, it is worth highlighting this. Start by:
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise that this process doesn’t tend to be quick. Even if Google does agree that the review should be removed, there is no telling as to when they will actually do this. To help speed up the process of deleting a Google review, you can do the following:
Because the whole process can be somewhat longwinded, it may be worthwhile responding to a review even if you know it is fake, even when you know it won’t solve any genuine problem.
By simply responding to a review, you are showing other potential customers that you can manage criticism and on occasion, your response may have greater sway over the audience than the actual review itself.
There is no doubt that the most effective way of dealing with a customer complaint is to respond to it. In fact, a recent Harris Survey highlighted that around 34% of customers who leave a negative review will remove them if the company responds to the issue flagged. Around 33% will then replace it with a positive review.
This is highlighting how you can turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal customer and even brand advocate.
Often when a customer is happy with your response, they will sometimes not think to remove the initial review. On these occasions, it can be beneficial to reach out to the person, thank them for acknowledging the reply and ask in light of your response, if they would be happy to alter or remove their initial negative review. If you decide to go down this route, do not across as demanding.
The timing of your response matters. People are growing ever more impatient and they want their issues addressed quickly. Keep up to date with reviews on your Google My Business account and ensure you respond quickly & accordingly.
It is important to take notes of problems and issues that are flagged to ensure you take the appropriate actions to correct are taken moving forward. This can then help prevent other reviews with a similar complaint being posted.
Not only this, but it offers you the opportunity to tell the customer you have addressed the initial problem in the hope that they will try out your product/service again.
There is no guarantee that this will work for every customer that leaves a negative review. However, it promotes the idea that you genuinely care about your customers which will only help increase your brand's reputation.
Brand Optimisation is an area that you should look to focus your SEO efforts on moving forward & looking after your Google My Business page is a great place to start. If you need any assistance with this, or other organic ranking factors, touch base with our SEO team today!