Tech Tips

September 16, 2015

How to Deal with a Negative Review on Google Places

Have you ever found a negative review on Google Places for your business? Naturally, you'll want it removed. If the review is spam or fraudulent, Google has a process for reviewing and removing it.

“XYZ Corp is the worst!  Terrible service!”

A negative review has appeared on your Google Places listing.  What do you do?  You can’t delete the review…are you stuck?  Will it stay there forever?

Not really.  You have options.  They depend on what kind of negative review it is.

If the review is from a real customer with a complaint:

If a real person is unsatisfied, your best practice is to respond to the review directly.  Ask the customer to contact you privately.  If there’s been a legitimate issue, apologize and do your best to fix things.  Often, you can turn the experience into a positive one.  Afterward, your Google Places listing shows everyone that you care about customers.


If the review is fraudulent (spam, a competitor posted it, it’s not relevant or illegal):

This happens a lot.  “Junk reviews” as we call them can show up for many reasons.  Spam or sabotage attempts are unfortunately common.


If you do get a fraudulent review, you can report it to Google & ask them to remove it.  Here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to your business’ listing on Google Places.  (Easiest way is to search for your business name on Google Maps.)
  2. Click the Reviews link on your business’ listing.  It’s under the images in the top right box.  For example, “1 review”.
  3. You should see a Reviews Window pop up.  Put your mouse over the reviewer’s name.  Just below it on the right, you should see a gray flag appear.  Click this flag.
  4. You’ll be taken to a new Google window titled, “Report a policy violation”.  Enter your email address.  Below that you’ll see this list of Violation Type choices:
    • This post contains hateful, violent, or inappropriate content
    • This post contains advertising or spam
    • Off-topic
    • This post contains conflicts of interest
  5. Click the most appropriate choice.
  6. Click the Submit button.

This submits the review to Google for their consideration.  Google may take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to respond.  If they find the review is indeed fraudulent, spam, or violent, they’ll remove the review.

It’s a good idea to check your Google Places listing frequently.  Reviews are public; anyone who looks up your business name will see them.  Keeping an eye on things – and reporting any fraudulent reviews you see – helps you put your best foot forward for your customers.