How I Removed A Slanderous Google Review – A Case Study (2013)

* Important intro note * – Originally the title of this post was “How To Remove Slanderous Google Reviews,” because – at the time (March 2013) – following these steps (especially #4, country-depending) would work well to remove your review. Over the years however, Google have changed their processes, making this post obsolete in some aspects – you’ll see in the comments (especially later ones) that more and more people have said that the steps below haven’t necessarily worked for them. I wanted to keep this post up for reference, but please understand that what’s written here may not 100% correspond with what you need to do these days. I’m actually considering writing a follow-up, as my folks’ business has been hit by another fake bad review (as of October 2015), in which case I’ll update this post with a link to it.

* Regarding contacting me * – I sometimes get people contacting me asking for help with this, especially if they’re struggling. Please understand that if you followed the instructions in this post, there’s really not much more I can do to help I’m afraid. And while you can hire me for SEO work, I don’t offer help on this front on an individual basis. Sorry.

Evil Computer photoEarlier this week, I had to deal with a slanderous review left on my parents’ company’s Google Places (a.k.a. Google+ Local) page. When researching how best to get it deleted, I came across a mishmash of info on a mix of blog posts and forums, which wasn’t very helpful, so I wanted to write about my experiences in getting it sorted.

Surprisingly, Google doesn’t exactly make the process easy. Well, they do, but it’s one of those ‘once you know, you know’ scenarios. And after reading about some horror stories, I wanted to outline how I managed it. So if you’re in a similar boat then I hope this helps you out.

The review’s discovery

Computer Recruiter logoMy parents run an IT recruitment agency called Computer Recruiter. I’d been working from home on the day that we discovered the review, as I was still recovering from an on-going, on-again-off-again illness (more about that in an upcoming blog post by the way), but as my folks are based nearby, they invited me over for lunch. We were talking about recent rankings (as I’ve done a bit of work for them in the past) and we got onto the subject of their Places page. I wanted to show them something on the page, but then we spotted it…

A review, left 3 weeks ago, with a rating of “Poor to Fair.”

Then we actually read the review…

I won’t copy and paste it in its entirety here (to be honest, I don’t think I thought to save a copy of it before it got removed), but let’s just say that it said the following:

  • It insulted my parents (especially my father), making a bunch of ridiculous and hurtful comments,
  • It stated that CR “misrepresents itself as a big company,” which is a lie,
  • It also stated that CR “post fake job posts on their site,” which is also a lie.
  • A whole bunch of other things, degrading the company.

Our immediate thought was that it was written by a disgruntled candidate. Although my folks have a great track record with candidates (which you can see on their Google Places page from the actually genuine reviews, of which there are currently 8 rated Excellent), we all know that it’s nigh on impossible to please absolutely everyone. But the review in question sounded bitter and a little too knowledgeable about the company to be that. No… it had to be a competitor.

Additionally, the name of the reviewer – a “Charlotte Jones” – isn’t someone they’ve ever dealt with, especially not 3 weeks ago or previously. A pseudonym.

Justification for the review’s removal

The review wasn’t just hurtful and potentially damaging to the business – it was slander.

Going back to the two bullet-points above, my folks don’t misrepresent CR as a big company: their About page states that it was started by the two of them and that it’s still run “by the the Morgan family.” Similarly, their LinkedIn company page says that they have “1-10 employees.” They don’t post fake job posts, either – all job posts listed on the site are genuine.

Oh and who cares if they’re a small company anyway? They told me a story of a competitor who once approached one of their clients and said: “why do you use that company? You know they’re just a husband-and-wife team, don’t you?” to which the client replied: “I don’t care. They’re good at what they do.” But I digress…

With the above two comments being complete lies, we knew that we could report it as slander. But how best to report it? It might be considered overkill, but we did four things in total, the fourth/final one being the winner. I’ll outline them all anyway, so that you can see all the things that you can do – but otherwise, feel free to just jump to #4.

1) “Flag as inappropriate”

Below every review on Google+ Local pages, you can click the flag icon:

Google Review Removal: Attempt 1 screenshot

You can then “Report a policy violation” – i.e. whether it’s hateful, spam, off-topic, etc…

We did this first, but as there wasn’t an option for anything to do with slander in the list, I wasn’t convinced it would do the trick…

2) Respond to the review

In addition to the flag icon, if you’re the owner of the page, you should also have the option to “Respond” to each review:

Google Review Removal: Attempt 2 screenshot

Not a ‘removal’ technique per se, but we decided to do this just in case the review wasn’t removed straight away but seen by others in the meantime. We left a short message explaining that we considered the message to be slanderous and that we were taking steps to remove it.

3) Report the Google+ user profile

Given that “Charlotte” had a Google+ profile but it contained no info whatsoever (except for that review), my father decided to “Report / block” the user as well. This can be done by navigating to the person’s G+ profile and clicking on the “Report / block [name]” link found below their avatar:

Google Review Removal: Attempt 3 screenshotClick to enlarge

4) Report legal action

This was the winner though. After doing all of the above, I investigated a bit more and discovered this post, which brought to my attention something I should’ve spotted in #1 above – this:

Google Review Removal: Attempt 4 screenshotClick to enlarge

When you go the “flag as inappropriate” route, there’s a box that says:

If you have located one or more reviews that you believe warrant removal from Google’s services based on applicable laws, please follow the instructions detailed on this page to submit a legal request.

That link lets you “Report other legal removal issue” depending on your country and its laws. You have to give a bit of info (the content and its URL, plus why you think it breaks the law), leave a “digital signature” and tick a box that means you “swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notification is accurate and that [you are] authorised to report this alleged violation.” Pretty serious stuff.

Thinking it might take a week or two, I thought to myself: “we’ve done all that we can…”

Success!

In less than 24 hours, Google had emailed my father saying that they had removed the offending review! Their email in full:

Hello,

Thanks for reaching out to us.

