Asking Google to remove negative reviews - what happens?

By : Administrator
Published 22nd April 2021 |
Read latest comment - 13th June 2021

Anyone running a business should be on top of their reputation management, from making sure any customer-facing staff are professional and presenting your company in the best light, to monitoring all sources of possible feedback.

But unfortunately, not all review sites are made equal, and I'm well aware of how hard it is to tread the tightrope of review moderation, looking after the interests of the reviewer, whilst ensuring the reputation of a business isn't unfairly tarnished.

So let's look at Googles approach to negative reviews, how you report one, and what sort of outcome you can expect.

Reporting Negative Reviews

You have two options, you can log in to your Google My Business console:

Select reviews and go to the review you are not happy with. Then select the three little dots and you have the option to flag the review as inappropriate.

This then will give you the following options.

Choose your reason and follow your nose, all pretty straightforward.

Alternatively, you can select the review in question on your Google Maps listing (right-hand side of Google search if viewed on a desktop )

Select your reviews, then choose the review in question and this time if you select three little dots, you have the option to report the review.

Now we have different options, compared to before, so you can choose from the following.

Choose your option, press report and job done.

Google Moderation Time

Now it gets exciting  Regardless of how you report it, you will get a notification that Google has received your request and they are on the case.

So all very slick and we have an SLA. But in reality, we know this will all be automated due to the sheer volume of requests they have to deal with.

So how good a job does the algorithm do?

I filed three reports, all of which were one star reviews, none of them was known to us, two had no comments, one simply said "Work on" which didn't leave much to go on

So from acknowledging our dispute to giving us an answer for each review, took around 20 minutes. But the verdict was a little strange, so see what you think.

Request 1 - removed, excellent

Request 2 - The computer says no

Request 3 - the computer says no to this one as well 

So there we have it, automated review moderation in action. 3 reviews, all of them spam, 1 is removed, but 2 are deemed to be acceptable and don't violate any policies. Other than being unknown to us and leaving no comment or clue as to what any perceived issue is.

After falling foul of a circumventing systems policy violation recently, which turned out to be triggered by one of Googles own adverts, and now seeing review moderation in action, I'm not fully embracing the drive to more utilisation of artificial intelligence and algorithms. I'd quite happily stick with semi-intelligent humans thanks  

 

Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn
Comments

Good to know this. I was once asked this before to google but it says, Unfortunately, there is no current method to remove negative reviews from Google.


redstone

I find there’s nothing wrong with having a bad review.... means to me that your glowing reviews are probably real..... no business however hard they try gets it right all the time so good and not so good reviews are more likely........ All good should send alarm bells ringing...


Thanks,
Barney

I find there’s nothing wrong with having a bad review.... means to me that your glowing reviews are probably real..... no business however hard they try gets it right all the time so good and not so good reviews are more likely........ All good should send alarm bells ringing...”
 

100% agree, nobody gets it right all the time. And as we regularly tell businesses who get the hump after getting a bad review, prospective customers like to see how a business reacts and deals with an issue when problems do inevitably occur. A negative review can actually work in your favour if a reviewer was overly harsh and you have the opportunity to leave a professional response, and let the visitor make their own mind up.

My biggest beef is the unmoderated rubbish that allows someone to leave a negative review /feedback, which is published, but clearly is just spam and is actually nothing to do with genuine feedback. Most of it originates overseas and a lot of the time, they leave random feedback just to build up contributions and influence, so they can spam their own product service later on.

It's a problem that's getting worse, and Googles drive to more reliance on automation, as shown above, clearly doesn't appear to be the best of solutions  


Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

Genuine bad reviews are one thing and like Steve says, seeing the business' responses is important. But spammy rubbish or even a competitor trying to ruin you is unacceptable!