Knowing how to delete a Google review is a useful skill for anybody who has ever had to deal with negative reviews on their Google My Business (GMB) listing (now called Google Business Profile).
These negative reviews can blemish your brand’s online reputation, especially if the reviews stand out in search results for your business on Google, or if they’re bringing your online ratings down.
Why Delete a Google Review?
Understandably, negative Google reviews can drive potential customers away. It makes sense for you to want to know how to remove a Google review if it is negatively impacting your reputation.
After all, traffic-wise, Google is the most popular website in the world. According to online reviews statistics, it’s also number 1 on the list of top business review sites. When customers share their negative experiences on Google, the results for brands can be crushing.
- 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business location — more than any other review site.
- Google is the number 1 source of online reviews, followed by Facebook. Websites that focus primarily on reviews like Yelp and Tripadvisor are not growing as much as the websites where consumers are likely to already have user accounts (such as Google and Facebook) and therefore experience less friction in reviewing businesses.
- 21% agree that Google reviews are one of the most important factors in their search for a local business, ranking them as more influential than price estimates, proximity, and search engine results pages (SERPs).
Check out the video below to learn more about how to delete a Google review and how the process can aid your reputation management efforts.
How to Delete a Google Review (that You Posted)
Anyone with a Google account can write reviews for places they’ve visited. These reviews appear on Google Maps as well as on the business’s Google listing.
As a user, you won’t be able to add an anonymous review on Google. All reviews are public, so anyone can see what you write. If you change your mind about a place you reviewed, you’ll be able to edit or delete the review while signed in to your Google account.
Step-by-Step Instructions: “How to Delete a Google Review I Posted”
- On your computer, open Google Maps.
- In the top left, click Menu. Then click “Your contributions” and choose “Reviews.”
- Next to the review you want to edit or delete, click “More.” Choose an option and follow the instructions.
How to Delete Google Reviews of Your Business
Let’s get this out of the way: when you log into your Google My Business account or Google Business Profile Manager, you won’t find a “Delete” button under every review that you want to remove. It isn’t that simple.
Most of the time, those that succeed in having reviews removed from their Google business listing are able to do so after a not-so-straightforward process.
Businesses can either 1) ask Google directly to remove fraudulent reviews or reviews that violate Google review policy or 2) ask the reviewer directly to delete their own review.
How to Flag or Remove a Google Review If It’s Fake or Violates Guidelines
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a business to receive fake reviews on Google.
These could come from a spammer or a direct competitor. Sometimes, they could come from a disgruntled former employee hoping to cause irreparable damage to your employer branding.
While Google has measures in place to remove fake and spammy reviews, you can also take steps to delete a Google review if you think it isn’t authentic, relevant, or useful. If you’re sure that its contents violate the Google review policy, you can try to delete the Google review by flagging it with these three steps:
- Sign in to Google My Business or Google Business Profile Manager.
- Choose your business location and click Reviews from the menu.
- Find the review you’d like to flag, click the 3-dot menu, then click Flag as inappropriate.
When to Flag a Google Review
For your reference, here are the types of reviews that would violate the Google review policy.
- Spam, fake, or duplicate Content: Google reviews should reflect a customer’s genuine experience at your business and should not be posted to manipulate your ratings. Duplicates (reviews posted for multiple locations or from multiple accounts) are also not allowed.
- Content with conflicts of interest: You cannot review your own business or your competitors in order to manipulate ratings.
- Off-topic content: Reviews should be based on a customer’s experience at your business location. “General political, social commentary, or personal rants” are not allowed and serve as grounds for a Google review being deleted or removed.
- Restricted and illegal content: Google can delete reviews that present or depict illegal activity. Reviews of products or services that are subject to controls (alcohol, gambling, tobacco, guns, etc.) must also follow local legal regulations and guidelines.
- Terrorist, sexually explicit, offensive, dangerous or derogatory content: Google deletes or removes reviews that are posted by terrorist organizations, contain sexually explicit material, contain obscene, profane, or offensive language, or incite hatred against or promote discrimination of specific individuals or groups.
