How to Remove Negative Google Reviews

 In General News, Google News

The removal of Google reviews depends on the type of review and most importantly if the person leaving the review used the company’s services.  Posting reviews for a third party, including harmful content and providing false and misleading information directly violates Google’s Content Policy and can be rebutted. The Google review removal process is up to their discretion and may take a few days or possibly, the review may not be removed at all. Let’s discuss the types of reviews and the best ways to approach them.

  1.  Legitimate customer leaving a negative review

    This type of review is most likely the hardest one to remove unless it is in direct violation of the guidelines.  You can report the review but we recommend responding to your client and if possible, resolving the issue.  If the reputation of your company can be harmed and it is something you can address easily, we recommend doing so.
    If the client’s claim is unreasonable, responding with factual and supporting information will help others better understand both sides of the situation. Do not engage in a heated conversation and simply state the facts.  Even if the review is not removed, it sheds light on the situation. If a person posting the review has not actually engaged with the business, it falls under the misrepresentation guidelines and should be flagged.

  2. Motorist review of a driver in a company vehicle

    This is one of the most common reviews our clients see.  Since the reviews have to be based on real business experience, an unknown driver at any given time travelling in a company vehicle does not reflect an engagement with another motorist. This review could be considered off-topic and most often will be removed by Google when flagged.

  3. Disgruntled Employee

    It is in violation of Google’s guidelines to post content regarding a current or former employer.  You should be able to easily have these reviews removed by flagging them. These reviews fall under the misrepresentation category – specifically biased content or conflict of interest.  Often these reviews will be posted by family, friends or fake accounts created for the purpose of sharing a negative feedback on a larger scale.  There is a significant risk that comes with posting negative reviews by former employees or employees not satisfied with their current positions. If your company requires an employee to sign a confidentiality agreement and the information disclosed in the review violates that agreement in any capacity, this might be grounds for a legal action. This can also be considered defamation, which is a false statement presented as fact that causes harm to someone’s reputation.  The statement does not need to be shared with a wide audience to meet the requirement.  The same rule applies to social media. Even a post that the employee shared with a handful of friends can be a base for a defamation lawsuit. Consulting with a lawyer knowledgeable in business defamation is a great option if the negative reviews and posts cannot be successfully removed and the employee continues to engage in potentially unlawful actions.

Living in a society where instant access to reviews can seem like the easiest way of dealing with any level of dissatisfaction, does not always lead to desired outcomes for the one posting a negative review. Google offers a level of protection for businesses.  Make sure you own your Google Local Listing and flag any negative reviews that do not comply with the above Google Community guidelines.

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