There’s now a faster, better way to report Google My Business reviews for removal.
It’s a huge bug-bear for businesses – fake or just plain inappropriate reviews on Google!
Well, there’s now a quicker way to report those reviews to Google for removal; if they violate its policies intended to prevent offensive, prejudicial, anti-competitive and fake or spam content (and so on).
Let’s remember – Google Reviews are a HUGE component of local search results – the more reviews, and the better your average score – the easier it is to rank highly.
Last week, Google launched a new tool, within the Google My Business (GMB) platform, which not only lets you see reviews about your business, but also report them for removal and track their status. There’s even the capability to quickly launch an appeal, if the removal request is denied.
That could save the managers of GMB profiles some serious time! Well, as long as all works as intended.
We’re encouraged by the fact that when you report a review, the follow-up message you receive says it may take ‘up to 72 hours’ to evaluate. Experience tells us, response times can be faster than this but if this timeline can be maintained overall, it’s likely that’s a strong service improvement.
So how does it work? Check out the example from our account, below, but use this link to access your own account.
Select your business (when logged into the account linked to your Google My Business profile).
Choose ‘check reviews…’ or ‘report a new review…’.
From here, it’s pretty self-explanatory. You use the ‘report a problem’ field to report a new review for removal and check the ‘Status’ field to see if your previously reported reviews have been evaluated yet.
If they have, and it’s determined, there’s no policy violation, follow the prompt to appeal (if you think you have good reason to do so).
So, what changed?
While it’s been possible to “flag reviews as inappropriate” using this platform for a while now, this new tool should give us all more confidence in the process and streamline our follow-up with Google.
Before last week, there were a multitude of ways to go about having a review removed including using the ‘flag as inappropriate’ function, contacting Google My Business via Twitter, via the Google My Business Help Center or via direct email and phone calls to representatives.
Our take is, this puts more control in the hands of the Google profile owner and makes it easier for you to take charge of removing reviews – if you wish to!
We’re watching closely for feedback about how responsive Google is, now this tool is up and running.
So far, we’re reading it has limited capability when the Google My Business platform contains multiple businesses over multiple locations (so it may be limiting for some SEO and marketing agencies responsible for many listings). Remember to ALWAYS own your own profiles – you can give your marketing agency access, but it should be your login. This is how we work with our clients at Pitstop, so a shout out to our clients – this won’t be a problem.
On the face of it though, it seems very helpful for small business owners like retailers, restauranters, trades and professional services, where reputation management is crucial!
If this is you, while you are waiting for Google to respond to your review removal request, our advice would still be to respond to the review in a highly professional way. As always, if you need more support, give us a call!