How To Delete Google Reviews Posted by Others?

Whether we are talking about its user base, valuation, or overall scale, few companies are as big as Alphabet Inc. For those unfamiliar with Alphabet Inc., it is a California-based multinational technology conglomerate valued at $1.87 trillion. Several companies are under the Alphabet umbrella, including Google Chrome, YouTube, and Google Maps. And they have each contributed to making the multinational technology conglomerate what it is today.

Google Reviews

A Closer Look at Alphabet’s Portfolio of Companies

To understand how Alphabet Inc. became such a dominant player in the technology realm, we have to look at some of its key contributors, starting with Google Chrome. Available data shows that Google Chrome makes up over 89% of North America’s search engine market share. YouTube also contributed to Alphabet’s success.

Acquired by Google in October 2006 for $1.65 billion, YouTube has a current valuation of $29.71 billion, making it the eighth-most valuable media brand in the world. When discussing Alphabet’s portfolio companies, we have to include Google Maps. According to Morgan Stanley, the web mapping platform will likely reach $11.1 billion by the end of 2024.

Studies Show Google Reviews Reign Supreme

Because Google is so omnipresent, many people rely on Google reviews to inform their purchasing decisions. For those unaware, Google reviews are consumer-generated evaluations of products, services, and experiences with a given business. Depending on the amount of business reviews posted and whether they are good or bad, Google reviews can make or break a company. Available data shows that approximately 81% of consumers check Google reviews before visiting a business or purchasing a product.

Influence Consumer Behavior

Understanding the Value of Google Reviews and How They Influence Consumer Behavior

Sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason to explain why consumers choose one product over another or consciously decide to shop at one retailer instead of the other. Other times, those decisions stem from reading reviews posted by past and current customers on Google. Several studies have revealed the following when it comes to user-generated Google reviews:

  • An estimated 83% of consumers believe a business with user-generated reviews on its landing page is trustworthy.
  • Approximately 76% of consumers say they are more likely to trust content shared by their peers than they are to trust content shared by brands.
  • Some 66% of consumers rely on resources outside those provided by a business, including online reviews, to help them make their purchasing decisions.
  • An estimated 78% of customers who read reviews report being satisfied with their purchase.

How Positive Google Reviews Can Benefit a Business

A study published by Forbes, a renowned global media company in Jersey City, New Jersey, revealed that positive Google reviews can benefit businesses in several ways, some of which include the following:

  • Builds and improves brand trust
  • Allows a business to receive essential feedback from customers
  • A chance to rank higher in Google search engine results
  • Increased website and in-store traffic
  • Increased revenue
Negative Google Reviews

How Negative Google Reviews Can Impact a Business

Not everyone who leaves a Google review sharing their thoughts and opinions concerning a business or product is truthful. Some people lie, over-embellish, and even post fake reviews. A 2021 study found that over 62% of Google reviews fall into at least one of these categories. The reason why some people choose to engage in such behavior varies. According to the business and employment-focused social media platform LinkedIn, some of the more common reasons include the following:

  • To express frustration or anger related to a service or product
  • To prank or poke fun at others
  • To promote their own business or product
  • To receive free products or discounts
  • To ruin a competitor’s reputation

Negative and fake reviews can harm a business in multiple ways. They can damage its reputation and adversely affect its search ranking. When this happens, it can lead to a loss of customers and reduced revenue. Fortunately, there are things businesses can do if they are a victim of fake or negative reviews.

Legal Recourse for Businesses Harmed by Fake Reviews

Fake and negative reviews may violate federal consumer protection laws. Businesses harmed by these reviews can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The organization can impose civil penalties for violations of FTC rules under Section 19(a)(1) of the FTC Act, which relates to unfair or deceptive business practices. The following are examples of those violations:

  • Biased reviews
  • Fabricated reviews
  • Incentivized reviews
  • Negative or positive fake reviews
  • Review stuffing

While the FTC can impose civil penalties, it can’t remove negative, embellished, fake, or deceitful reviews from an online platform. That includes Google. Businesses will have to work with those platforms directly to have such reviews removed.

How To Encourage Reviewers To Remove a Negative Google Review Voluntarily

Dealing with a bad Google review and low star rating or star reviews, especially an inappropriate review, can be challenging for any business owner and local businesses. However, before resorting to formal complaints or legal actions, there are steps you can take to encourage reviewers to remove their negative feedback voluntarily through reputation management. Here’s how to navigate this delicate situation while adhering to Google’s review policies and maintaining your online reputation.