In accordance with Google Inc.’s policies concerning content removal, we have completed processing your request. We are working on disabling access to the content in question at the following URLs:

https://plus.google.com/109809343368607402172/about?hl=en

If you would like to file additional requests, we ask that you contact us by using the online forms at: www.google.com/support/go/legal as we do not accept add-on requests.

Regards,
The Google Team

Woohoo! 🙂

Why the review actually backfired

The menace behind what I deem to be a rather despicable act obviously intended to do damage to Computer Recruiter. Unfortunately for them, it kind of backfired…

In addition to getting the review removed pretty promptly after its discovery, I asked my folks to contact a few recent candidates, asking them to leave a review if they wanted to. They’re also going to carry this on as-and-when candidates are placed into new roles as standard. So not only has the bad review been removed, we’re hoping to get even more good ones added to the page!

Oh and they’ve gotten some free promotion and links out of this article, including bringing to light their many genuine, high-praising reviews.

How do you like them apples?

What Google can do to help

I think Google can certainly do more to help small businesses who find themselves in a similar predicament. I think the same can be said about Google Places/Google+ Local as a whole (and I’m sure that many SEOs would agree, given that it’s a buggy, clunky and confusing system), but as far as this particular issue is concerned, they should do two things:

Firstly, I think a review alert/notification system would be a Godsend, i.e. if someone posts a new review, you’re alerted by email. That way, business owners know about reviews as-and-when they happen, and if they’re offensive, they can take the appropriate (and immediate) action. In the meantime, the alternatives are to check your page constantly or to stumble upon new reviews by chance – given that our review was live for 3 weeks before we noticed, I’ll let you guess which approach we took…

Secondly, while Google does indeed make it a painless (albeit scary) process, I fear that it’s not given enough prominence. After all, I completely glazed over the info box containing the legal action link when I first flagged the review – whether that’s partly or mainly my own fault, Google could’ve made it more obvious. An extra radio button pointing people to the form wouldn’t hurt, nor would having a dedicated page about what to do, which is visible in Google Search (and I’m assuming they don’t have one, given the fact that I couldn’t find one).

One more thing…

Lastly, if you’re based in Cardiff and have an interest in online slander (I mean hell, who doesn’t?!) then you might be interested in Cardiff Blogs‘ next event: What You Can/Can’t Say Online. I’ll be there with bells on.

[Image credits – evil computer: opensourceway; Computer Recruiter logo: their website]

Update (3rd November 2015): Added the “Important note” at the top of the post following on from the comments below.

116 Comments

  • […] […]

    • Pee Vee

      November 2, 2015 at 5:43 pm Reply

      My friend, a plumber has had a couple of very nasty reviews, usually about price. I suggested your tips, which did NOT work in Canada. However, I suggested he delete his whole company profile and wait for Google to flush it out. Meanwhile, contact his web site professional with the fact he was going to resubmit his profile under a new name for example, if it is “xyz plumbing ltd” delete that; then after it is gone create new one called “Plumbing and Heating, XYZ Ltd” Hoping this works, as he is only losing 10 reviews, 2 of which were bad for no good reason. The problem is unlike the corporate world, Mom and Pops take the reviews personally, and suffer huge mental stress over the bad reviews. My view is that all reviews should be banned for that reason alone. Then the public can do like they have always done, choose a company by asking a friend who their favorite (Type of Service) is. Old fashioned and simple, plus no-one gets bullied or crushed emotionally.
      Keep up the good work.

      • Pee Vee

        November 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm Reply

        I forgot to mention, that the reason I had suggested he contact his web site professional, is that they can usually set up your profile in such a way that it can be found in the search engines, which will in turn drive traffic to your website. It’s like search engine optimization, but in this case, it is profile related rather than website related.

      • Steve

        November 3, 2015 at 8:21 am Reply

        Thanks Pee Vee. I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work in Canada. I think the legal approach differs from country to country – and in fact it’s not as effective as it once was here in the UK, either. Which is a shame.

      • frank

        April 20, 2016 at 1:12 pm Reply

        how do I remove reviews from google please???

    • jane

      March 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm Reply

      ive had botox client walk out not pay and leave me bad review

      • Kellie

        May 6, 2016 at 10:31 pm Reply

        I’m very familiar with this Jane. I had the same except she called me a liar, steals money and worse. I reported it to Google, somehow the review was removed but now worse, in the Google review summary it simply states my name and says I should legally not be allowed to practise. It’s so bad!! 😔😔

    • Johnny Berardo

      March 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm Reply

      In short I opened up the company for 10 years now I’ve never had a bad review suddenly my company which is called Monsieur lelectricien got a bad review from a false alias whose name is [REMOVED]. This is very unfair if the review is a false review and I’ve never served this client before please let me know what can be done thank you

      • Steve

        March 22, 2016 at 5:45 pm Reply

        Hi Johnny. Your best bet is to follow the steps in this post (although it’s c. 3 years old now, so some of the steps may have changed in the meantime). Unfortunately Google don’t make it easy to remove reviews, even if they’re false and from fake, non-existent customers… I believe that people are having similar issues with bad/fake reviews on Facebook Pages as well. It sucks. Good luck – hope you manage to get it sorted!

    • Vincent Goode

      June 28, 2016 at 10:57 am Reply

      Well done Steve, this type of inaccurate reviewing can be upsetting and very damaging to the reputation that us small business owners spend years getting right. I’ve followed your steps and hope that the idiot that clearly left a review that should have been for a different company, is removed. His name is [REMOVED] and he’s made me very angry grrrrrrrrr….

      • Steve

        June 28, 2016 at 11:03 am Reply

        Thanks Vincent. 🙂 I’ve published your comment but removed the person’s name, just to protect you in case s/he were to find out that you’d written this. Hope that’s ok.

    • Ciaran Sayle (Owner)

      October 23, 2016 at 8:34 am Reply

      Hi, I run Righteous Unity Gaming a none profit online community and I can’t seam to get this entire site of the google search engine. They blatently say don’t touch these guy with a ten foot barge pole and since it is a google sites page I can’t seam to get in contact with google to get it removed. HELP it’s one of the top results for god sakes when you type in Righteous Unity and I need the site removed ASAP Thanks.

