Reviews are at the heart of your Google Business Profile, so Google’s policy is clear on your ability to turn off reviews. Businesses can’t shut down Google reviews except for a few scenarios. You can only turn off reviews when you’re under an attack or if your business has specific requirements against soliciting reviews. Google allows businesses to remove negative reviews if they can prove policy violation. Here’s an overview of who can shut down Google reviews, how to do it, and removing negative comments:
Who Can Shut Down Google Reviews?
Google occasionally allows some business categories to shut off reviews. The reviews are on by default for all business categories. Schools and instructors can turn off reviews, although Google isn’t always consistent. If your business is along these lines, submit an appeal to turn off the reviews. Google can shut down reviews when your business is under a fake negative review attack. The engine will block the ability to leave new reviews for a specified period. Google considers the following pieces of evidence:
- A large number of fake negative reviews have been left recently and within a short timeframe
- Proof of someone threatening to leave tons of negative reviews on your business
- A business scandal that has received media coverage
If your business faces such issues, you can remove negative reviews and ask Google to turn off the ability to leave new comments. You must first dispute the reviews and prove a breach of Google’s policy. You can submit an appeal if your GBP reviews are problematic.
How Do I Remove Negative Reviews?
Businesses have many ways to remove negative, impartial Google reviews left to compromise your business or brand. One efficient way is to work with a reputation management company. They’re professionals and know all the avenues to explore to shut down reviews and remove negative comments. To get a Google review removed, you must prove that the Google guidelines were breached in leaving the review. Some of the reviews you can remove include spam, fake, restricted, illegal, and terrorist content.
Google also allows you to remove off-topic reviews, sexually explicit content, impersonation, dangerous/derogatory content, offensive content, and conflict of interest content. Proving a breach requires a professional since Google opts out of taking any responsibility for conflicts over reviews. What seems like an obvious fake review may not breach the GBP guidelines, and you only have one chance to make another appeal. Here’s an overview of how to remove negative Google reviews from different profiles:
1. Flag/Report in Google Maps/Search
Launch Google Maps, then find your Business Profile. Find the negative review, click “More” then “Flag as inappropriate.” To report in Google Search, navigate to your Business Profile from Google, then click “Google Reviews.” Find the negative review, click on the button that says “More” then select “Report Review.” Specify the type of violation from the provided list.
2. Flag in Your Account
Sign into your account and click “Manage Business Profile.” Select the type of review. For Single Business, choose the profile, then click “Reviews” from the left menu. If you select Multiple businesses, click “Manage Reviews,” then choose a location group from the drop-down menu. Find the negative review, then click “Flag as inappropriate.”
3. Flag in Reviews Management Tool
Open the Reviews Management Tool and select your business. Use the email address used to manage your Business Profile. Click “Report a new review for removal,” then find the negative reviews. Click “Report” for each review you want to flag. Select a category for the review in the new tab that launches, then click “Submit.”
Work With a Reputation Management Company
Once you flag or report negative reviews, Google will determine if its guidelines or policies were breached. They’ll then remove the review or report that the review didn’t violate any guidelines. Google seldom removes negative comments unless you have strong grounds or court orders. Involving a reputation management company can help you consolidate your reasons for wanting to remove a comment.
You can go to court to request authors remove negative reviews based on legal grounds. If the person refuses to remove their review following a court order, you can ask Google to remove it. Reputation management firms can also contact the authors for a voluntary takedown of the comments. The professionals explore all legal methods to help you remove negative reviews and publications online. Find a professional reputation management company today.