When responding to a negative review from a customer review on Google My Business, it’s crucial to acknowledge the customer’s experience and express genuine concern and it’s an opportunity to make it into a positive experience. Let them know that you value their feedback and are committed to resolving the issue. If your business has made mistakes or provided a subpar customer experience, take responsibility for it. Offer a sincere apology and assure the reviewer that their concerns are being taken seriously.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, consider offering solutions or compensation to rectify the situation. This could include discounts on future purchases, free services, or refunds. Demonstrating your willingness to make amends can often encourage reviewers to reconsider their negative feedback.

Politely ask the reviewer if they would consider revising or removing their negative review after the issue has been addressed satisfactorily. Emphasize that their updated feedback would be greatly appreciated and could help restore your business’s reputation. If the negative review contains hate speech or inappropriate content or violates Google’s review policies or Google’s content policy in any way, kindly inform the reviewer about these guidelines. Explain that the review response should be constructive and based on personal experiences, not intended to harm businesses unfairly.

After taking steps to address the issue raised in the review, follow up with the reviewer to ensure their satisfaction or if you have satisfied customer’s concerns. Express gratitude for their feedback and reiterate your commitment to providing excellent customer service. Throughout the interaction, maintain a professional and courteous tone, even if the reviewer’s comments are frustrating or unfair. Responding with patience and understanding reflects positively on your business and may encourage the reviewer to reconsider their stance.

Remember that while negative reviews can be detrimental to your business’s reputation, how you handle them can make a significant difference. By actively engaging with reviewers, addressing their concerns, and seeking resolutions, you demonstrate your dedication to customer satisfaction and showcase your business’s integrity to potential customers. Don’t forget to always consider Google’s guidelines for handling this types of review and situation.

Remove Reviews

How Reviewers Can Edit or Delete a Google Review

Whether a reviewer is interested in editing, or doing some review removal from the review site or review content, doing so is not difficult. The reviewer only needs to complete the following steps:

  • Sign into their Google account
  • Open Google Maps App or Navigate to the Business Listing
  • Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner
  • Select “your contributions” from the available menu options
  • Click the “reviews” tab and choose the review they want to edit or delete
  • Click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner
  • Select whether to edit or delete the new review and follow the remaining prompts

Once a reviewer deletes a review, it is permanent. That means they will lose the ability to access or make changes to the review in the future.

How Can a Business Have a Negative or Fake Google Review Removed?

If apologizing and trying to resolve a complaint with a reviewer does not lead to the removal of a negative review, businesses should notify the FTC. They should also alert Google. That’s because Google will quickly remove reviews that violate its strict review policy. For reference, reviews containing any of the following are explicitly prohibited by Google:

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic reviews
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Impersonations

Unlike individual reviewers, businesses cannot edit or delete a Google review. However, they can flag the review. That will prompt Google to evaluate and remove the review if it violates its review policy. The steps to flag and possibly have a negative, fake, or otherwise deceitful review removed from Google will require the following:

  • Signing into your Google business account
  • Opening Google Maps and searching for your business name
  • Clicking the reviews tab on the Google review page
  • Locating the review you would like to have removed
  • Clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of the review
  • Selecting the “report review” option
  • Choosing the appropriate response for the “What’s wrong with this review?” question
Fake Review

How Long Does It Take for Google To Remove a Negative or Fake Review?

The standard automated Google review process takes about 2 to 3 business days. A manual Google review can take up to 5 business days. After the review period, Google will email the affected business to advise that they have deleted the review. If, on the other hand, Google finds that the review merely reflects a consumer’s opinion and doesn’t violate any guidelines, the review will remain on the Google profile for that business. And Google will not send out an email.

What Can You Do if Google Refuses To Remove a Fake or Negative Review?

If Google refuses to remove a review, it is likely because it believes the review is authentic and reflects the true sentiment of the consumer. If a business keeps getting negative reviews, it should work to improve its products, services, customer service experience, or all three. They should also encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews, which can help counter the impact of negative ones. If prospective consumers check a Google business profile and see more favorable reviews than negative ones, they might still give that business a chance.

In summary, Google-owned companies under Alphabet Inc. are involved in many aspects of our lives. As a result, Google reviews can carry a tremendous amount of weight. Sometimes, those reviews are spot on, and other times, they are way off. If you resonate with the latter and need help handling or removing fake or negative reviews from your Google business profile, consider contacting SEO North, a search engine optimization agency in Ottawa specializing in optimizing website content and local SEO.


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Published on: 2024-04-10
Updated on: 2024-04-10

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.