    • william steventon

      November 12, 2016 at 11:42 am Reply

      lm getting Hammered by jealous vindictive scammers Broker/Mandates lve exposed.Google totally uncooperative.obviously jealous of peoples success.44 years in Business

    • Sarah

      April 4, 2017 at 4:44 pm Reply

      I can understand if people are lying when they review a company, but what if the people aren’t lying? For instance, I just made a review on a company I utilized. I put my story out there, and the owner came back with lies about me. They claimed that they evicted us when, in fact, they did not. How do you go about getting the company in trouble for slanderous comments?

      • Valerie

        June 9, 2017 at 9:24 am Reply

        This happened to me too, I actually took company to court and won(fair enough, they paid up within days). I now left a review saying when dealing with company to document everything in case it goes to court and they’re threatening to sue me and asking yell to remove negative feedback.

        They’ve also lied and written untrue things. I just amended my review with word for word the judgement I got and left it as that.

        I intend to write a review of this company at as many places as I can find with my court judgement.

    • Joe

      June 1, 2017 at 6:24 am Reply

      Hi Steve!

      was wondering what your views are on companys online that advertise removal of bad reviews online?

  • Nick

    March 9, 2013 at 11:58 am Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience of the Google reviews removal process, and I’m glad to hear that it worked out well in the end for you.

    Some of our clients suffer problems with fake reviews and it can be difficult to deal with, but your discovery shows that there is a way through it!

    • Steve

      March 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm Reply

      Hi Nick, no problem – glad you found it helpful! 🙂

      • Daniella

        May 9, 2015 at 4:58 am Reply

        Hi Steve
        thanks for the tips. I suffer a similar issue: a woman has posted incorrect, hateful comments on Google+ about my business. Now, when you google us, the first thing you see is her horrible statement. I tried following your advice on point 4 (legal action) but I’m not sure which category to select, nothing seems to refer to my situation. Can you please help me?
        Thanks
        Daniella

        • Steve

          May 9, 2015 at 5:46 am Reply

          Hi Daniella. By “category” do you mean the violation type or something else? If the former and if the terminology hasn’t changed (sorry – I’m unable to check a live example right now) then my guess is hateful/inappropriate content. But I’m not too sure and I can’t say that that’s absolutely the right choice. Hope that helps anyhow. Good luck!

          • Vicki Ruggiero

            May 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm

            My problem is different. We had horrible service from an events place hired for my daughter’s wedding. I placed an honest review but was not nasty in any way. I just said the glassware and chairs had to be cleaned which added to the stress of the day. The events place is upset that they got a negative review and is threatening to sue for slander. ???? My husband is upset and just wants me to take the review down but I can’t figure out how to do that.

          • Steve

            May 13, 2015 at 6:33 am

            Hi Vicki. You should be able to delete the review by logging into your Google+ account (the account you used to leave the review), going to your profile, clicking on the ‘Reviews’ tab and clicking on the Bin icon below that particular review.

            However if your review is genuine and honest then I wouldn’t back down. A lot of companies will make threats of this nature to bully people out of leaving bad reviews about them. While they shouldn’t get away with it, I don’t blame you if you’d rather not have the hassle and/or if showing proof may be hard.

  • […] How To Remove Slanderous Google Reviews – A Case Study […]

  • Henk Vos

    March 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm Reply

    Totally awesome. I’m certain this will be very helpful for all those people who have dodgy / dubious reviews placed on their pages by others. And its a good process that preserves the right to make a bad review where the service is bad. Now we just need Google to stop mixing up people’s GP listings with those of others.

    Thanks for the share.

  • Scott

    May 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm Reply

    Google no longer removes such posts under the legal request section. You must now submit a court order declaring it to be defamatory.

    “Pursuant to section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, Google does not remove allegedly defamatory reviews from business listings located in the United States. If you are a business owner concerned about a review that you feel to be unfounded, please review the feature of Google Places that allows business owners to respond directly to posted reviews.”

    • Steve

      May 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm Reply

      Hi Scott. Great find! Where did you find that? Do you have a link you can pass on please? Also, is this new (i.e. the last few days/weeks)? Because it certainly wasn’t the case when I wrote the article (or at least it didn’t affect me when I did it)! Thanks. 🙂

      • Meg

        June 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm Reply

        Hey Steve. I’m going through the same thing that you did, but I unfortunately ran up against the same exact issue. Here’s the page that Scott mentioned: http://support.google.com/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2621975&rd=1
        That’s the page I get after doing what you suggest in your Step #4 (Report Legal Action). I’m in the United States, so I guess removal isn’t allowed here. Perhaps you’re in a different country?

        • Steve

          June 18, 2013 at 8:04 am Reply

          Hi Meg, thanks for the comment. I am indeed in a different country – I’m based in Wales in the UK.

          Thanks for bringing this to my attention guys. I’ll update the top of this post to notify new visitors that it may not be an easy process for them if they’re based in the US. Cheers!

  • Angie

    October 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm Reply

    Hi Steve,

    I just want to say thank you so much for helping me with this. The same thing happened with my parents company and it is just hurtful and inappropriate. I just filled out the form. Thank you sooooooo much!

    Angie (from Canada)

    • Steve

      October 31, 2013 at 7:07 am Reply

      Hi Angie, that’s fantastic to hear ! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

  • Shelly

    December 5, 2013 at 9:33 am Reply

    THIS WORKED!!! THANK YOU FOR THE TIPS! Hopefully, Google will remove this. I hate review sites bc they pretty much allow anyone to write anything about anybody-disgruntled vendors, friends of employees, etc. Customers have no idea how review sites work. They are detrimental to small businesses, and something needs to be done. I don’t even ask for positive ones anymore bc they don’t get posted (like on yelp-don’t get me started…) and then you give trollers or competing businesses ideas. It’s amazing how low some businesses will stoop in order to try and further their own businesses…fake profiles, everything. What a joke…but thank you for your help!

