Can I Turn Off Reviews For My Google Business Profile?
Can you turn off your reviews for your Google Business Profile? In almost all cases, the answer is no. Unfortunately, you will have to deal with the system Google has created. There are, however, a handful of situations in which Google will occasionally remove a review, or turn off the ability to leave reviews on a listing. Here’s how.
1. Google will shut off reviews for certain business categories
Some GBP categories can turn off reviews on Google automatically. These include categories such as schools or instructors. Google is not always consistent in this matter. However, almost all other listings have reviews turned on by default.
2. Google will shut off reviews for listings facing negative review attacks
If you are under a fake negative review attack, there might also be something additional you can do. It is possible to have Google Business Profile block the ability for new reviews to be left for a time period. I have only seen this when the following 2 things are both true:
- You have a large number of negative reviews that have been left recently and in a short time frame.
- You have a scandal that’s been covered in the media or you have evidence (such as an email or text) that someone is threatening your business and claiming that they will leave you tons of negative reviews as a punishment for something.
For example, this business was recently blasted with negative reviews due to a Facebook post that went viral. Currently, reviews are disabled on their profile so users are not able to leave a new review.
Fake Review Attack
Although the review count has not updated yet (it still says 81), there are only 3 reviews live on the listing and the button to leave a new review is missing.
What if my professional organization has guidelines about publicly displayed reviews, can I turn off google reviews for my business in this circumstance?
There are professions that may wish to turn off Google reviews to help protect their clients, or because their licensing requires them to not solicit reviews. Therapists and psychiatrists may want to disable reviews to protect patients’ confidentiality, especially if they are dealing with mentally unstable individuals for ethical grounds.
American Psychological Association specifically prohibits members from asking for reviews. Doctors may feel more comfortable if review capability was turned off completely just to be safe.
Unfortunately, Google does not make exceptions for these types of situations and allows the ability to leave reviews for these types of businesses.
How to Get a Google Review Removed
It can be quite difficult to get a review removed from GMB. In fact, a review will only be removed if it breaks one of the specific guidelines listed.
- Spam and fake content
- Restricted content
- Illegal content
- Terrorist content
- Sexually explicit content
- Offensive content
- Dangerous & Derogatory Content
- Conflict of Interest
Google Business Profile opts out of taking responsibility for dealing with reviews by stating:
“Google doesn’t get involved when merchants and customers disagree about facts, since there’s no reliable way to discern who’s right about a particular customer experience”
What you see as an obvious fake review may not break GBP guidelines and therefore will not be removed.
To attempt to have Google act on a review that you feels violates one of their guidelines you would:
- Flag the review(s) for removal through your account. You can do this by opening the review tab in your GBP dashboard, finding the review you want removed, and clicking the three little dots in the right upper corner of the review. ‘Flag as inappropriate’ will appear, click it then choose which of the guidelines the review breaks from the list.
- Wait for three days (Google won’t do anything before that) and if Google refuses to remove the review you will need to contact Google support to further argue your case.
If you are having trouble with a Google feature and need help, there are SEO experts available in the Local Search Forum that may be able to guide you.
Hopefully, this quick overview of ‘Can I turn off google reviews for my business?’ and how to get reviews removed from Google will be helpful for you. And if you’re a local business that needs help ranking on Google in either the 3-pack or organically, at Sterling Sky we can help. We offer SEO audits, consulting, or monthly local SEO services. Contact our office today for more information.
Check out what William had to say about our local SEO services on Google.
“Sterling Sky is easily the best Local SEO company in North America. Joy is known as an expert in this area and she is surrounded by a star studded team of similar hard working bright minds. They carefully research and implement best practices to increase SEO and customer usability. There is no one better for Local SEO. If you need help with GBP (Google Business Profile), reviews, On Page SEO, PR, or if you just want better rankings, contact Sterling Sky. I have consulted with Joy and been a client for over 4 years and it has helped my business to dominate.”
December 27, 2020
This Post Has 23 Comments
Thanks for outlining things as they are now 🙂
I like to know what I’m getting some money from Google
While Roman Stone Works is a great example of a business getting trashed for going viral, there are lots of businesses that garner this type of attention. Sometimes it can as simple as a social media post complaining about a company and asking for the business to be trashed with fake reviews. Don’t think just because you are not receiving 100’s of negative reviews, that you don’t have options, because you do.
Agreed! I think I said “large number of reviews” because there isn’t a set standard per say. I’ve seen Google block reviews on listings that definitely weren’t getting 100s.
I have a life insurance/financial planner company (with multiple agents) who is reluctant to have me do anything with GMB because they don’t want any of the agents to ask for or get reviews. Meanwhile, select GMB listings are getting setup anyway, mostly by Google. However, the business owner has no control over them. Any way to get “reviews” turned off for this type of business?
