Getting reviews of your business is an essential part of building an online reputation. One of the most popular platforms for reviews is on your Google My Business (GMB) page, where people can see the nature of your business, your location, contact information, and reviews.

However, what happens when you get an inappropriate review, such as a fake review or even one that uses offensive language? You can have the review removed by making a request with Google. Here’s how to successfully submit a review removal request on Google My Business.

Google Will Only Take Down a Review If It Violates Their Policy

Google will only consider removing a review if it violates Google’s policies. Google won’t take down a review just because it’s negative or you disagree with what the person said in the review. Whether the review contains text, photos, or videos, Google will remove the content if the review:

  • Is fake or off-topic
  • Contains personal contact information or links to websites where people can purchase restricted goods and services
  • Is promotional in nature
  • Contains sexual or violent images or images of illegal products
  • Advocates for harm to oneself or others
  • Is from someone pretending to be someone else
  • Contains offensive language
  • Is considered harassment or bullying
  • Are from current or former employees or competitors

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for businesses to get spam reviews containing some of this prohibited content that violates Google’s policy. In that case, it’s relatively simple to flag the review for Google to remove it.

How to Flag a Review for Removal

You can request that Google remove the review in question in a few ways. In a Google search, locate the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the review. When you click on these dots, Google will give you the option to report the review.

Once you click “Report review”, Google will ask why you are reporting it. It gives you reasons to choose from, such as the review is spam, off-topic, contains profanity, is bullying or harassment, discrimination, or includes personal information.

If a review violates Google policy for more than one of these reasons, you can flag the review once for each violation. You can also access the review through Google Maps, and the process is the same. 

Google does have automated spam detection to remove spam reviews automatically, so the review may be removed without you doing anything. However, don’t wait if you notice a fake or inappropriate review—flag it right away.

What to Do If Google Will Not Remove the Review

If Google doesn’t consider the review to violate any of their policies, they may not remove it. In this case, it’s essential to have a plan to manage the review on your own.

Post a response. Be polite and positive and offer to assist the person in whatever way possible if it is, in fact, an honest review of your business.

The person who posted the review can delete it, and working with the person to resolve the problem may increase the chances that they delete it.

Need Help With Online Reputation Management?

Building and maintaining an online reputation isn’t easy, especially when it only takes a few seconds for people to leave negative or inappropriate reviews that can hurt your business. Are you struggling to maintain your online reputation? Contact Gazz Consulting today to learn how we can help you uphold your image online.