Negative reviews happen. No business is perfect and not every single customer will be satisfied, mistakes will be made. But also, negative reviews are not all bad news. While hearing someone had a negative customer experience sucks, it’s an opportunity to make things better.
Provide honest feedback that you can turn around and use to improve your business or make changes.
Create trust. Seeing only positive reviews of a company can result in people questioning the authenticity of the reviews. Seeing a few sprinkles of negative reviews creates a level of trust.
Create opportunities for turning something bad into something good. You won’t be able to please everyone, but if you can make things right for someone, why not try? If you can take that negative review and turn it into a positive one, that will be noticed. How you respond and how you react will be what other’s are judging.
We remove negative reviews for your business on top directory sites like:
Google, Yelp, Facebook, Cars.com, Trip Advisor, Avvo, Health Grades, City Search, Foursquare, Superpages, Yellow Pages, Vitals, and RateMD's.
Google will not remove a review, unless you present them with a court order. Where it is true that you may be able to get a court order to remove a negative comment, opinion or complaint on a website that is dedicated only to consumer complaints, but Google is not. So a court order is going to be difficult and expensive.
You can flag the review as inappropriate if you can prove (or at least convince Google) that the review was placed by a competitor, that it is overly defamatory or libelous, extremely offensive or incomprehensible. There are probably a few more reasons to remove reviews, but Google are never in a rush to remove web content.
You can try an online reputation management company. They may have more luck than you, and if you only pay in return for a guaranteed removal, or only pay IF they are able to remove it, then do that. Don’t pay for them to TRY, because you are simply paying them to fail.
What you will need to do is lessen the blow of this negative review. You must go out of your way to get more good ones. Have the review section dwarf the negative review with positive ones, making sure that all the negative points are countered. You can also post replies from the company its self, preferably ones that will have your company come out of it in a positive light.
If it is possible, then you should also try to contact the negative review poster and try to convince them to remove the negative post. You can also try to remove your business from Google places, so that the review disappears, and then add it in again. Maybe even write the address or the name a little differently so that if the review is still on the server, that it is not linked with your company.
In a perfect world, we’d be able to trust everything we read online, however, that’s not the reality of the Internet and consumer advocacy and review platforms. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common occurrence for aggrieved and angry customers to lash out at businesses and companies online, posting false and libelous reviews, and other baseless personal attacks. Furthermore, the Internet has become a tool to gain a competitive edge against others looking to take your market share or customer base, and has been used in countless cases to deflate or sabotage a company’s reputation and livelihood.
You’d think with recent high-profile lawsuits aiming to curb and eliminate the posting of false online reviews, such as the fake online review crackdown by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in 2013, that malicious trolls and posters would have slowed down. However, they haven’t. They’re just beginning.
It’s extremely important for businesses to stay vigilant of their online presence and respond appropriately to any attacks or offensive online reviews. Now is not the time to cower in fear due to aggressive and false online accusations and reviews. Now is the time to take a calculated and proactive approach towards ensuring any negative reviews are suppressed in Google’s search results, or removed altogether.
Let’s take a look at several methods of removing fake and defamatory Google reviews by working directly with Google.
If the review is shown in Google Shopping results, or on a Google Adwords advert, then it will likely have been collected and verified by a licensed third-party review platform.
Google collects reviews from around the web and licensed third party review providers, and aggregates them in the form of a review score. Reviews can be for a company or a product, and they can contribute to the star ratings found in Adwords and organic search results (so long as the company in question has collected 150 reviews in the preceding 12 months).
However, the reviews that Google sources for these aggregated scores from third-party review partners are all verified reviews. Verified reviews are generally permanent reviews that cannot be deleted from Google's system. If a customer has received poor service from you and has proof-of-purchase, then their review will stand and Google will use it in their aggregated score.
Google has a well-established and thorough outline for reporting and removing false and defamatory online reviews. They claim that they will remove any content that has been flagged and is in violation of the standards set forth under their removal guidelines.
Such potential grounds for removal include:
Advertising: Some business owners may try and gain an upper hand in the marketplace by placing advertisements for their own business in reviews for your company. Rival business owners who post phone numbers or URLs are also considered in violation of such policy.
Off-Topic Reviews: If a user or entity posts reviews that aren’t based on their personal experiences at the location in question, then they may be removed for being inauthentic and off-topic. Furthermore, Google Maps and reviews are not meant to be a forum for persons to push their own personal rants, agendas, or commentary about unrelated topics.
Profane & Abusive Language: Google outlaws the use of profanity and abusive language when posting reviews and comments. Additionally, personal attacks are not allowed. Specifically, Google states, “We will remove content that contains obscene, profane, or offensive language or gestures.” This is a relatively broad criteria, so if you’re unsure of what constitutes obscene, profane, or offensive language, we suggest you reach out to an experienced online defamation lawyer today.
Conflict of Interest: Individuals who have been paid, provided free items and services, or otherwise compensated by a competitor in order to write false, negative, and defamatory reviews have an impermissible conflict of interest, and such reviews violate Google’s guidelines.
Impersonation: The Internet is ripe for impersonation and persons masquerading as someone they aren’t. Reviews which were written by competitors or others who aren’t who they truly say they are, may be removed. Furthermore, persons who attribute content to companies or organizations will also have found to be in violation of such guidelines.
Hate Speech: Reviews and posts that target a company or business due to race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or other sensitive grounds are not permitted under Google’s content guidelines. For example, attacks against a business which associates itself with a particular religion would not be permitted.
Very occassionally, Google Shopping or Seller Rating review can be deleted if it goes against your licensed Review Platform's guidelines. For example, here at Reviews.io, we'll look into reviews if:
the customer is not a verified buyer
there is use of profanity
there is use of personal names
the review isn't factually correct.
If the review you want deleted meets this criteria, be sure to flag it. A decision will then be made, and if the review is delected from your Company Page on our site, it will also be deleted from Google within a few days. In general, though, it's not possible to have Google Adwords or Shopping reviews removed.It's unlikely you're reading this article because you're inundated with positive reviews - it's usually only negative reviews that people want to delete.
Whilst learning how to prevent bad online reviews won't help you get rid of your current ones, it will help mask them and also reduce the likelihood of them happening again.