Reviews are the foundation of modern commerce. According to statistics, 95% of consumers read online reviews before they shop. 58% also state that they pay closer attention to brands with good reviews. However, getting consistently good reviews is often a hurdle for most businesses.
The problem arises when a few unscrupulous users post bad reviews on your Google My Business page. Bad reviews translate to bad business, and you must weed out any unwarranted negativity or foul language from your business’s page.
But how do you do it?
Here’s how you can delete a Google review and when you should consider doing it.
Google reviews, also known as Google customer reviews, is a service or feature offered by Google that allows its users to post their experience with a business publicly. The service is integrated directly within Google My Business, Google Maps, and Google search.
Google reviews have a massive influence on e-commerce, with data showing that 59% of online consumers use it to read reviews and judge a business.
The Google review site often looks similar to other online review sites, though there are several methods you can use to identify if the review you’re reading is a Google review or not. Typically, a Google review will contain the following elements:
It’s counterintuitive considering to delete a Google review, especially knowing that users prefer authentic reviews over fake ones generated by the business. Moreover, they won’t trust a business with exceedingly positive reviews.
So, why should you consider flagging or deleting a Google review?
Often, that’s because the review violates Google’s user terms and conditions. Typically, such a review will fall under the following categories.
Google’s primary objective with Google reviews is for users to get accurate information about a business. That means irrelevant comments that don’t talk about your business or customer experience should be flagged and deleted.
Google reserves the right to remove any content it deems offensive, obscene, or profane. It also deletes comments that seem derogatory or threatening. Therefore, if you come across them, you should flag them to protect your brand’s image.
Some users may use Google reviews to post links to other websites or email addresses selling illegal content or products. This includes images that promote these offers and products. Therefore, you should flag them immediately after you spot them.
The accuracy of Google reviews is important to Google. The company tries to avoid providing deceptive content or misrepresenting a business. Therefore, Google’s terms and conditions require that all Google reviews are published by the person writing them.
Therefore, any review posted on someone else’s behalf violates these terms and conditions, and your business should flag it.
Posting a review for a company you work for or own violates Google’s terms and conditions. You can also not post a review of your competitor since the conflict of interest will likely lead you to manipulate the review to your favor.
Therefore, you reserve the right to flag a competitor’s review of your business and have it deleted.
So, how do you deal with a Google review that ticks any or all of the violation boxes? Here’re four ways you can get the review cleaned up.
Google provides three ways to flag and report inappropriate Google reviews. These are through the desktop, mobile, tablet, and Google Maps.
On your desktop computer:
On your phone or tablet:
Instead of reporting the review to Google first, you can choose to respond to the bad review and ask the customer to edit or delete it. This method has long-term benefits where customers who respond positively may become loyal supporters of your brand.
Approach the customer level-headed and objectively, ensuring you don’t come out as sarcastic or snarky.
If the customer is unresponsive, you can alternatively tweet @GoogleSmallBiz or send them a private message on Twitter. They often respond to your private messages even if you send them a public tweet.
Tweeting @GoogleSmallBiz is also an effective way of expediting a slow review process of a Google review you had previously flagged.
You can share any screenshots you may have as well as a short description and link to the comment to help the Google team quickly access the flagged Google review for action.
This is often the last resort in case every other method fails. Google allows businesses to use this method in special cases, especially if the content is illegal. For U.S. brands, this includes slander against you or your brand, which the law forbids.
Legal removal requests can be filed through Google’s Content Removal Tool. The company takes these reports very seriously since they allege illegal activity or wrongdoing. Therefore, Google has to be careful every step of the way.
If you have multiple complaints, each should be filed separately for each affected Google service.
Since you’re working with Google, which historically takes a long time to respond to customer reports, the process of flagging and deleting a Google review is often slow. Therefore, you should consider working with an online reputation manager who can flag inappropriate Google reviews immediately after they pop up and expedite the process.
Contact a professional online reputation management company today and learn how their services can help maintain a positive brand image for your business.
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