Running a business is hard, and there’s no better feeling than seeing a positive review come through. However, it’s exceptionally difficult when, among all the lovely compliments, a bad review weaves its way in, tainting all the good work you’ve done.
We live in a world where the opinions of strangers have a big impact on whether we use a service or not.
According to a recent survey, 77% of people will almost always read reviews before deciding on a local business to use. Furthermore, 89% of people are more likely to use a business that responds to all of its reviews.
When you receive a bad Google review, it’s normal to wonder if there is a way to just pay someone to remove it. Unfortunately, this is not possible.
Major review platforms, such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google, pride themselves on providing honest reviews, so they do not offer any services where you can pay to have them removed.
On this point, some scammers may find their way into your emails, claiming they can remove any negative reviews on your business for a fee. These emails must be ignored, as no one is able to delete a bad review other than the review site themselves.
Can I Remove A Bad Review On Google?
If you’d like a negative review to be removed, the person who wrote the review can delete it themselves (we know, unlikely, but if you reach out to them and try to resolve their issue you may be surprised), or you can report the review.
Bear in mind, this will only apply if there are intentionally misleading, inappropriate, or abusive comments. Google has around ten different types of content that it will not allow:
- Content that is illegal
- Content that has reference to terrorism
- Illegal content
- Restricted content
- Offensive/abusive content
- Conflict of interest
- Sexually explicit content
- Content that is off-topic
- Spam and fake content
- Content that is derogatory and dangerous
Google does have a filter system, where it will remove comments that don’t comply with its review policies. Although it is a reliable service, some inaccurate reviews can be overlooked, so you can take matters into your own hands and report them.
You can do this by selecting the ‘report’ option next to the unwanted review. You will then be directed to a report that you must fill in. The question ‘what’s wrong with this review?’ will come up, and you’ll need to choose an option from the menu.
This will send the request to Google and if it goes against their policies they will remove the review.
If the review isn’t in violation of Google’s Review Guidelines, you have a couple of options:
- If you have the person’s contact information, you can reach out to them privately. Try taking into account what this person has commented on. Is it something you can fix? Is it something you weren’t aware of? If you’re able to fix the problem, and it seems appropriate, you can kindly ask them to remove or revise their negative review.
- In instances where you think a public explanation may be helpful, you can write a response to the person directly on Google. In this response, it would be wise to address the person directly, express your apologies, and either explain how you will fix the issue or offer to speak offline, so you can help resolve it.
Is It Illegal To Delete Bad Reviews?
With regard to Google, while business owners cannot remove reviews themselves, you can report them to Google, who will then remove them if they don’t comply with their review policies. This is usually the case with other review sites too.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects the rights of consumers to share honest opinions about a business’s services or products. Therefore, it is illegal for any business to prevent individuals from posting negative reviews.
Review sites will delete negative reviews if they go against their regulations (for example, reviews that are blatantly offensive or completely inaccurate will be deleted), or if their algorithms detect something “unnatural” about the review (for example, if the reviewer has online activity that indicates it may be posted by a “review farm” as opposed to a real customer).
A Better Solution To Dealing With Google Reviews
If you’re reading this, then that Google review that you want to be removed is probably all you can think of right now, and that makes complete sense.
But if you take a step back and look at the bigger issue, you’ll see that it’s really not one or two bad Google reviews (even if they tear you apart and even if they’re completely wrong or even fake).
It’s that you don’t have a steady stream of positive reviews to drown them out.
After all, if you had 5 or 10 or even 20 positive reviews for every negative review, would you really be bothered when a negative review comes in?
A service like ReputationStacker helps you consistently get more positive reviews automatically.
The process is very simple. All you need to do is enter any contact information you have on your customers, this can be an email address or phone number.
This will be entered into your own personal dashboard in ReputationStacker and will be kept private and confidential.
ReputationStacker will then send an automatic invite to each customer whose information you entered into the dashboard. This will take them to a feedback portal, where they can provide a rating on your business.
ReputationStacker then directs them to the review sites of your choice to post a review.
The system automatically follows up with your customers who don’t post a review in a natural and gently encouraging way, maximizing your reviews.
This is a very simple and effective way of controlling how your business looks online.
Online reviews can really make or break a business, no matter what service or product you are providing.
Using an automated service like ReputationStacker means you won’t need to worry about a few negative reviews here and there, as the new positive reviews you receive will far outweigh them.
Using ReputationStacker is a big step forward in making your business look great online and getting new customers.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.