Is there a way to remove or delete a Google review?
It’s a frequently asked question particularly for businesses with negative online reviews on their Google My Business listing. A negative review on Google can blemish your online reputation, especially if the review stands out in search results.
Quick tip: If you’re not yet using GMB, read our Google My Business guide to learn how to create or claim your listing.
Why Delete a Google Review?
Understandably, a negative review on Google can drive potential customers away. It makes sense for you to want to remove a Google review if it is negatively impacting your reputation.
Traffic-wise, Google is the most popular website in the world. It’s also the top online review website, according to customer reviews research:
- 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.
- Google is the No. 1 site for online reviews, followed by Facebook. Sites focusing primarily on reviews like Yelp and Tripadvisor are seeing less growth than sites where consumers are likely to already have user accounts, and therefore experience less friction in leaving reviews of 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).
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.
For Businesses: How to Delete Google Reviews
What if you’re managing a business on Google and you want to remove a negative review? Is this possible, what are the steps required, and how long does it take to delete a Google review?
Here’s the thing: you won’t find a “Delete” button under every review that you want to remove. It isn’t that simple. Most of the time, businesses that succeed in having online reviews deleted or edited on Google are able to do so after a very particular, not-so-straightforward process.
Let us guide you through it. Here are the most effective ways to delete a Google review:
Win Over the Customer — then Ask Them to Edit their Review
Proactively addressing unsolicited feedback is the best way to strengthen and protect your online reputation. It’s also an effective strategy if you’re looking to delete a Google business review.
Respond to the Review
If you respond to the review, you have a better chance of keeping the customer. You’re also more likely to succeed in getting them to change or take down their review.
You should address specific issues raised by the reviewer and let them know you’re committed to providing solutions. Be sure to thank the customer for taking the time to share their thoughts. Their feedback can point you in the right direction and help you improve the customer experience.
In the eyes of other potential customers, knowing how to respond to negative reviews can also provide reassurance that your business listens to the voice of the customer and is committed to customer experience management.
Reach Out and Ask if They Still Feel the Same Way
If you think you’re able to resolve your customer’s issues, ask them if they still feel negatively about your business. You can do so by making follow-up calls, sending a follow-up email, or inviting 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.
Ask Them to Edit or Delete Their 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 step-by-step 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.
Is It a Fake Review? Respond — then Ask Google for Help
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a business to receive fake reviews on Google. These could come from a spammer, direct competitor, or a disgruntled former employee hoping to cause irreparable damage on your brand.
To combat this, you should work on determining the authenticity of the reviews you get on Google, even if the nature of your business may not lend itself to easily identifying all your past customers.
While Google has spam detection 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.
Flag the Review and Contact Google Business Support
If you’re sure that its contents violate the Google review policy, make attempts to delete the Google business review by flagging it:
- Sign into Google My Business.
- 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.
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.
It may seem futile to have to respond to a fake review on Google. Your response won’t solve an actual problem, if indeed the review is fake.
Remember, however, that responding to fake reviews also shows other potential customers how you handle criticism, valid or not. In general, your responses 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 to a fake Google review:
Hi (Reviewer’s Name), We take comments like yours very seriously. Unfortunately, we have no record of any incident with a customer as described in the review. We are also unable to verify your identity from the names of customers in our records. If you were indeed a customer, we would like to investigate this issue further. Please contact (Team Member’s Name) immediately at (Email Address) so that we can resolve this issue immediately.
Find Ways to Speed Up the Process
Apart from flagging the review using your Google My Business dashboard, you can also expedite the process of deleting a Google review by requesting callback, requesting chat, or emailing Google My Business support. Here’s how:
- On Google My Business, click Menu, scroll down and look for Support.
- A popup will appear, look for Contact Us, and click Need More Help.
- Choose Customer Reviews and Photos > Manage Customer Reviews.
- Choose from any of the three contact options: request callback, request chat, or email support.
Amplify the Positive — Request for More Reviews
A great offense can be your best defense, so we recommend you develop a strategy around proactively asking for reviews from customers. Hopefully, this helps you amplify positive feedback about your company, while also drowning out the negative.
While some 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.
Request Reviews through Email
Do you collect customer email addresses at the point of sale or care? If so, then you’ll quickly realize that email is one of the most effective ways to get Google reviews.
If you’re sending a message to your customers, be sure to add a link to your Google business listing so that it will only take them a few clicks to share their experience.
Create a Google Review Link
It’s easy to create a unique review link that encourages customers to review your business on Google. You can share this link on your social media accounts, in email and SMS campaigns, customer surveys, and even printed collateral like receipts and feedback cards.
For step-by-step instructions, read our guide to creating a Google review link.
Use the Ask Tool from ReviewTrackers
The Ask Tool is a reputation management software feature that includes an intelligent workflow to help you generate new reviews through email campaigns, SMS, on-site kiosks, and customizable landing pages.
With this feature, you can also automate the follow-up with scheduled reminders and drip campaigns. Meanwhile, Ask Tool’s over-solicitation prevention technology helps you keep your email list clean.
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 a review 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.