Business owners understand that a bad review on Google is a real problem. Not only do people read these reviews, but Google takes reviews into account when it comes to search rankings. A bad review can do some serious damage to a small business. How to remove a bad review from Google is tricky.
The difficulty many business owners face is that sometimes bad reviews are simply unfair. Complaints about things businesses have no control over end up becoming just as damaging as an honest bad review. Situations like this make it necessary to learn how to remove a bad review from Google.
Google will allow you to remove a bad review, but only under certain conditions. You cannot simply delete bad reviews just because you do not like them. One of the complications with removing a bad review from Google is that the process of trying to remove it can actually magnify its effects.
To get an understanding of what all this means, this guide will walk you through Google My Business, the importance of customer reviews, and how to remove bad reviews from Google.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a tool provided by Google that makes it possible to display and optimize your business profile on Google. By optimizing we mean to boost the visibility of your business in Google searches.
You can display your business profile, including important information like hours of operation, contact details, and local address on Google My Business. The listing on GMB is free, but it has become an essential tool for the success of any business. If you want your business to get noticed by potential customers, you need to list it on GMB.
When potential customers search for a product or service, they simply search key terms. Obviously, someone looking for a plumber will search the keyword “plumber.” The importance of GMB is that Google will display business profiles based on an algorithm that ranks local business listings based on several factors. Learning to manage these factors is one of the challenges of using GMB.
One of the essential features of Google My Business is that the algorithm is geographically specific. It makes it possible for people to search for a service or product in their area and find local businesses that provide that service or product.
Google My Business ranks businesses in a Google search based on a few criteria. Proximity and a verified location are just two criteria used to gain visibility on Google My Business. Another is customer reviews. Google takes customer reviews seriously, and this means good reviews will boost your business to the top of a Google search and bad reviews can make you invisible. You must learn to manage customer reviews on your Google My Business profile.
Google Reviews Benefits
Google reviews make it possible for any business to prove itself to a potential customer base. People are now able to go online and express what they think of a product or service, and they can do this without downloading an app. This means your business is going to be evaluated by public opinion. No amount of expensive advertising or slick hype is going to counter the force of Google customer reviews. Anyone can search your business and reviews for your business, and this means positive reviews move toward conversions and negative reviews simply do not.
The benefits of Google reviews are crucial to success. These include:
Increased brand trust
One of the biggest customer concerns is transparency. They want to know that a business is legitimate, verified, and truly local. The way customers make this determination is by Google searches and online reviews. More than 90 percent of potential customers check and company’s online presence before deciding to visit them.
More than half of all online reviews are on Google. Of these people, more than 90 percent said a bad review convinced them to avoid doing business with a company. To get ahead, local businesses must maintain an active Google presence and ensure that their presence is positive.
Google reviews increase online exposure
Many factors influence Google’s algorithms for local business searchers. But reviews are one of these factors and they matter. When people search key terms for a local business, Google algorithms evaluate those keywords according to a set of criteria. Reviews figure large in this data set.
One of the ways these reviews work in local business search is the way the Google algorithm places your business in what is called a map pack. When people search for a product or service in their area, Google will offer them a set of options within the range of their search. This cluster of options is called a map pack. Good customer reviews are used to determine whether or not your business gets located in this map pack.
A balance of quantity and quality makes Google reviews work for or against your business. Potential customers regularly search reviews for products and services, and Google has now made this part of the ranking criteria for local business searches. Good reviews influence customers directly. Good reviews also influence the visibility of your business. It is not just a matter of people finding you and deciding whether or not your business is what they are looking for. It is a matter of whether or not people find you at all.
Feedback loop and customer intelligence
Google reviews can and should serve as surveys of what customers think of your business, what customers are looking for, and how you can improve your product or service. By reading Google reviews you can see areas in your business that could stand improvement. You can see areas that are worthy of praise.
Google reviews are a great way to manage your business reputation
This process ensures that you continue to receive positive Google revises and continue to boost your online presence. This is not just a matter of happy customers. It is a matter of making certain that potential new customers see that your business is the kind of place they want to work with.
Google reviews convert customers
Perhaps the final piece in the process of making good use of Google reviews is conversions. Customer reviews boost your online visibility. They influence the ways potential customers view your business. The most important part of this process is that Google reviews lead to purchases. The reason you are in business in the first place is to sell your product or service. Google reviews drive this final step toward completed transactions.
Why Are Google Reviews Important?
It is crucial to keep in mind that Google reviews are not simply individual evaluations of customer satisfaction. Google reviews have far more influence than individual cases of who is or is not happy with your product or service.
Google reviews have a direct impact on your ability to convert more customers. It is a fact that people search and read Google reviews before making a purchase, and a good or bad review will have a direct impact on converting future customers.
Google reviews are also instrumental in making your business visible in local business searches. Customer reviews are one of the key factors in determining whether or not your business comes up on a Google search. As noted above, the mapped cluster of local businesses is partially defined by customer reviews. When an individual search for a product or service, your business will be placed in this map cluster based in part on customer reviews. Good reviews mean you are visible. Bad reviews mean you are not.
Do Google Reviews Help with Rankings?
The short answer to this is yes. Google uses customer reviews as part of its data set to evaluate rankings in a Google search. We tend to think about rankings about things like SEO. Using the right keywords boosts your rankings in a Google search. But Google algorithms use several factors to determine rankings, and customer reviews are one of these factors.