    • Steve

      December 5, 2013 at 10:56 am Reply

      Fantastic! I’m glad to hear that it worked for you, Shelley! 🙂

      I know what you mean. I’ve seen people leave reviews for people who didn’t even do any work for them (e.g. they sent an enquiry but never got a reply, so they gave them 1 out of 5) – hardly fair. It also does my head in when people review improperly on things like LOVEFiLM and Amazon (e.g. if a film’s not available, they give it 1 out of 5 – it’s not the film’s fault! – or if there were problems with the delivery of a product, they give a product 1 out of 5 – again, it’s not the product’s fault)! Does my head in, haha!

      • Valerie

        June 9, 2017 at 9:32 am Reply

        This is true, most of my reviews are good online, in fact this is the 2nd negative feedback I’ve ever given, and I gave it because I had to take company to court for something they could’ve sorted out easily but refused to see things from a different point of view, even after I paid an independent surveyor to give opinion.

        I went to court out of principle and won.

  • Jane Cole

    January 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm Reply

    Dear Steve

    I have become a victim of a false review. I know my review is false as it claims I have adopted a practice of overcharging when dealing with a sale of a property. I know this is a lie as I have never, in all my years of practicing deviated from a fixed fee on a sale. I do not know who wrote my review but I know it was not a client who has used my firm.

    I have looked at your advice and the section you used only refers to copyright….. Am I doing something wrong.

    I have looked into the new Defamation Act 2013 and I have told google I will be serving a section 5 Notice. I will then pursue other channels if that doesn’t work. I will let you know how I get on. Thank you for your blog….. Having investigated this matter I can see the damage this type of thing causes. Google are a disgrace for supporting this behaviour.

    Kind regards
    Jane Cole

    • Steve

      January 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm Reply

      Hi Jane. Thanks for your comment.

      Indeed, in cases where they are outright lies, it can be very damaging and hurtful to a business – and undeservedly so. I know one guy who was accused of sexual harassment, which I’m sure is doing major damage not only to his company image but also to his personal image.

      I think Google always likes to play it safe, so if you pursue a legal action (like I did) then I’d be surprised if they don’t do anything about it – and I’d be particularly surprised if they don’t do anything following a section 5 notice. Please do let me know how you get on, as I’d be interested to know. I hope you get it sorted. Good luck!

  • Ben

    January 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm Reply

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for taking time to write this article, it really helped, especially in finding the legal report page.
    Unfortunately I’m hitting a brick wall with ‘The Google Team’. They refuse to remove a libelous review written by my girlfriends psychotic stalker, who’s never met me but turned his attention to my business and reputation.
    Their only suggestions are a court order or sort it out in person. As you can imagine neither options are particularly viable.
    Similar to your situation I’m in the UK and its from a fake Google+ profile without any activity. He posted the same review under different names on two other review sites which were promptly removed. Despite stating half a dozen Google policy infringements and UK law on libel and defamation, they’re not interested in removing it.
    Is there any particular infringement you pointed out to get such a speedy removal?

    • Steve

      January 15, 2014 at 8:14 am Reply

      Hi Ben, thanks for the comment. No, I didn’t point out any infringements – I think I just followed the usual/basic procedure and they removed the review. My article’s almost a year old now, so perhaps things have changed since the time that I published it and that they’ll less readily remove reviews – either that or there’s something else at play (e.g. they believe the review to be genuine and just, for whatever reason).

      That said, I’ve just Googled your company’s name (I hope you don’t mind) and all I saw were 4 5-star reviews with positive descriptions, so maybe it was removed overnight?

      • Ben

        January 15, 2014 at 10:27 am Reply

        Unfortunately not. There’s a Google+ for the practice as a whole and then one under my name as an individual. That still shows the libelous ‘review’.
        I’m shocked at Googles apathy towards this. My final solution would be to try and delete myself entirely from Google local, but I’ve read they don’t make this easy either. Shame on Google.

        • Ben

          January 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm Reply

          Update – I persevered and eventually someone within Google saw sense and removed it.
          It should not have taken 4 weeks and multiple reports and emails though. Google needs to address this or businesses are at the mercy of abuse.

          • Steve

            January 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm

            Thanks for posting about the update, Ben. I’m glad that you got it sorted. 🙂

  • TWDG Ltd

    February 9, 2014 at 8:01 am Reply

    Hi Steve.

    I see this post being really useful for ecommerce companies who have competitors leaving bad reviews.

    Not just ecommerce, I suppose its useful for any business.

    Thanks

    Andy

    • Steve

      February 9, 2014 at 8:54 am Reply

      Thanks Andy. I’m not sure how much it’ll help businesses outside of Google Places/Google+ Local (which won’t apply to many eCommerce businesses), unless its principles and processes can be applied and expand to other review aggregators. Either way, I’m glad it helped 🙂

  • Richard

    February 13, 2014 at 10:36 am Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Looks like google UK have changed things now also.
    We got a slanderous and racist comment from someone who never had any contact with our business (fake account??) and I get the same issues as the guys from the US state above.
    Checked that I am on the .co.uk site, but it always directs to the court order page…

    Tried your suggestions for point 1, 2 and 3 for the last 3 weeks but google do do anything and cant find a way to actually contact them via email or phone.

    Hope you do not run into the same problems again – as looks like there is no longer an easy solution.

    • Steve

      February 13, 2014 at 10:41 am Reply

      Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that, Richard. Thanks for letting me know – I’ll update the post accordingly.

  • Jason Outten

    March 12, 2014 at 8:09 am Reply

    Just tried your legal approach, i hope it works. We had a terrible review posted yet the person has never even visited our business. Sets up a google account makes one post and thats it. Looks like a jealous competitor.

    Thanks
    Jason

    • Steve

      March 12, 2014 at 9:31 am Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Jason. If it’s the case that that’s the only activity belonging to the account then that should help things considerably. It was the same with us – the only thing that the account had ever done was leave a negative review against us. In addition to the legal option, you could also try reporting the profile itself (#3 above) to further help your case. Please do let me know how you get on. Good luck!

