How To "Remove" Bad Online Reviews

  • By Brent Werbeck
  • 30 May, 2017

Save time and energy by knowing the truth about removing bad online reviews on tier 1 sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook.

The truth...there is no way to remove a bad online review just because you don't like it

We're sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but you can't remove bad online reviews.  This is especially true on places like Google, Yelp and Facebook.  Removing bad online reviews goes against the policies of the major review sites, and for good reason.

In an attempt to maintain the integrity of business reviews, many review sites only allow for the removal of a review in extreme circumstances.  But don't worry, if you suspect that a review left for your business meets one of the removal criteria, there is a chance you can have have the review removed from your listing.

How to remove a bad Google review

If you haven't already, you need to familiarize yourself with Google's review policy.   These policies outline which types of reviews (content) that violate their review policy, giving you an idea if the review you're trying to remove is in violation or not. 

After taking a look at Google's policy, if you still believe the bad review you're trying to remove violates one of the criteria, you can take steps to have the review taken down.

For a detailed overview of how to " flag and fix inappropriate reviews " please visit this link .  On Google's support site, they list these 7 steps to take to possibly have a review removed from your Google listing:

"To flag a review for removal:

  1. Navigate to   Google Maps .
  2. Search for your business using its name or address.
  3. Select your business from the search results.
  4. In the panel on the left, scroll to the “Review summary” section.
  5. Under the average rating, click   [number of] reviews (see example image below)
  6. Scroll to the review you’d like to flag and click the flag icon .
  7. Complete the form in the window that appears and click  Submit."
It is worth noting that just because you flag a review for removal, doesn't mean that Google will 100% remove it from your listing.  Google states that it doesn't get involved with that disagree on facts related to the review, and says to be patient once you have flagged it for removal as it take several days for Google to assess your request. 

How to remove a bad Yelp review

As with Google, it is important to understand Yelp's content guidelines.   These guidelines give a great overview of what Yelp considers inappropriate, and will give you a good idea if you have a chance of having your bad Yelp review removed.

Yelp cites 3 main reasons they might remove a bad review:
  1. The reviewer has an apparent conflict of interest
  2. The review doesn't focus on the reviewer's own experience
  3. The review includes inappropriate material
When it comes to actually reporting the review you believe is in violation, Yelp outlines these steps in their support center :

"From the Yelp for Business Owners website (biz.yelp.com)

If you come across a review that you feel may violate Yelp's guidelines, please let our moderators know by reporting it. Keep in mind that you may still need to claim your business page  in order to report content from a business account.

1. Locate the review in the Reviews  section of your business account
2. Find the flag icon and click  Report this review:

3. Our moderators will evaluate the review against our Content Guidelines , which may take several days. Check your email for a notification of our decision - you can see which email address you’ve registered with Yelp in Account Settings ."

Just like Google, Yelp's process to assess your request can take several days. Be patient while you wait for a decision.

How to remove a bad Facebook review

As an up and coming place for businesses to be reviewed by consumers, Facebook's review policies appear to be a little "fuzzier" right now.  When it comes to removing a bad Facebook review, Facebook simply points business owners to their "Community Standards" in order to evaluate if a bad review fits their removal criteria.

Common reasons why a Facebook review may be removed are:
  1. Direct threats
  2. Bullying and harassment
  3. Criminal activity
If you believe the bad review left on your Facebook page violates Facebook's community standards, here are the steps you can take to have the bad Facebook review removed.

To report a review:
  1. Go to the review and click     in the top right
  2. Click   Report post
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions
It is important to note that only star ratings that actually include a review have a chance of being removed. 

The fight to remove bad reviews is hard

At the end of the day, it is worth noting that getting bad reviews removed from your listing is really difficult and rarely results in the review being removed.

Proving that a review violated one for the major site's guidelines is hard and often times Google, Yelp and Facebook error of the side of the customer vs the business.

Yes, it is possible to have a bad review removed from your listing but know that you're in for a fight and you better come armed with specific details, citing specific guidelines that the reviewer violated.

Learn More

Click the button below to contact us for information on how our GetMoreReviews tool can help your business quickly generate more five star reviews.  Getting more reviews for your business will help improve your local SEO, highlight your shining reputation to potential customer and ultimately bring new business through your doors.  Call us at (888) 979-2379 or email us at info@LocalBusinessAlly.com
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