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Can I Turn Off Reviews For My Google Business Profile?

Wondering, 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.


On this Page:


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.

Can I Turn Off Google Reviews For My Business If I’m Getting Fake Review Attacks?

can i turn off google reviews for my business

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 was missing for that time frame. It has since been reinstated.

can i disable google reviews for my business

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.

Here’s How to Get a Google Reviews For Business Removed

It can be quite difficult to get a review removed from GBP. In fact, a review will only be removed if it breaks one of the specific guidelines listed:

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous & Derogatory Content
  • Impersonation
  • 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 feel violates one of their guidelines, you would:

  1. 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 upper right corner of the review. ‘Report Review’ will appear. Click it, and then choose which of the guidelines the review breaks from the list.
  2. Wait for three days (Google won’t do anything before that), and if Google refuses to remove the review, you can try and get it reported using their review removal tool
    1. To use this tool, you use the “Manage you Google Business reviews” link – https://support.google.com/business/workflow/9945796?authuser=1
    2. Verify your business account and select the listing you want the review removed from
    3. The next option you see will ask you if you want to “Report a new review for removal” or “Check the status of a review I’ve already reported and my appeal options”. If this is the first time you are submitting this request, you will select “Report a new review for removal.”
    4. You will then be shown a list of all your reviews; the last column on the right will have an option to “Report a review link”. Click the “Report” link next to the review you believe violates Google’s Guideline.
    5. You will then see the following screen, select the appropriate category, and select “Submit.”
    6. Go back to the previous screen and close the request.
  3. Once you have submitted your request, you will need to wait another three days and then check the status of your request.
    1. To do this, you will need to go back into the tool and select “Check the status of a review I’ve already reported and my appeal options.”
    2. This next screen will tell you if your removal request has been removed, if the decision is pending, or if it has been denied.
    3. If your removal has been denied, you will get an option to “Appeal eligible reviews”. Select this option if you wish to appeal.
      1. The appeal process is where you have the option to support your case as to why you believe this review violates Google’s Guidelines. At this point, you will want to gather all the evidence you have about the review, the reviewer, any documents that support or claim, previous cases you might have submitted about the issue, or any other related documentation you believe might be relevant to your case. Put all this information into a Google doc (if you prefer) or spell it all out to Google on the next screen. Remember you will only get one shot to appeal your review, so make sure your information is thorough.
      2. Click Submit
      3. From there, you will want to wait another 3 days to get your decision
  4. If your appeal is denied, the only other option you have is to submit your case to the Google Support Forums, where you can have a PE escalate the issue to the Google support team. However, if the Google support team doesn’t believe your review violates any of the guidelines, you will not be able to get this review removed.

If you are having trouble with a Google feature and need help, there are SEO experts available in the Local Search Forum who may be able to guide you.

Many businesses often wonder if it’s possible to turn off reviews for their Google Business Profile. Unfortunately, Google’s policies and features do not allow businesses to disable Google reviews completely. 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. If you are looking for specific circumstances on how to get reviews removed or if you need more resources on reviews, you can check out the following pages:

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 auditsconsulting, 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.”

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See our 4.9 rating and read more of our 68 reviews on Google!
December 27, 2020

 

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Yan Gilbert

Yan has been creating websites since 2008 and now enjoys helping others grow their businesses through SEO. Initially a freelance Toronto based local SEO consultant, he was recruited to join the team at SterlingSky. He is certified in many digital marketing products including Google Analytics, Google Mobile sites and Inbound Marketing through Hubspot Academy. Armed with a psychology degree from McGill University, Yan is adept at finding ways to help businesses achieve great ROI from their marketing efforts. Read Yan's full bio here.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    1. Hi Jane,
      After quite a number of years of running it low key with little advertising, we recently added our business on to Google.
      And yet within days of it appearing, we had a malicious fake review (the very 1st one), carefully constructed so to avoid being pulled by Google, but with generic wording so as to harm our business – Its completely fake, the reviewer has never visited our shop – it was sent at 4am UK time.
      Same as others, we discovered it’s impossible to get Google to answer, let alone do anything.
      My question is:
      Have you (or has anyone else) try to counter obvious fake reviews by writing a reply in such a manner that it turns the argument on it’s head, and into an attack on the fake reviewer?
      By this I mean our one had “He will never return after terrible service, arrogant staff etc” – our reply could be on the lines off:-
      ” We are happy to hear that you are not going to return to our shop – we will not tolerate abuse of any type to any of our staff, and if you do return and repeat your disgusting and threatening behaviour, we will immediately contact the Police with any malicious reviews you post being used as evidence in a future Court hearing”.

      Your thoughts?

      1. I would never threaten a reviewer in a reply. It does more harm than good. The best way to combat fake reviews that you can’t get rid of is to just regularly ask your customers to leave reviews so that you will have a mixture instead of just 1 negative. This article does a great job of explaining how to respond to a negative review – https://blumenthals.com/blog/2010/03/16/responding-to-negative-reviews-the-real-audience-is-your-prospects/

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 .

  12. What a commendable work you have done, with simplest of language. I can’t resist myself to
    leave a comment and trust me it’s hard to impress me..

  13. I have read your article, it good to read and I know this process of remove the unrelated negative review. I have done this process for our service. But google didn’t initiate to remove that review.

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