Removing Negative Google Reviews
Removing a negative Google review is a much more complicated process than simply clicking a delete button. There are three approaches for removing negative Google reviews; each involves a different process in the way you respond to negative comments.
When you come across negative Google reviews, you will probably want to immediately remove each bad comment you receive; however, it’s not recommended because taking action to delete every negative review can be seen by potential clients as ignoring customer feedback or failing to acknowledge clients’ inputs. Instead, you will want to determine the best way to approach negative reviews, and you can address them one of three ways: respond, flag, or report.
Respond to the Review
While most negative Google reviews simply do nothing more than poorly reflect your business, of course, there are a handful of harmful negative reviews that require a process through Google to remove due to the specific nature of the content. If this is the case, then it’s best to approach the situation delicately and respond reassuringly to the reviewer.
By taking the initiative to respond to negative Google reviews, you’re actually doing your business a favor. When companies respond to clients and work to resolve the issues they have faced in relation to your product or service, they present themselves in a favorable light to future consumers. Potential customers reading reviews about your business, for example, will see that you took the time to work with your clients and address the negative experiences they have presented. Responding to negative comments suggests to potential clients that your business prides itself on high-quality customer service.
To effectively respond to a negative review on Google, approach the situation lightly by answering the reviewer with acknowledgment of their issue and proposing solutions to resolve it. Most of the time, a simple and direct response will help the reviewer feel more assured and confident in your business. Sometimes — but not always — when you meet clients’ needs and put them first, they will remove their negative review.
Flag the Review
Toxic comments where a reviewer highlights several issues with your business or negatively expresses disappointment in your product or service will not benefit from a direct response. These highly inappropriate or fake reviews will — usually — damage your reputation and weaken your brand. Negative reviews as such will need to be addressed as quickly as possible. The first step to take is to flag these toxic comments.
When you flag a review, you are initiating the process for removing them as soon as possible through Google. It’s important to take note, however, that comments flagged for removal must infringe upon Google’s policy. Simply flagging a comment won’t remove them from your page. Due to the high volume of flagged comments every day, Google has a specific method for responding to them. Your flagged reviews may take some time before they are actually removed from your page.
For a faster removal process of a negative Google review, try bringing the comment to Google’s attention by persuading other users to also flag the review. This method may work if a comment presents adverse effects to your business and needs to be deleted promptly.
Report the Review
Google reviews beyond high toxicity that can be detrimental to your business should be reported to the Google My Business Help center. These types of comments include inappropriate or false reviews that need to be urgently addressed. Keep in mind that when you submit your report to Google My Business Help, it may take up to 24 hours for someone to try and respond to you. To report and remove a negative review, click here.
Before you consider submitting a report, gather all necessary information regarding the comment and purpose for removal thereof for when a Google representative contacts you. Presenting necessary information will help Google My Business Help in deciding whether to remove your reported comment.
Hire a Reputation Management Company
If you’re unsure of where to begin with tackling a negative Google review or are unable to handle the process of getting rid of it, then you may want to work with a reputation management company. Reputation management companies help businesses maintain a positive and healthy online image by ensuring their online presence and reputation matches their products and services. Many reputation management companies utilize different methods to clean up negative reviews online, including replacing web content that is defamatory or unflattering with positive material. They can assist with writing blog posts, oversee your online reviews, and update your social media with beneficial information that will boost your online image and improve your reputation.
If you see a negative review of your brand, products, or services on your Google business page, then try to first respond to the reviewer through a simple acknowledgment of the issue and ways to resolve it so it leaves the client satisfied. When negative comments become toxic or detrimental to your business’ reputation, consider flagging the review or reporting it for removal. Be mindful, however, that these processes may take longer than expected and wouldn’t be as favorable to your business as responding to the reviewer. If you feel that you’re unable to handle the process of getting rid of your Google review, try hiring a local reputation management company to assist you.