Want to delete a Google My Business review? You’re not alone.
Physicians and medical practices dread negative online reviews. After all, bad reviews tarnish the reputation you’ve spent years building. Each negative review is suddenly visible to the world, including new potential patients, hurting not just your brand, but your practice’s bottom line and profitability.
Despite your best efforts, you just received a bad review…what’s the proper protocol to delete Google reviews, mitigating the long-lasting damages?
How to Delete a Google Review
Some reviews are so damaging and detrimental that you want them gone and deleted, particularly if they’re costing you business and new patients.
Within Google My Business, there is no single delete button. In order to delete a Google review, you must first flag it. However, you are only able to flag a review if it violates Google’s policies. Common Google review violations include:
- Reviews written by competitors seeking to sabotage others.
- Harassment, bullying, or hate speech will not be tolerated by Google. This includes the use of offensive language or personal attacks.
- Clear conflicts of interests forfeit your right to write reviews. This extends to current or past employees.
- Off-topic, inauthentic reviews, impersonation, and speaking on behalf of others’ experiences are also prohibited. Occasionally, you may receive a review from a name you don’t recognize. For some industries, such as restaurants, it’s impossible to validate whether or not an online review is authentic. Fortunately, this isn’t the case in healthcare. It should be easy to validate whether or not a review is authentic based on whether or not their name is in your patient database.
For a more comprehensive list of review violations, review Google review policies.
In other words, you are not able to delete a review because you disagree or it paints your practice in an unflattering light.
Google’s job isn’t to mitigate disputes between businesses and customers. Their objective is to uphold the integrity and authenticity of the reviews. For this reason, Google wishes to evaluate every review before it’s deleted.
To flag and delete a Google review, take the following steps outlined here.
- First and foremost, you must claim your Google My Business listing.
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have multiple listings, open the location you’d like to manage.
- Click Reviews from the menu.
- Find the review you’d like to flag, click the three-dot menu, then click Flag as inappropriate.
- Open the Google My Business app.
- Tap the menu, then tap Reviews.
- Find the review you’d like to flag, tap the three-dot menu, then tap Flag review.
Flagging a review does not guarantee it will be deleted. Google receives an overwhelming number of flags each day and they assess each one individually. The review process can take a few business days so be patient. If Google finds that the review violates their policies, the review will be deleted under three days. If you don’t have any luck on the first attempt, you can always escalate the issue and contact Google My Business directly.
How to Build 5-Star Google Reviews (And Bury the Bad Ones)
It’s important to understand that online reviews is a numbers game.
If you only have 10 reviews, each review carries more weight. However, if you have 100+ reviews, then each review has the potential to do less damage. A 5-star practice with one review doesn’t compare to a 5-star practice with 200 reviews. Patients pay equal attention to both the overall rating and review volume.