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How to Remove Negative Reviews on Google My Business

negative review gmb gbp

Getting a negative review on your Google Business Profile, previously named Google My Business, can be one of the most frustrating things about being a business owner. Google does have guidelines for reviews and if a review violates those guidelines – you can attempt to get the review removed from your business profile, but you have to follow a process.  There are four steps to getting a review removed that violate Google’s guidelines and you must follow them in this order! Here is how to get a negative review removed from your Google My Business profile.


On this Page:


1. Flag the Review in the Google Business Profile (GBP/GMB) Dashboard

Go to your Google Business Profile (GBP) dashboard.  You can do this one of two ways.  First, you can search your business name on Google and you should see a dashboard pop up.  You could also go to this link: https://business.google.com/locations.

google business profile dashboard

Once you are in your business dashboard, you want to click on “read reviews”.  There you will see all of your reviews.   Find the review that you believe violates Google’s guidelines and there should be three dots next to it.  Fun fact: the three dots are called ‘the kebab menu’ (also known as the three dots menu and the three vertical dots menu).  It is an icon used to open a menu with additional options.  When you click on the three dots menu, you want to click on “Report Review.”  After you do this, you have “flagged” the review for removal.

google business profile kebab menu

2.  Check the Status AFTER Three Days

You must wait three business days before checking the status of your review.  This step is crucial.  If you try to contact Google before the three days are up, they will just tell you to wait.  After three business days, Google will tell you if the review was removed or not.  In order to find the status, you have to use the review tool.  This is not a commonly known tool but is very important for flagging reviews – be sure to bookmark it so you always have access to it.  First, you need to search for your business name by clicking on the arrow and then typing your business name in where it says “Listing Name.”

google my business review tool

Once you’ve done that, it will ask you if you are reporting a new review or checking the status of a previously reported review.  You want to check the status of the review you reported three days ago.

manage google my business reviews

Once you are in there, it will show you the status of the review(s) you have flagged.   If they have not reviewed it yet, it will say “Decision Pending.”  If they did not remove the review, it will say “No Policy Violation.”  Hopefully, the review will have been removed and it will say, “Removed.”

 

google my business decision pending

google business profile decision pending

The problem with flagging a negative review in your Google Business Profile dashboard is that you cannot put any notes in there, so you are telling Google you believe there is a policy violation without being able to give them any context.  So, oftentimes, you will see the review was not removed.

3. Appeal the Decision

If Google has denied your request to remove the negative review, there should be an option to appeal this decision. There should be a button at the bottom of the screen to “Appeal.”

google review appeal

Once you click this, it will open up a window for you to actually put in information about why you believe this review should be removed.  You’ll want to explain what policy this is violating and explain how this review violates that policy.  This actually creates a ticket to Google Support.  After you submit it, you should receive an email confirmation from Google.  This email will contain a case ID number – this is very important – do not lose this number!  After a few days, you will receive an email from Google saying that your appeal was approved (the review was removed) or denied (again!).  You cannot appeal a decision more than once, the tool will not allow you to.

4. Post on the Google Business Profile (GBP) Forum

If the review was still not removed, you can post it to the Google Business Profile Forum.  On here, you’ll want to post about the review and why you think it should be removed.  You must include that case ID number, which is why it is important not to lose that number!  The forum is run by a group of moderators who do not work for Google.  By posting on the forum, you will get a third-party opinion about whether they agree the review violates Google’s guidelines.  If a moderator believes it does violate Google’s guidelines, they can escalate it.  The moderator will then explain to Google why they believe the review should be removed. Hopefully, (fingers crossed!) after these four steps, the review has been removed!  However, it is important to note that Google does not always remove all of the reviews that you believe should be removed.

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Sterling Sky Inc was founded in 2017 by Joy Hawkins. Joy has been working in the SEO industry since 2006, and is considered a leader within the SEO community. In this fast-paced industry, we work hard to make sure we are at the forefront when it comes to comprehending any and all changes that will affect how your business is found online. With a commitment to providing the best knowledge and expertise in the industry, Sterling Sky has built a reputation of quality work produced at the highest standard.  We are proud to be the only company currently to employ multiple Google My Business Product Experts. Contact us today!


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Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the info on the review tool, really appreciate it. We setup a Google Flag Team at work. Whenever we receive a review that we believe breaks Google’s guidelines, we send an email to the the group and put 5 flags on it right away. Seems to work. Nice for photos that break guidelines and fake businesses as well.

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