How To Get A Google Review Removed
Violations that allow law firms to remove reviews
While removing a Google review isn’t necessarily complex, Google policies determine whether a review can be removed. However, there are common violations that can allow law firms to remove reviews from their Google Business Profile. Consider the following:
The most common review violation reported by law firms is spam content. Google tries to automatically weed out and remove spam reviews, but there are cases where spam gets past the filters. It’s also possible for a legitimate review to be detected as spam and inadvertently removed. Signs of spam ratings include overly general information, non-human profile photos (e.g. avatars), and strange usernames.
Reviews with inappropriate content or images
Google provides guidelines on the types of content that users can include in a review. Disallowed types of content include hate speech, explicit content, profanity, and other types of objectionable content. Depending on Google’s filters, inappropriate reviews may be automatically removed or you may need to submit a removal request. The same goes for inappropriate images that don’t follow Google’s guidelines.
Multiple reviews from the same person
There are cases where a single person leaves multiple false or negative reviews for the same business. You can create different accounts or ask friends or family to use their accounts. It can be difficult to recognize when someone has submitted multiple reviews. Common signs are similar topics or issues and numerous negative reviews posted at the same time or in a short space of time.
Fake competitor reviews
The legal industry is highly competitive. Troubled law firms may make the unethical decision to try to improve their image by discrediting another law firm and leaving fake negative reviews. Note that this is most likely to occur at the local search level, when competition in law firms is often highest.
Reviews from employees
Employees, whether current or former, are not allowed to leave business reviews for employers – regardless of whether those reviews are negative or positive. When an employee submits a review for their current or former employer, it violates Google’s conflicts of interest policy. Employees are also not allowed to post reviews on the company profiles of competitors.
Reviews for another law firm
It sometimes happens that a client of a law firm leaves a review for the wrong firm. This is most likely to be the case in law firms with similar names in similar geographic locations. Fake reviews are often easy to spot as they may have nothing to do with the services you provide or mention specific people that you do not employ.
Reviews in wrong location
If you operate a law firm that has offices in multiple locations – whether the offices are in multiple cities or states – it is critical that clients leave reviews for the correct location. If a customer leaves a review for the office where they did not receive services, you can ask Google to remove the review. You can also ask the customer to give a rating for the right location.
If your law firm has been in the news for one reason or another recently, you may see reviews on your Google Business Profile that refer to opinions of your law firm from people you have not provided services to. You can request that Google remove such reviews.
How to remove a google review
Receiving fraudulent reviews can be frustrating – especially when they are negatively impacting your business or customer traffic. Google offers several ways for website managers to request removal of reviews. Before requesting a removal, review Google’s review policy to ensure you have a valid request.
There are three ways you can request a review to be removed:
- Report a review in your business profile account.
- Report a review in Google Search.
- Report a review in Google Maps.
To report a review in your business profile account, you must log in and select the review you wish to report. Depending on how your law firm is set up, you may need to select ratings for multiple companies. Once you’ve found the review you want to remove, you can flag it as inappropriate and wait for Google to complete the review process.
If you choose to report the review through Google Search, you must go to your business profile on Google’s homepage and search for the review. From there you can select the specific type of violation.
You can also use Google Maps to report a review. When you open Google Maps, find your business profile, find the review you want to report, and flag it as inappropriate.
Please note that it can take Google several days to review your request and determine if it violates standards and should be deleted. If Google removes the review, you don’t need to take any action. However, if Google doesn’t remove the review, you have the option to respond professionally to the commenter. If you ignore the negative review, you risk appearing unconcerned about your customers and their experience.
The next steps in digital marketing
Managing your online reputation through your business profile is easy once you know how to remove a fraudulent Google review. Remember to encourage customers to leave reviews, and check your profile regularly to make sure any comments left are accurate and from people you’ve actually worked with.
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago and is the founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and sole proprietorships. Annette is the author of the bestselling Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. She is a featured Keynote and CLE speaker in the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theater and professional comedy, which isn’t that different from the legal field, if we’re all being honest. You can find Annette on LinkedIn or at Annett@lawquill.com.