Can I Turn Off Google Reviews for My Business?
Managing reviews on Google My Business can be challenging, especially if you're dealing with a lot of negative comments that make your business look bad. You might be wondering if you can just turn off the reviews for your business.
So, can I turn off Google reviews for my business? Unfortunately, you cannot turn off Google reviews on your Google My Business profile. This is done intentionally by Google so that consumers can freely and publicly give their opinion regarding the business.
This can be both good and bad for business's SEO and for generating new leads for your business. Google reviews can easily be sabotage by disgruntled consumers, employees, etc. On the other hand, it can be highly beneficial to your company's reputation.
98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. ~ BrightLocal
Since you can't turn off Google reviews, how should you handle when a negative Google review is left on your Google My Business profile?
How to Delete Google Reviews Posted by Others
As previously stated, you can't just go into your account and delete a Google review. However, you can do a few things to appeal the review if you believe that review should be removed.
First, Google has very good processes that will often identify spam reviewers and automatically delete their reviews without any action taken by you.
I've personally seen cases where a reviewer left a 1-star review for the business but didn't leave a comment. After looking at their profile, they had done the same thing to many other companies within a short period of time. Before I had a chance to report the user, Google had already deleted their review and restored the business's rating.
Google uses automated spam detection measures to remove reviews that are probably spam. These measures help improve people's experiences on Google and ensure the reviews they see are authentic, relevant, and useful. Some legitimate reviews may be inadvertently removed. ~ Google Business Profile Help
However, this doesn't always happen and sometimes we will need to step in and appeal. Here is the list of reasons why a review can or can't be submitted for removal.
Reviews that violate Google policies.
Google will not step in when the consumer and business disagree about facts as there is no way to tell who is right and who is wrong.
You can't report third-party hotel reviews. You will need to contact the third-party directly.
You can flag a specific review, or you can report the user. For example, in the example above, since I saw that the user had left multiple 1-star reviews with no comment in a short period of time, i could have reported the user as a spammer. However, if it is specific to a comment that you want removed, you can flag the review itself.
Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to report a user or a specific review.
How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews
Unfortunately, no business is immune to receiving a negative review... no matter how good their customer service is. You can't please everyone. Additionally, Google will not always rule in your favor when you ask them to remove a review.
However, instead of looking at this negatively, you should see how you can use this to your advantage.
How you respond to the negative reviews will show a lot about your company.
Always. Always. Always. Reply to negative reviews!
Not only does this provide good customer service to the disgruntled customer but it also looks good to other people who might be reading the reviews. When other consumers see how you handled the negative reviews, it will help restore their confidence in you as a business.
Here is a great example of a response to an actual review on Google My Business:
In this example, not only did the show the reviewer that they took their comments seriously, but they also didn't deny what the reviewer had to say. This shows that that company takes their reputation seriously in both the community and online.
While you can't just delete Google reviews from your Google My Business profile, there are things you can do to appeal or reply to the negative review you received. I hope you've found these tips to be helpful and if you have any questions or ideas, please let me know in the comments below!