We all know that Google is the place to go if you want to find anything. And when you want to find reviews of a local restaurant, a hotel, or anything else, Google will be your first port of call.
For businesses, Google My Business is a fantastic tool that can help highlight your business to customers and clients who could make the most of your products and services. But if your name is muddied with bad reviews, it can be enough to send potential customers elsewhere.
So how can you get rid of bad reviews on Google? We explain in more detail to help your business shine online.
Why would you want to delete a Google review?
You work hard to provide your customers with high quality products and services. Good reviews are key for helping people to make decisions, especially when it comes to buying things or researching online.
Typically, the bad reviews are the ones that can stand out to a potential customer. Even amongst all the positive reviews, a bad review could be a big turn off. With Google being the top online reviews website, you can be sure that a high proportion of your potential customers will visit Google to suss you out. 91% of young consumers trust online reviews, which is why it’s important your reviews reflect you positively.
Getting rid of your bad reviews boosts your profile, helping to make sure that people who find you on Google get a positive impression.
Is it possible to get rid of a bad Google review?
While you may be eager to get rid of those bad Google reviews, it’s not as simple as hitting the ‘Delete’ button – because there isn’t one! As a reviewer, you can change or delete your review anytime, but as the business on the receiving end of the bad review, you can’t simply delete it. Being given free rein to delete bad reviews would defeat the point of the platform, as everyone would always be shown in the most positive light.
But just because you can’t directly delete a bad review from Google, doesn’t mean that you don’t have options to improve your profile.
Some tips for getting rid of a bad Google review
So if you can’t delete a bad Google review, what options do you have instead? Below we detail some of the ways you can resolve some bad reviews and have them removed from your profile.
Reach out and resolve the issue
Addressing a bad review is one way you can take positive action and improve the way your business is perceived by others.
The first thing you can do is to respond to the review. If a reviewer has addressed some specific concerns, this can be an effective way of helping to resolve them. You can thank them for their feedback and offer solutions that can help ensure the customer’s experience then becomes a positive one.
If you can come to a positive resolution, you could then ask the customer to change or remove their review.
It’s important to learn how to respond to online reviews effectively. This shows both potential and existing customers that you are a reputable business that cares about its customers, and takes that extra step to making sure they’re happy.
Keep an eye out for fake reviews
While it’s not possible to leave an anonymous review on Google, it doesn’t mean that everyone who writes reviews is genuine and trustworthy. While it’s not always easy to separate the genuine reviews from the fakes, you can generally work it out.
Whether your fake review has come from a spammer, a competitor or someone with a vendetta against you or your business, if you spot a fake review, you can take steps to get it removed by clicking to ‘Flag as inappropriate’. Google has a strict review policy, and will remove reviews that break the policy, such as:
- Fake, spam or duplicate content
- Off-topic content
- Conflicts of interest (such as reviews from your own company)
- Illegal and restricted content
- Content deemed to be Terrorist, Sexually Explicit, Offensive, Dangerous or Derogatory
Another option is to respond to the review. Even though you suspect that the review is fake, the fact that you respond to all reviews will sit well with customers. You can explain that you have no record of the events described and invite them to contact you to discuss the issue so that you can get it resolved. Nothing may come of it, but at least you’ve put it out there for everyone to see.
Ask your customers to leave reviews
While bad reviews can get you down, it’s important to focus on earning good reviews, and encouraging customers to leave them. The more positive views you receive, the better your average will be, while your rankings will also improve.
There are a lot of different ways you can encourage customers to leave Google reviews, including:
- A follow-up email after a successful purchase.
- Through your social media. You can do this as a proactive post, or respond to comments where someone has commented on the service or products they’ve received.
- If you deal with customers over the phone, you could ask them during a conversation to leave a review.
- If you’ve sent a product through the mail, include a reminder to review the service they’ve received.
You can create a custom link for customers to leave Google reviews, which will help speed up the process for the customer. With a direct link, they won’t have to search for your business and can get started with the review straight away.
Receiving a negative review can be disappointing, especially when you strive to provide excellent service to your customers. While you can’t delete a Google review easily, what you can do is respond and acknowledge to try and resolve the situation. Taking positive action can preserve your online reputation, helping you build up a positive presence online.