Can You Remove A Google Review?

When you see the review, it always riles you up. That one review. It’s obvious that whoever wrote it is from a competitor, or someone who has never visited you. It’s unfair and wrong.

We’ve seen it countless times. But since the review has been published, it’s now in Google’s hands. So the question is…

Can My Google Review Get Taken Down?

The straight up answer? 

It depends.

Google does have policies that need to be kept, and they expect everyone who wants to leave a Google review to follow these guidelines.

Here is a quick list of the topics Google expects reviewers to NOT post:

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic content
  • Restricted content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous & derogatory content
  • Impersonation
  • Conflicts of interest

For more details on what each of these categories means, you can view them directly from the source.

So now that we know what Google’s policies are, we can dive deeper into the process. Obviously, if a review violates any of Google’s above guidelines and it’s either obvious or you can prove it, you can easily report the review.

The first step is to make sure you’re signed into a Google account. Once you’ve done that, find your Google listing by searching for it. 

Once you find your listing, click on the linked “Google reviews” count right by the rating. Once there, a pop up will show all of the reviews. Find the review in question and click on the ellipses (…) and select “Report review.” You should also be able to report reviews in a similar manner if you are logged into your Google My Business dashboard where you respond to your reviews.

From there, Google will ask why the review needs to be reported, providing the following options:

  • This review is not relevant to this place
  • Conflict of interest
  • Offensive or sexually explicit
  • Privacy concern
  • Legal issue

Try matching up the five issues as best you can between the internal information, the above reporting options, and reviewer’s policies from the top.

Of course, all of this is entirely on Google. If a review is reported, they’ll examine the details – and it might take a while. Google might not have enough information to see what happened, or won’t see enough to warrant a review being removed.

Now, what should we do if we aren’t hearing back or Google decided not to remove the review?

Depending on the response, this can range from just making sure you did respond to the review all the way to asking for legal help from an attorney (we really hope it doesn’t come to a legal battle).

For more minor concerns, you can try asking others to help report the review, try to appeal Google’s current decision if you can get a hold of support (you should be able to at least get an email), or just keep trying. 

As with any type of support, sometimes being persistent can help make your point. However, don’t take it too far – Google holds the right to penalize those they believe are abusing their right to report. It’s a delicate balancing act.

For major matters, we usually encourage specific cases to go through legal counsel – specifically issues that could raise malpractice concerns. Other issues where legal counsel might be needed may be tied to conflict of interest, libel, fake content, and other issues that may need to be settled offline. 

For many of these cases, you don’t want your regular patients to be aware of them. Additionally, be careful responding to reviews that have legal implications – responding incorrectly could hurt you!

Whether The Review Is Taken Down Or Not

Chances are that if one review with less than stellar ratings is such a large concern, you might need some help – especially in getting new reviews. We bring this up because the best way to fix any online reputation marred by a few bad reviews is to get more great reviews from satisfied patients!

If you’ve had some bad reviews come across your listings, we can help you by offering HIPAA compliant review responses, investigating and reporting reviews on your behalf, and helping you get more reviews. We have a system that makes it easy to request reviews via email and text, helping you get better ratings and rank higher on Google. 

Additionally, we can make sure you’re always aware of what is happening with your online presence by ensuring you receive notifications whenever you get a review.

If that’s something you’re interested in, fill out our online form – we look forward to seeing your message and scheduling a free consultation with you!

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