How To Removed A Google Review | Can I Turn Off GMB Features like Reviews? | Sterling Sky Inc | Top SEO Services

Can I Turn Off Google My Business (GMB) Reviews?

We constantly see people ask Google My Business (GMB): Can I turn off reviews on my GMB listing?

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.

1. Google will shut off reviews for certain business categories

Some GMB categories can have their reviews turned off 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 My Business 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 have reviews turned off 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
  • Off-topic
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous & Derogatory Content
  • Impersonation
  • Conflict of Interest

Google My Business 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 GMB 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:

  1. Flag the review(s) for removal through your account. You can do this by opening the review tab in your GMB 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.
  2. 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 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 GMB (Google My Business), 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


12 replies on "Can I Turn Off Google My Business (GMB) Reviews?"

  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!

  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 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

  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 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).

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