Is there a way to remove or delete a Google review?
It’s a question that we here at ReviewTrackers have been asked numerous times, by customers and readers alike. And it’s a question that’s typically asked with some measure of frustration: after all, if you’re managing a business, a negative review on Google can blemish your online reputation, especially if the review stands out in a search result for your business on Google.
Why Delete a Google Review?
According to our online reviews survey, Google is dominating the online review market.
- 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.
- 21 percent 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 even search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Google has also become the No. 1 site for online reviews (followed by social media platform Facebook), reinforcing the industry trend where sites that focus 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).
Understandably, a negative review on Google can drive your business’ potential customers away. With such a powerful platform — and, traffic-wise, the most popular website in the world — allowing customers to share their negative experiences to others, the results can be crushing.
How to Delete a Google Review
Let’s get this out of the way: when you log into your Google My Business account in order to manage your online reviews, you won’t find a “Delete” button under every review that you want to remove. It isn’t that simple.
(No Google My Business account yet? Read our guide on how to claim your business on Google.)
Most of the time, businesses that succeeded in having online reviews deleted or edited on Google were able to do so after a very particular, not-so-straightforward process.
Hopefully, this blog post can help guide you through that process. Read on for ways to delete a Google review.
Win over the customer — then ask them to edit their review
As we always tell our customers here at ReviewTrackers, addressing customer feedback head-on is the best way to strengthen and protect your online reputation.
Respond to the review. If you respond to the review, you have a better chance of keeping the customer as opposed to if you never responded to the review.
Address specific issues raised by the reviewer and let them know that you’re committed to providing solutions. And don’t forget to thank the customer for taking the time to share their thoughts; their feedback is extremely valuable to your business, pointing you in the right direction and helping you improve the kind of customer experience you deliver.
In the eyes of other potential customers, a public response to a negative review can also provide reassurance that your business cares, listens to the voice of the customer, and deals with problems.
Reach out and ask if they still feel the same way. If you think you’re able to satisfactorily resolve your customer’s issues, go ahead and ask them if they still 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.
Request 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. Here’s how, as described in a Google support page:
- Customer opens 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.
Fake review? Respond anyway — then ask Google for help
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a business to receive a fake Google review.
It could be from a spammer or a direct competitor; it could even be a disgruntled former employee hoping to cause irreparable damage on your employer brand.
To combat this, try to determine 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, and useful.
Flag the review. If you’re sure that its contents violate review policies, make attempts to delete the Google review by flagging it. Here’s how:
- 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.
Respond anyway. It sounds incredibly frustrating, not to mention 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. But here’s the thing: responding to fake reviews shows other potential customers how you handle criticism (valid or not).
Remember: how your business responds to negative customer 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, courtesy of Whitespark, of how you can respond to a fake Google review:
Hi, (Reviewer’s Name), We take these matters very seriously. Unfortunately, we have no record or recollection of any customer experience fitting this account, nor can we verify anything about your identity from your name in our records. If you were a client of ours , 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 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. Develop a strategy around generating more reviews. 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.
Create a link for customers to write reviews on Google. Read this blog post for step-by-step instructions.
Download the printable review handout generator. Fill out the form on the page to generate the printable handout in PDF form. After you enter your business information, the handout will be emailed to you, and it will come with easy instructions for your customers on how to leave reviews of your business on Google.
Use Ask with ReviewTrackers. This software feature includes an intelligent workflow set to help you generate new reviews through email campaigns, SMS, on-site kiosks, and customizable landing pages. Looking to optimize results that you need? Automate the follow-up with scheduled reminders and drip campaigns. Don’t worry: 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. Sure, there’s no simple or straightforward way to remove a review that could potentially damage your reputation. But following the tips and tricks above can prepare you for situations where you can benefit from having a review on Google deleted or edited.