      • Jason Outten

        March 28, 2014 at 8:39 am Reply

        Reported and they said doesn’t go against policy. Challenged on legal grounds of defamation via the links you showed. They still questioned as defamation does not apply to a company with ten or more employees in Australia. But when i informed them of our size (small business) they removed. As in Australia you can sue the facilitator or publisher of the defamation. Took about a week of back and forth though.

        • Steve

          March 28, 2014 at 8:54 am Reply

          That’s interesting – thanks for sharing, Jason. Good to hear the process in another country. I’m also glad to hear that you got it removed.

  • Sharron Inglis

    April 22, 2014 at 8:43 am Reply

    Hi, thanks for this – bitter ex-employee left slanderous comment for us – totally untrue and potentially damaging – have taken all steps you suggest – hopefully will be sorted soon. Thank you – your post was very easy to understand and the steps easy to carry out

    • Steve

      April 22, 2014 at 8:45 am Reply

      Thanks for the feedback on the post, Sharron. Good luck – I hope you manage to get it sorted!

  • Ronnie

    May 23, 2014 at 4:34 pm Reply

    Hello

    we did Exactly what you said in posting, and after two months the review was removed, the very next day the person posted the review again, Google moved, I believe Google have remove the posting about 12 times, and very next day it back
    We reported in the first place, because they Refreshing the reviews so it would not get old , what does it take Google to disabling someone account 🙁

    • Steve

      May 24, 2014 at 8:37 am Reply

      Hi Ronnie, thanks for commenting. It’s odd that the review keeps coming back. Have you tried reporting the account/profile responsible each time (see #3)? Otherwise I don’t know what else to suggest here – sorry. Is it the same account each time or do they set up a brand new account each and every time?

      • Ronnie

        May 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm Reply

        Hello

        it the same account each time, Google send us this message

        Hello,

        Thanks for reaching out to us.

        In accordance with the laws in your country, we have completed processing your request. We are working on disabling access to the content in question at the following URLs:

        All i can think is they repost it when it has been removed

        • Steve

          May 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm Reply

          I see. The only thing I can think of is to report the review and then report the profile at the same time or shortly afterwards (if you’re not doing so already). Hopefully Google will get the hint. That said, unless the reviewer is really on-the-ball in reposting it, I wonder if it’s actually a bug with Google not removing it properly…

          Maybe try Google Places support and see if you can type a message to them explaining what’s happening? Hopefully they’ll then be able to sort it out. Not sure what else to suggest otherwise – very unusual!

  • Jacob

    June 20, 2014 at 6:58 am Reply

    My Friend also is suffering from same situation like you in Australia, do you think, he should also follow the same, he is got very small buisness and some tried to tarnish the reputation in jealousy and he knows who is that ?

    • Steve

      June 20, 2014 at 7:34 am Reply

      Hi Jacob. Absolutely. As far as I’m aware (unless things have changed) you can’t plead your case to Google and pass on a message explaining why you’re reporting it, but by all means, he should follow the steps in this post and see what happens. Just advise him that it depends on the country, so Australia might handle the process differently to how they do it here in the UK. Good luck to him!

  • Jess

    June 30, 2014 at 8:50 am Reply

    I’ve recently left a review for a moving company but under a Pseudonym. You might ask why I did that? Well to put it bluntly, the owner is a psychopath. Many of my ornamanets were broken, ornaments thatI’d had for more than 20 years. All in all the company damaged approx 5 boxes of china and various pieces. I could have claimed for the damages but I was reluctant do do this because she is such an aggressive woman and I didn’t want the stress of it all. However, nothing as going to stop me from posting up a review, which I did, under a different name. I am not about to have her knocking at my door or screaming at me down the phone like she did before when I complained about the scratches on my fridge. I think it is wrong that businesses can apply to google to have reviews removed. People have a right to know about the grading of a company. What is the point of posting a review if they can be removed?

    • Steve

      June 30, 2014 at 9:11 am Reply

      Hi Jess. I completely understand what you’re saying and I can empathise – I’ve been trying to make a complaint about a rude member of staff at my local doctor’s surgery, but also can’t deal with the stress of it all, especially as they make the process really difficult and her boss (the surgery’s manager) is defending her actions.

      However I think it’s wrong that you think it’s wrong that people can get reviews removed. Did you read some of the other comments here? Have you read about people who’ve (allegedly) unfairly been accused of things that they haven’t done wrong? I had a guy email me who asked for help because a review had accused him of being a sleaze and hitting on his clients – that’s not just affecting his business, but potentially his personal life as well. It’s awful. If you open up and encourage anonymous reviews, then you encourage dirty tactics such as dodgy/fake reviews left by competitors. That’s not a good alternative.

      I think that you should change your review and put your real name against it. By posting a review under a pseudonym, they can argue that it’s a fake review – in effect you are ‘fakening’ your review. They can say “we never had a customer by that name” and prove it – they can even go so far and say “well it must be a competitor then.” I understand that you’re scared of the business’ owner, but if what you’re saying is true – that she may get in touch with you and act aggressively towards you – then you can report her to the police, and rightfully so.

      At the end of the day, Google cares about legitimacy – you’re saying that “people have a right to know about the grading of a company,” but that grading needs to be done so legitimately. And while real names = legitimacy, pseudonyms do not.

  • Ajit Nayak

    July 28, 2014 at 11:16 am Reply

    Steve,

    Can we delete any negative reviews posted by someone else?

    Thanks
    Ajit

    • Steve

      July 28, 2014 at 11:23 am Reply

      Hi Ajit. You can only ask Google to consider removing slanderous reviews – if it’s a normal negative (but genuine) review then I’m afraid that you’ll have to grin and bear it, however you could take steps to counter it, such as by offering an apology and/or compensation to the unhappy customer (in the hopes that they may then remove it), or asking your happy to customers to leave a review in order to bring your average star rating up. Good luck!

      • Ajit Nayak

        July 28, 2014 at 11:39 am Reply

        Thanks Steve.

