Do you have a Google review that someone left for your business that is clearly not a true review? Maybe someone got your business mixed up with another one with a similar name. Maybe someone tried to harm your business by leaving a fake review. You can do something about it.
Google prohibits the following types of reviews:
- Spam and fake content
- Restricted content
- Illegal content
- Sexually explicit content
- Offensive content
- Dangerous & derogatory content
- Conflict of interest (This was particularly interesting to me because it covers posts that are made by competitors to lower your rating.)
For a more detailed explanation, visit its Policy Help page.
Whatever the case, if it’s fraudulent, Google has an efficient system in place to have it removed. In the past several weeks, I’ve helped two clients successfully remove Google reviews that fell under “spam and fake content” and “off-topic.”
Here’s how to request that a prohibited review be taken down:
- Open your Google business page. This can be done by simply typing “Google my business” into the Google search bar while signed into Gmail. Also, you can go through your Gmail account by clicking on the box composed of nine smaller boxes in the top righthand corner of your email inbox. Once you’ve done that, click on the blue icon that says “My Business.”
- Click on the name of your business.
- Click on “Reviews” in the left side navigation.
- Go to the fraudulent review and flag it as “Inappropriate.”
- Go back to the left side navigation and click “Support.”
- Click on “Need more help.”
- Click on “Customer reviews and photos.”
- Click on “Manage customer reviews.”
- Click on “Request callback.”
- Fill out the form and press “Call me.” When you press that button, someone will call you within a minute, usually within seconds, so be prepared to take the call.
- Explain to the Google representative why your review is prohibited or restricted according to its policy. If the review in question meets its criteria, Google will take it down in 2-3 days. I’ve seen it take the full three days and I’ve seen it go down in less than 24 hours.
Your rating matters. If you find yourself the victim of a review that does not meet Google’s policies, ask for it to be removed.