Thank you so much for this, I got some fake review on my GMB(Google my business). Many review created by fake people. Hope with this Will help me to stop fake review for my local business.
How is it possible for SE’s like Google and Yelp to allow defamation of character and obvious slanderous reviews to be blasted on the internet with no consequences by anonymous reviewers and make the small business suffer like this? If my name is to be trashed. I deserve the right to at least know who is doing it and also be allowed to go anonymous as a business as well. This is a very bad system here. Very unfair for those of us who have been victim to personal attacks from people who are vindictive and have personal issues with a business owner, stalkers, and those seeking to blackmail you.
yes i agree, this has happened to us and google makes it so difficult to contact them and for you to explain. I have some fake negative reviews on our site, from the other side of the globe! We are a service based business clearly these people have never been to us. Google state that the reviews are in line with their guidelines. Go figure!
This has just happened to me. My daughters boyfriend has created a very nasty google review and I am not getting anywhere with Google. I have stated that I expect them, Google to authenticate the review, get proof of a contract for service, an invoice, the estimate. This guy left the same review on another platform, this platform suspended the review right away for me, they are asking for authentication for services pertaining to the review. So, why can google not do the same?
This flag option is useless i can say from my own experience. This doesn’t work at all.
This is very shitty mechanics of google. Why don’t they take it seriously?
We have a yellow pages website Lookup.pk. We publish business listings and allow people to review their products and services with minimum moderation. In our experience businesses do contact us for review removals regularly. Some business owners argue to have their listings removed if the review cannot be removed. As we keep the contact information of all our reviewers and publish their reviews after proper verification so there is minimal chance for fake reviews. Having said that we still do get fake reviews which are difficult to filter out. Our position as moderators for the reviews has always been to not delete a bad review. The business ratings are not dependant entirely on a single bad review. Our advise to them is to encourage their customers to provide them with genuine good reviews of their products and services in order to push the bad reviews down. We think this is the best strategy and businesses should learn to take criticism in good spirits and try to improve on their shortcomings. People who read reviews are also not without brains. A fake or malicious or unfair review stands out like a hot potato so businesses should learn to accept all kinds of feedback.
We have 2 fake reviews that have disgusting comments, they are not even clients and have never dealt with our business . Have tried to remove but goigle says NO
I have left, according to google, over 60 reviews but only half of them are visible to others. There are no symbols, cuss words, off-topic content, etc.
I have also been the recipient of a half-dozen suspensions which google claimed to not know why it happened and each time telling me to resubmit.
I’ve also been added to 13 simultaneous blacklists at the height of the (google) attacks.
If you don’t think this is harmful, then I challenge anybody to invite just three blacklists into your world and see what that does to your online experience (I documented on a website (LOL that google obfuscates but luckily yandex.com is still around).
Remember how google USED to be? Organic results and answers were found, now It’s as if the military might be embedded and running the show or something.
Before you bash my words, check out my website and see that everything is documented complete with voice recordings, videos, screenshots, documents, etc. (so I’m not concerned to hear that you find my words as dubious to your ears).
Most relevant question and
Perfect answer as I every want to read
Thanks for suggesting us
Yes, I concur. This has happened to us, and Google makes it quite challenging to get in touch with them and give an explanation. I have some phoney negative reviews from over the world on our website! These people have obviously never visited us because we are a service-based company. According to Google, the reviews follow their policies.
nice blog, I really Like How you explain this topic in very easy manner keep sharing Thanks!
I appreciate you describing the current situation.
Yes, I concur. This has happened to us, and Google makes it quite challenging to get in touch with them and give an explanation.
Sadly, you will be required to deal with Google’s system. However, there are a few instances where Google will remove a review or disable the ability to leave reviews on a listing.
Thank you for the nice post. We have faced a similar situation for one of our hotel clients on Google map listing where some competitors were intentionally bombing the listing with fake negative reviews. We then tried Google business profile help & support for “Request review removal” and then also filled up Google Maps Business Redressal Form to file complaint against a few spam listings (Keywords in title, multiple fake presence etc) and then after quite an effort we could contact Google and they temporarily disabled posting new reviews on the profile. This was quite a lot of trouble. Hopefully Google will do something to prevent this sort of cases for genuine established businesses so that spammy listings or intentional negative SEO should be prevented.
I once had to hire a cyberspace expert, Webghost33 (search on IG ) who was able to remove all the negative reviews within stipulated time. i am female owned business for over 25 years . I first started to get fake 5 star reviews last November, 2022 which appeared out of no where. From customers who never ever used my services and made fake negative reviews. I was so upset i contacted google who looked at them and removed them,it went on for 6 Weeks . I thought it was the end of the matter then today out of nowhere i received 3 fake negative 1 star reviews on 14th Feb in space of 1-2 hours. Glad I took the right decision after google wasn’t so helpful .
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