  • Kal

    August 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm Reply

    Hi Steve,

    I came across your post as we have a horrible review. This is not by a client, my wife has been in business for 14 years in the city centre and all our business is word of mouth and goto say we have great clients. The review has a personal attack on my wife and i have a hearing difficulty and the person whom has left the review has discriminated me about my hearing which i feel deeply hurt. I have a hearing loss of 40% (all my life) and try to accomodate people as much as i can i help out in the business.

    I’ve tried to remove this post but i have had no joy

    here is a link to the persons post: [REMOVED]

    • Kal

      August 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm Reply

      p.s. they end up recommending the competition we think it is a fake review

      • Steve

        August 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm Reply

        Hi Kal. I know the feeling… It was upsetting when, in my example, the reviewer made harsh personal comments against my dad (the business owner).

        I would follow all the steps (especially #4), but you may have luck also with #3, i.e. reporting the user. It’s their only review, and their profile is otherwise empty, so Google may pick up on that and have a problem with it (it certainly doesn’t seem legit, especially as it mentions a competitor). Best of luck with it – I hope you get it sorted! 🙂

  • Ben

    September 23, 2014 at 4:21 pm Reply

    Hi Steve,

    Looking at this from a user point of view, are you able to advise on whether the following review would fall into normal negative review or slander as I want to ensure I’m safe to post the review first?

    I paid a company for a product upfront and when they were unable to honour this I was offered a refund. The refund wasn’t honoured either which left me severely out of pocket – the reason being that the company had gone bust and the director declared bankrupt. Yet the company are trading again using a family relative as a director though the bankrupt former director is very much involved in the day-to-day running of the new company. I wanted to post my experience and warn others about dealing with this company

    If I give a review to this affect and mentioned the above pitfalls – company insisting on paying upfront, having a previous bankrupt director involved in the firm still and my issue with not receiving a refund, could you please confirm that this will…

    (a) not break any rules on slander
    (b) remain as a Google review

    Many Thanks,

    Ben

    • Steve

      September 23, 2014 at 6:18 pm Reply

      Hi Ben.

      Interesting situation!

      That’s a tricky one. Technically you’ve never been a customer of the business in its ‘new’ form, so you can’t say that you’ve bought the product through them. However I understand your inclination to warn people about them.

      I don’t actually know the repercussions of having a review removed from the review-submitter’s perspective. I imagine that it’ll simply be removed and that it’s, although repeat offences could cause your account to be banned, which could be a problem if you use Google+ or the likes of Gmail, etc. (if you use those products, and if a ban would extend that far). Beyond that, I was going to suggest warning people on forums instead, but there could be other libel/slander issues, especially if you can’t ‘prove’ that you were a customer, which you can’t do in its new form (you can in its old).

      I wouldn’t take my advice though. If you know anyone who works in a legal capacity (and especially related to libel/slander) then I would pick their brains about it. But it might be best to abstain… Better to be safe than sorry.

  • Trudy

    November 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm Reply

    Thank you (From Canada)
    Your instructions have been most helpful where Google has failed.
    I’m surprised Google ( where I found the site with defamatory reviews) makes something so simple, so complicated to access!
    I found racist comments on reviews for a high school. The ‘reviews’ were 2 months to over one year ago. How on earth the school could have let this go by is infuriating.
    It is a disservice to the school, students, teachers, educational system, community, potential students etc…
    The fact that no person spoke up or looked into having these reviews removed is in part a reflection of how un-necessarily complicated & time consuming it appears in order to remove such reviews.
    Thanks again!

    • Steve

      November 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm Reply

      Hi Trudy. Regarding the fact that they let it go by all this time, could it be the case that they were simply unaware? I know that some of the high schools where I live in the UK are rubbish with technology – their website is basic with lots of broken pages, they’ll be on Twitter (but won’t use it / respond to tweets), etc… It could simply be the case that they didn’t know. Thankfully, since this post came out, I think Google have now created an alert-type system, so people should be notified of new reviews, good or bad.

  • Adrian Brown

    December 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm Reply

    We have a rogue review on Google My Business (Guest House in UK) – guest never stayed with us, never heard of her! No info on her Google+ account (should not be allowed!) Have found the forms for review removal, but it asks for the correct URL to post the review – how would I know that?? The review does not breach any guidelines or legal issues – its just not linked to the correct business. Posted info on Google Forum and hopefully will get some help. Have followed all the above advice where applicable, so thanks for that.

    • Steve

      December 21, 2014 at 10:27 am Reply

      Hi Adrian. That’s annoying! Like you say, it sounds like she’s left the review against the wrong guest house, but you never know – it could be a competitor (a rival guest house) trying to make you look bad. In term of the “correct URL”, I’d provide either her Google+ profile (open on the Reviews tab, if it shows) or a link to your own profile (on the About tab, which should show all your reviews) and make sure to mention which review in particular, if it gives you the option. I don’t think Google lets you link to individual reviews, which is annoying. Good luck – hope you manage to get it sorted!

      • Adrian

        December 21, 2014 at 4:38 pm Reply

        Thanks. Have now got the form submitted using her google+ account url. Will see what happens!

  • Adrian Brown

    December 24, 2014 at 7:51 am Reply

    Following your advice on putting the Google+ URL of the reviewer in the box asking where the review should have been posted, Google to their credit, responded witin 24 hours that they were investigating and asked for a screenshot of the review, and now 48 hours later they confirmed removal and it has gone from our business page! RESULT – thank you.

    • Steve

      December 24, 2014 at 8:31 am Reply

      Yay! Glad to hear it! 🙂

  • Katey

    March 25, 2015 at 5:52 pm Reply

    If the post is on Rated people – which is arguably hosted by google – do the same laws apply?

    • Steve

      March 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm Reply

      Hi Katey. Unfortunately I’ve never done anything with Rated People so I have no idea how best to proceed. I recommend checking out their Support/Help section and contacting their customer service team for more info. Good luck!

  • Huseyin

    March 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Just wanted to say thank you for this as I’ve followed all steps and it looks like Google are taking my complaint re malicious review seriously. The only bit I struggled with was finding a link to Google online chat support. So I cheated a little bit and went through on the Adwords online help. They were very helpful and understanding, even though I weren’t through to the right department. My complaint was registered and forwarded on. I’m impressed by Google.

