Time has changed and in so many good ways. Gone are the days when people would hesitate to make online transactions or trust online stores. Now, businesses leverage high-end technology and offer immersive experiences to help customers make wise choices. However, Google Reviews are the first thing customers check to understand the legitimacy of a business.
Thus, it is safe to say that Google reviews can impeccably influence businesses and individuals, both in good and bad ways. Good reviews drive credibility while bad reviews bring a business on its toes.
Now, it is important to understand that not all reviews are authentic; in essence, there might be a fraction of reviews, which violate Google policies. Therefore, it is crucial to report a review that is spammy, fake, or offensive to maintain the quality and integrity of online reviews.
Thankfully enough, Google offers an open door for businesses or individuals to report such reviews and get them removed. So, in this article, we will guide you through the steps to report a Google review effectively.
But before we head over to the steps, we shall understand what Google Reviews Policy is and how and in what circumstances it is violated.
What is Google Reviews Policy?
Google’s reviews policy is quite clear about what type of content can be considered prohibited or restricted. Any content that falls into the categories that violate Google’s policy can be deleted from the Google Business Profile.
Therefore, businesses need to keep tabs on going-ons on their Google Business Pages. On that note, we would advise you to ensure, you are always connected to reliable internet to take immediate action on the false reviews.
How to Identify Reviews that Break the Google Reviews’ Rules
Here are some of the types of content that violate Google Reviews are eligible to be reported.
- Offensive Content:
Most of the time, a review contains profane and offensive language; in that case, Google will remove it whether it is posted by a legitimate person or not. It means that obscene and offensive language is intolerable, according to Google Reviews Policy, whether it is fake or real.
Now, when it comes to deciding whether the language is offensive or not, it is up to Google employees. That is why, you may see reviews kept intact on Google Business Profile if they are mildly insulting without offensive words. Then, there are also cases where the reviews are taken off which are somehow sugar-coated but the language is indefensible.
Google comprehensively stipulates that all online reviews must be about actual and relevant experiences with a company. In case, some reviews are completely off the track, you might have a case.
Obviously, no one should leave a review about your food service when you do not even offer dine-in. Since Google ensures that reviews are correct and transparent, you can get them removed from your Business Profile.
- Spam and Fake Content
According to Google, any content can be categorized as spammy and fake content when it is not about a genuine experience. These sorts of reviews are intended to manipulate a company’s credibility and star rating. Moreover, posting the same comments on multiple companies is one of the indicators of spam reviews. In that case, the review will be removed no matter if it is real.
- Conflict of Interest
It is prohibited to write a review about a company if you are a company owner or current or former employee of a competitor. Obviously, reviews coming from an opposing party can be intended to malign the image of the competitor. However, it is within the discretion of Google to analyze each case significantly and understand the nature of the case.
Pretending to be a customer when you are not and leaving a review for business is considered against the rules of Google. Again, Google employees will check into why a person has left a comment on behalf of someone else, and if there seems a genuine reason, they will not take off the review.
How Do you Report a Google Review?
Here are the easy steps to report a Google review.
- Sign Up for Your Google Account
- Locate Business
Use Google Search or Maps to find the Business
- Open Business Google Page
Click the business name in search results to access it.
- Find Reviews to Report
Find out the review that you particularly want to report.
- Click on Flag Icon
Press the flag icon next to review.
- Select the Reasoning for Reporting
You will get a window where you have to explain why you want to report the comment. Make sure you indicate the underlying problems with the review and how it violates Google Review Policy. Also, give evidence to prove your stance, making it easy for Google employees to make an informed decision.
Then, you might also have another window, asking you to give additional information. While this is optional, you may use it to give more details about your case.
- Submit the Report
Now, press ‘Submit’ or ‘Report’ to submit your report.
- Monitor the Review
Once you have submitted the review, you will get a confirmation message from Google that your message has been received. Then, you have to keep track of the report until the final verdict is made.
Reporting a Google review is a straightforward process; however, the review must be eligible to be deleted. By keeping the key elements of review content in mind and the guides, you can report a review at any time.