What is Google 3 Pack?
The Google 3-pack is the listing of the first three businesses that you see first in search results using key terms like “near me” or “near location.” These three businesses are ranked before all others according to some specific criteria.
Things like your location and SEO keywords determine whether or not your business is included in the Google 3-pack. The other critical factor to getting a business into the Google 3-pack is customer reviews. Glowing customer reviews make the difference in gaining the rankings that place your business in the Google 3-pack.
How To Remove Google Reviews
It should be apparent at this point that Google reviews are critically important to the success of your business. But what happens when you get a bad review? First, bad reviews are not the end of the world. A bad review mixed with mostly good reviews can work in your favor. Customers view this as proof that you are a real business, and that you did not stack your reviews with fake reviews.
Another thing to understand about bad reviews is that some of them are simply false or not real. It is possible to remove a bad review from Google under certain circumstances. Google understands that some fake accounts and bots do damage for various reasons, few of which make sense. You can flag and remove some reviews from Google.
Google has a set of criteria for reviews that violate Google Policies. You can flag a revies for removal for the following violations:
- Spam and fake content that is posted to manipulate ratings. This includes posting multiple times, including from different accounts.
- Off-topic posts that are general, such as political commentary or personal rants.
- Promoting actions be taken or items purchased that fail to comply with local legal regulations. Such restricted content includes promoting alcohol, gambling, guns, pharmaceuticals, adult services, and more.
- Illegal or depict illegal activity, such as copyrighted content, endangered animal products, graphic violence, human trafficking, etc.
- Terrorist in nature.
- Sexually explicit or in any way sexually exploits children.
- Offensive, obscene, or profane.
- Dangerous, considered harassment or intimidating, or that incites hatred.
- Impersonating others or having false representation.
- Dishonest or biased. This includes posting reviews of your own business (or having a current or former employee do it for you) and trying to manipulate a competitor’s ratings.
– Login to your Google Account
The first thing to do is log into your Google My Business account. Find the bad reviews that are in question. If this is a legitimate review by an unhappy customer, the best thing to do is respond to it. Do not get defensive or personal. If this is a review that violates Google policies, move on to the next step in removing it.
– Report the review
The next step is to report the review to Google for violating one or more of their stated policies regarding reviews. Google will often remove a review automatically for violating its policies, but some things will get past them.
– Open a support ticket
You will find all of this under the Customer Care Portal. Under the support ticket, you will be able to flag the review. It can take several days for Google to examine the review in question and remove it.
– Confirm the review has been deleted
Check your Google My Business account frequently to make sure the review has been deleted.
How to avoid negative Google Reviews
The best way to avoid negative Google reviews is to provide high-quality products or services. Making customers happy leads to positive Google reviews. Beyond this, you can take some quality control steps to ensure positive Google reviews.
Be your customer
Regularly check what you are selling or the service you provide. Be on the side of your customers to see how your product or service may be received.
Be easy to contact
Often customers who feel they have an issue with a product or service feel frustrated when they cannot contact the business. If you are easy to contact, you will be more likely to avoid negative reviews.
Respond to customer issues quickly and completely
Often, negative reviews happen when customers have issues or problems they feel are being ignored. If you respond with solutions and explanations promptly, you are probably going to have fewer negative reviews.
Google My Business FAQs
What is Google My Business? Google My Business (GMB) is a tool provided by Google that makes it possible to display and optimize your business profile on Google. By optimizing we mean to boost the visibility of your business in Google searches.
What are the benefits of customer reviews? Good customer reviews can mean increased business, higher visibility in Google searches, and repeat customers.
What is Google 3 Pack? The Google 3-pack is the listing of the first three businesses that you see first in search results using key terms like “near me” or “near location.” These three businesses are ranked before all others according to some specific criteria.
No one likes getting bad reviews for their business. People work hard at developing their product or service, and work just as hard to deliver that product or service. A bad review can feel like a slap for just working hard.
Sometimes bad reviews are justified. Something went wrong and a customer felt the need to express their dissatisfaction in a public forum. Other times, bad reviews are simply unfair, and thankfully Google understands this. It is possible to remove bad reviews that are unwarranted or unjustified.
Follow the ideas and suggestions in this guide to learn how to deal with and remove bad reviews from Google. Bad reviews can hurt your online reputation, and this is bad for business. The steps outlined in this guide should get you on your way to dealing with bad online reviews. If you need help finding ways to get around the Google processes of dealing with bad online reviews, you can consult HeyDay Marketing Services. We will walk you through the process of removing bad reviews from Google.
HeyDay Marketing Services can help you negotiate the benefits of Google reviews for your business. While it is not possible to control how people respond to your product or service, it is possible to anticipate potential ways to increase customer satisfaction and increase your visibility based on good customer reviews.
HeyDay Marketing Services can help you set up your Google My Business account to that you can get the most out of customer reviews and achieve the benefits of customer reviews for increased visibility.
We are a full-service marketing agency based in Miami, and it is our business to get your business at the top of local online searches. This means we know how to place your business at the top of local searches in Florida. When potential customers search for local businesses, HeyDay Marketing Services knows how to position your business so that yours is among the businesses with the highest rankings.