    Also, just wanted to say Steve, what an absolutely nice guy you must be to take the trouble to answer every post in the way you have. Very pleased to have hit on this site so thanks for all of your help!

    • Steve

      March 29, 2015 at 9:31 am Reply

      Hi Huseyin, thanks for taking the time to write your comment – I won’t lie, it’s made my day, haha! 🙂

      Ahh, so you went through the online chat option? I’ve never done that – I usually use the call-back option. But even that can sometimes be tricky to find… It should appear on this page, but sometimes it shows and sometimes it doesn’t. I have a feeling that it doesn’t show out-of-hours, but does do if it is, but it might be US-time rather than GMT/BST (so rather than showing 9am to 5pm for us, it’ll show 9am to 5pm in the US, which would be like 3pm to 11pm – time-zone depending).

      Anyway, good work on getting it sorted via AdWords – again, I’ve never done that either, but I’ve heard stories that Google is very ‘silo’ed’ (i.e. AdWords is AdWords, GMB is GMB – asking for help for one in the other can be fruitless), so good effort in getting them to help you.

  • Tarun Kumar

    April 4, 2015 at 7:22 am Reply

    Hi, i want to ask is there any other option to remove other comment because i have deleted the Google plus pages and it is deleted but comments and star mark is showing but i want to remove both and My Google plus page is not showing.. Help me

    • Steve

      April 4, 2015 at 9:47 am Reply

      Hi Tarun, could you please clarify what you mean by “remove other comment”? Perhaps share an example or a screenshot? Not entirely sure what you mean and what you need help with exactly.

      • Tarun Kumar

        April 4, 2015 at 9:57 am Reply

        Hi i am unable to send screen shot but i am giving some example type laptop on rent in delhi in Google.co.in and you will see laptop on rent .co.in in 4th position it is in Google business places you can check i have deleted Google plus pages but i could not remove comment. Kindly check this..

        • Steve

          April 4, 2015 at 10:15 am Reply

          The listing with 4 reviews? I can see that it doesn’t have the “Google+ Page” link. This is probably a safeguard by Google to make sure that people cannot simply delete a listing with reviews against it simply to get rid of it. I’m not sure what to suggest here sorry – perhaps try contacting Google My Business (Google Places’ name these days) and ask them.

  • Paddy

    April 28, 2015 at 3:10 pm Reply

    However handy this is to be able to remove slanderous comments, I think that others should be able to see if a business is failing to meet its standards.

    • Steve

      April 28, 2015 at 4:05 pm Reply

      That’s very true, Paddy. If a review is fake or untrue (and therefore slanderous) then the business should seek to remove it. However if it’s legitimate, they should accept it and focus on making their current and future clients/customers happier.

  • Suzanne

    May 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm Reply

    I have tried following your very helpful advice to remove a slanderous review from our Google+ local site. I have clicked on the “this page” link after clicking the “flag as inappropriate” to submit a legal request and ticked all the appropriate questions to the bottom of the page and then nothing? no option to click on to another page or anything.
    All it says at the end is “showing information for the following country – United Kingdom.
    I have flagged the reviews as inappropriate on many occasions now but they are still showing.
    Couldn’t find anywhere to add url like you are describing below:
    That link lets you “Report other legal removal issue” depending on your country and its laws. You have to give a bit of info (the content and its URL, plus why you think it breaks the law), leave a “digital signature” and tick a box that means you “swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notification is accurate and that [you are] authorised to report this alleged violation.” Pretty serious stuff.

    Any help appreciated.

    • Steve

      May 6, 2015 at 4:09 pm Reply

      Hi Suzanne. This post is a few years old now so it might be the case that the process and/or the terminology has changed now. Sorry – I know that’s not very helpful. Perhaps someone else who’s recently been involved with the process will see this comment and chip in with their thoughts and point you on your way…?

    • Jawad

      July 21, 2015 at 12:43 am Reply

      Hi Suzanne,

      I did the same thing as well. What you need to do is, on “Please specify the nature of your question” do not select “I would like to remove a review that is appearing on my business listing” instead choose “I have a legal issue that is not listed here”. Then it will open the next popup “What can we help you with?” again choose “I have a legal issue that is not listed here”, this will then follow with this message “Please visit the information on this page.” – however the word “this” is a hyperlink to the same page Steve was talking about in his post. Hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      Jawad

      • Steve

        July 21, 2015 at 6:16 am Reply

        Thanks Jawad! 🙂

      • Suzanne Cottam

        October 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm Reply

        Just spotted your post and thank you. I have now reached the correct page.

  • James Tuthill

    June 15, 2015 at 9:30 pm Reply

    Great article. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. It’s a small point but slander is spoken word. Libel is written.

    So, the title of your post should be “How To Remove Libelous Google Reviews – A Case Study”

    Thanks,

    James

    • Steve

      June 16, 2015 at 6:24 am Reply

      Thanks James. This was mentioned a while back on a forum where a link to this post was shared. You are indeed correct. I have a bit of a don’t-change-article-names-after-they’re-published rule as I think it’ll cause more confusion than the fact that it should be “libellous,” plus a lot of people have made the same mistake that I have (a quick glimpse at keyword research when I first published this showed that more people search for this topic around the keyword “slanderous” than “libellous”), so I think it makes sense to keep it as it is. I know it’s not technically correct, but I think it’s more important that people find the post and get the help they need rather than worrying about the semantics of it all and catering to a narrower audience. Not saying it’s right, but it’s my opinion. 🙂

  • David Stephens

    July 6, 2015 at 10:32 pm Reply

    Thank you Steve. The information you give is fantastically helpful. You’re the man.

    Also thank god for Australia’s defamation laws which hold a publisher jointly liable for defamation once they have been notified of the event. This forces online publishers to act.

    Steve, your goodwill spirit reminds me of what the internet was all about when it started.

