Even though Google My Business is being developed rapidly to win the fight with Facebook Pages, it falls short of many basic things. The most annoying one is the review functionality.
False reviews issue has being reported for more than a year. Your competitors or any frustrated person can easily spam your business with bad reviews just by having or making multiple gmail accounts.
Story: One of my customers had a huge problem in the past. One day his business started to receive 3-4 reviews each day. He has a small luxury watches store in a small town in Europe and there is no chance to have so many reviews. The whole past year gave him 10 reviews only. On top of that, the same day people started actively to attach their photos to his business even though their photos had nothing to do with the store. Those were selfies or the photos of the city attractions. Google Support didn’t recognize that those two issues are connected. They removed only wrong photos and rejected to remove most of the review since they find no violation of Google policy.
How to remove Google My Business reviews?
To remove a review you need to report it. For that you need to enter your Google My Business Account.
- Go to Reviews page of the dashboard menu
- Then click on three dots menu of the review you want to remove
After that you will be redirected to a page where you will need to enter your email and choose the reason why you want the review to be removed.
Keep in mind that there is no reason to report the same review several times since Google will react only on the first reporting. Once Google check the review and make a decision it will stop taking into consideration any further reportings of this review.
Another thing to remember is that Google should make decision about reported review within 3 days. If the review was not removed within this period then either Google doesn’t consider it appropriate or Google has too many reviews to check and they will need more time.
If you want to check why the review was not removed or you want to speed up the removal you need to contact Google My Business support.
When does Google remove customers reviews from Google My Business?
In short, Google removes reviews only in 2 situations:
- SPAM activity detected
- Reviewer violates Google Policy
If the review doesn’t contain a message then there are nearly no chances to have it removed.
No message = No Google policy violation = No removal.
But still you should report the review without message since SPAM activity may be detected and the review will be removed.
If the review has a message then you have higher chance for removal since it may violate Google policy.
Here is the list of situations when Google removes reviews:
- Advertising: If a review has any sign of advertising then it will be removed for sure.
- Phone numbers, email addresses, URLs, and etc. – all those guarantee the removal.
- Off-topic reviews: Reviews based on someone else’s experience, or that are not about the specific place will be removed. Even if someone decides to express himself too much about his political views Google will remove his review.
- Obscene, profane, or offensive language. Google will remove reviews that represent personal attacks on others.
- Conflict of interest: If a reviewer own or work at reviewed place then the review will be removed. Same will happen if you prove that reviewer owns or works at competitive business.
- Sexually Explicit Material: Google doesn’t allow reviews that contain sexually explicit material.
- Personal and confidential information: Any review that contains another person’s personal and confidential information will be removed. Even a full name can be a reason for removal
- Hate Speech: The reviews that advocate against groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity – will be removed.
What else can you do to remove review?
You can contact Google My Business team via social network accounts: Facebook and Twitter. You will have a nice response from them but to my experience this way of communication is the slowest and the least helpful.
You can and should answer back to the review which you want to be removed but Google rejected to do so.
As much as we love to have 5-star rating average, studies have shown that 4.2–4.5 is actually the ideal average star rating for purchase probability.