Google reviews can do great things for your business. They build trust with your potential clients, they provide useful feedback and, if you display reviews in your own website, they can increase your conversion and improve your search ranking.
But what happens when you get a bad review in Google? And even worst, what happens if that review is not completely honest, and has been posted with the intention to damage your business reputation?
Don’t worry. There are ways to remove reviews from Google for your business, and to protect yourself from fake, and dangerous, one-star reviews.
Reviews are valuable to Google only when they are reliable and honest, because its job as a search engine is to provide credible results to users. If your business receives a review that you consider inappropriate or that violates Google review policies, then you can flag it for removal from your Google My Business listing. After you flag a review, it’ll be assessed by Google and possibly remove.
How to flag a review in Google for removal
Follow these simple steps to flag a negative review:
On your desktop:
Sign in to your Google My Business account.
If you have more than one listing, choose the one that has the review that you wish to flag.
Click “Reviews” from the menu.
Find the review you’d like to flag, click “More” and then ”Flag as inappropriate.”
If you’re doing it from your mobile:
Open the My Business app.
Tap “Customers”, and then “Reviews”
Find the review you’d like to flag, tap “More” and then ”Flag review”
Can all Google reviews be removed?
No. The so called “permanent reviews” can’t be deleted.
Permanent reviews Google gives businesses a review score that can be found in some organic search results. The reviews that Google uses to calculate this aggregated review score, are called “verified reviews” (permanent reviews), meaning that they come from licensed review partners and can’t be deleted or removed.
What can I do if I flag a review but Google doesn’t remove it?
When you flag a review, Google will review it but may decide not to delete it. This is the main reason why you should know how to protect your business from fake reviews.
Here are some ideas:
Respond to a bad review Depending on the review and the situation, you may be able to mitigate the damage by simply responding to the review. A well-known salon got a fake bad review from a customer. What did they do? They responded with information that lessened its credibility: “We’ve checked our customer records and your name doesn’t appear as a client who has ever visited our salon.” By responding to reviews you also build trust with your customers and gain credibility with Google. Responding to reviews, therefore, can improve your SEO.
Actively collect more reviews The more reviews you have, the more you help increase your review score. The problem is that collecting reviews manually is laborious and time-consuming. Luckily, there are review management systems like innova that assist you with the review collection – saving you a lot of time and effort! You can collect new reviews by email and sms, and via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can also display nice widgets on your own website to actively ask for reviews to your visitors. Learn more and grab a free demo to protect your business against bad reviews.