It’s no secret that product and service reviews play a heavy role when customers are making decisions. In fact, studies show that the majority of customers will refuse to do business with you if your local listings have a handful of negative Google reviews.
Consumers are doing more research before purchasing than at any other time in history thanks to the easy-to-find information on Google.
You’re not alone if your stomach turns to knots when you see a negative review posted on your local listing for everyone to see. Is there anything that can be done? The only time you can remove a negative review is when the user has stepped over the lines that Google deems a violation. Here are some ways to remove negative reviews to help your positive reputation on the upswing.
False reviews became well known to the public with Amazon, and we’re starting to see a slight uprise in these types of reviews on Yelp and Google too. Local search databases have applied auto-filters to help keep fake reviews at bay, but some seem to make it through. Pay close attention to the details that make fake reviews a dead giveaway. Generic language, non-human profile pictures, and dozens of reviews posted by the same user on other businesses in a very short amount of time that look identical are a good place to start.
If the review contains any vulgar content that involves profanity, hate speech, bullying, or offensive content will be against Google’s content policy. Anything regarding racial slurs, harassment, inappropriate photos or content, and explicit derogatory statements fit within this policy as well. This may be the easiest one to spot and the easiest to have removed when other policy violations may require more information or research to qualify before being removed.
Never Visited the Location
Google states in their review policy that a user can only leave a review that they have physically visited and had a customer experience. If you’re a business with multiple locations…this can be an easy win. Reviewers would have had to visit the exact location that they left a review on, and if you have multiple, it could be easy for them to leave a review on the wrong location. The first thing to check is the location of the user who left the negative review. If they left a review for a location in Texas, and then another one within a day or two at the Arizona location, then this could be a violation. Some angry customers may jump on and leave negative Google reviews for all locations making it easier to spot and remove.
Identify, Report, and Remove
After you’ve gone through your reviews and found some negative ones that are in violation of Google’s review policy, you’ll need to take a couple steps to send the report in. Click on the three little dots in the right corner on the negative review you wish to remove. Here you can flag the review as inappropriate or fill out a report. When you submit it, there is no guarantee that it will be removed. Give Google’s team a couple days to look over the report and respond with the removal or with a need for more information.
Need help skimming through your sizable reviews on a regular basis? Commit can help. Drop us a line here.