Pro Tip: Respond to the Review Anyway
It may seem counter-intuitive to have to publicly respond to a Google review that you are flagging for removal.
Keep in mind, though, that responding to what may turn out to be a fake or fraudulent review is a great way to show other potential customers how you handle criticism (valid or not).
Remember: how your company responds to negative reviews and unsolicited feedback can have a greater impact on your reputation than what’s being said by the customer in the first place.
Here’s an example of how you can respond:
“Hi, (Reviewer’s Name), We take these matters very seriously. Unfortunately, we have no record or recollection of any customer or customer transaction fitting this account. We are also unable to verify anything about your identity from your name in our records. We take comments like yours seriously and would like to investigate this issue further. Will you please contact us privately? We’d love the chance to fix what might have gone wrong in your experience with us.”
How to Ask the Reviewer to Delete a Google Review
Anyone with a Google account can edit or delete a review they have written. But your customers might not know how exactly they can do this. Share these instructions to make it easy for them.
- The customer should open Google Maps on their computer or device.
- In the top left, click Menu (3 horizontal lines).
- Look for Your contributions, click, and then choose Reviews.
- Next to their review of your business, click More (3 dots).
- Choose an option (edit or delete) and follow the instructions.
Trying to Delete Google Reviews? Best Practices, Tips, and Alternative Solutions
There are ways to protect your brand’s online reputation without resorting to deleting Google reviews. Here are a number of best practices, tips, and alternative solutions that you can implement to minimize the impact of negative reviews on your Google listings.
Respond to the Review
Proactively addressing unsolicited feedback is the best way to strengthen and protect your online reputation, and the best way to do so is by responding to the consumer’s complaints.
Doing so means you have a better chance of not just resolving the issue, but also retaining them for future purchases. You can also potentially convince them to change or take down their review.
Even if you don’t, you’re showing those reading the review that you value feedback and take pride in correcting problems with every customer’s experience.
When trying to figure out how to respond to negative reviews, you should address specific issues raised in the review and let the reviewer know of your commitment to providing solutions. Also, be sure to thank the customer for taking the time to share their thoughts.
In the eyes of other potential customers, taking time to respond to reviews can also provide reassurance that your organization listens to the voice of the customer and is committed to effective customer experience management.
Reach Out to the Reviewer
If you think you’re able to satisfactorily resolve your customer’s issues, go ahead and ask them if they still feel negatively about your business. Make follow-up calls. Send an email. Invite them to return to your business location.
Have you won them over? If so, congratulations! They have the potential to become one of your most powerful business promoters.
Amplify the Positive — Request for More Reviews
A great offense can be your best defense. That’s why it’s important to develop a strategy around asking for reviews from other customers. Ideally, this will help you amplify positive feedback about your company while also drowning out the negative.
While some business review sites like Yelp frown upon business owners asking customers for feedback, other sites — including Google — allow you to reach out to customers for reviews. Knowing how to get Google reviews is easy because there are multiple ways to do so.
Request Reviews through Email or SMS
Do you collect customer email addresses or phone numbers at the point of sale or care? If so, then you can use that contact information to reach out to customers after they leave. Just make sure you get their permission to gather the information and tell them how you plan on using it.
Keep the message short and to the point, and add some personalization to show that you highly value their specific feedback. Be sure to provide a Google reviews link that will quickly take the customer to your Google Business Profile and make it easy for them to leave a review.
Use the Ask Tool from ReviewTrackers
The Ask Tool by ReviewTrackers is an online reputation management software feature that provides an intelligent workflow for teams looking to generate new reviews through SMS and email campaigns, on-site kiosks, and customizable landing pages.
With the Ask Tool, you can also automate follow-up with scheduled reminders and drip campaigns. Meanwhile, Ask Tool’s over-solicitation prevention technology helps you keep your email list clean.
How to Delete a Google Review and Build a 5-Star Reputation
Knowing what to do when you receive a negative review on Google can help you protect your online business reputation.
While there’s no simple or straightforward way to remove Google reviews that could potentially damage your reputation, following the steps outlined above can prepare you for situations where your business will benefit from having a review on Google deleted or edited.