    • Steve

      July 7, 2015 at 9:39 am Reply

      Thanks David, that’s very kind of you to say. 🙂

      Wow, that sounds like it’d be very useful in getting things sorted in Australia! I wonder if many other countries adopt that kind of law/policy?

  • swati ghrwal

    October 17, 2015 at 12:08 pm Reply

    Seriously/ I didn’t know if removing unfavorable reviews from the Google is possible. Well thanks for such valuable information. I would like to know more about this removal and burial process. Nice blog btw!

  • Lesley Singleton

    October 28, 2015 at 8:52 am Reply

    Hi Steve

    I am trying to deal with a fake review at the moment. You said in your article above you could report/block the person from Google+ – your quote below. How do you find them on Google plus to do this – I can’t seem to find their profile?

    “Given that “Charlotte” had a Google+ profile but it contained no info whatsoever (except for that review), my father decided to “Report / block” the user as well. This can be done by navigating to the person’s G+ profile and clicking on the “Report / block [name]” link found below their avatar:”

    • Steve

      October 28, 2015 at 9:58 am Reply

      Hi Lesley. When you’re on your business profile looking at your reviews, if you click on the review-giver’s name, it should take you to their Google+ profile (specifically their Reviews tab) and then you can click the arrow below their name and choose to block/report them.

      A quick note though: I believe that reviews left in the days before Google+ (so a few years ago) might just say “A Google User” instead of their name, and just be text instead of a link, which are old profiles that do not have a Google+ profile associated with them. While you won’t be able to report the individual profile (because there isn’t one), but you should be able to try the other solutions in my post (if they’re still applicable and relevant – obviously it’s been a few years now).

      Hope that helps. Good luck!

      • Lesley Singleton

        October 28, 2015 at 10:30 am Reply

        Many thanks…. I have found and reported them…. it is a blank profile with just a bad review for my company – nothing written just one star and nothing else. I spoke to Google on the phone this morning and they just argue it could be a real review placed on there by a friend of one of our clients so we don’t recognise the name…. but I’m sure it is just someone messing around who has no connection with us and just fancied messing up the review system.

        • Steve

          October 28, 2015 at 10:32 am Reply

          Happy to help. 🙂 I’m glad that you were able to report it.

          Another tip (if you’re not already doing it): make sure to get positive reviews from happy clients/customers to negate the damage. If you only have one 5-star review and then get a negative/slanderous review, your average may go down to 3-stars. But if you have lots of 4/5-star reviews already, it’ll probably only knock it down to a 4-point-something (e.g. 4.2). At least that way it doesn’t look too bad while you’re still in the process of getting it removed from your listing.

      • Suzanne Cottam

        October 28, 2015 at 11:35 am Reply

        Just read your latest helpful tip on how to block a google+ user who has placed a false review but it has not worked for me. I have logged into my google+ account and clicked on the relevant review and it has taken me to their page but there is no arrow to follow underneath their name that allows me to block or report them.

        • Steve

          October 28, 2015 at 11:40 am Reply

          Hi Suzanne. Sorry, when I say “underneath their name,” it’s not literally underneath… When you’re on their main profile, there’s the box at the top with their name, location, the ‘Add to Circles’ button, profile views and then you should see a little speech bubble and an arrow. If you’re not seeing the arrow there then I’m not sure what else to suggest – sorry.

          • Suzanne Cottam

            November 12, 2015 at 11:18 am

            Just to let you know that I have had success in getting a review removed and this would never have been possible without the help from this forum. It was Jawad’s last post that finally took me to the correct page.

          • Steve

            November 12, 2015 at 11:22 am

            Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story of success, Suzanne – I’m glad that Jawad’s post was able to help. 🙂

  • Vanessa Villarreal

    February 9, 2016 at 7:40 am Reply

    I know this blog was a while ago, My family´s company in Mexico is being attacked by a woman in every social media page she can think of. She is being slanderous and has convinced family members and friends to post negative reviews first on Facebook and once we took those down on google. She was a patient of hours, we have an audiology clinic and she is outright saying we stole from her, we are unprepared, ignorants. She has sent emails to our company email address taunting us that her negative review was first on our lit in google and that she will keep it up, as well as stating that we are idiots. In Mexico there´s no such thing as legal complain when it regards to libel in social media, so I have no document to upload where it asks on step 4. We tried doing right by her but she has got it in her head that everything we did was wrong. She lives in the united states, we are a family business in Mexico… who do I contact? lawyers say not to reply and to erase her comments on Facebook, but she is creating new profiles every so often and posting on Facebook. Facebook has replied to my reporting her that they do not consider this harassment, regardless that she and her friends have made over 50 posts in the last 48 hours.

  • Bryan Dale

    April 27, 2016 at 6:02 pm Reply

    The legal notice worked for me. My business is in Ontario Canada and I received a one star review and a defamatory personal comment from someone who has never met me or shopped at my store. I reported it as inappropriate which brought no response. I also reported it as defamatory. Meanwhile I took the extra step of sending a libel notice to Google’s Toronto office. Eventually (in about five days) I got their standard removal email asking for more information. I responded by sending them the legal notice again with an explanation that they would be liable for damages under Ontario law if they didn’t take down the review. They took it down the next day.

    • Steve

      April 27, 2016 at 6:35 pm Reply

      Huh, that’s really interesting – thanks for sharing, Bryan. I don’t think I’ve known anyone to actually send a letter/libel notice to one of Google’s office before. I’m going to have to suggest that as a method to try from now on. Thanks!

  • Blake Schroeder

    May 18, 2016 at 9:49 pm Reply

    Steve, I came across your article which inspired me to try reaching out to Google again (using the instructions you provided for the legal links), even though I had previously tried without success. Reporting the link to Google’s legal team got the link removed within 48 hours. As a backup, I wrote Google’s Toronto office (I’m in Canada) with an appeal to remove the libellous comment, but they responded before the letter will reach them. Thanks for your help!

    One curiosity though… Although the review is gone, the rating seems to be unaffected by the change. We have only 5 star ratings from our customers, and this 1 star ranking brought it down to a 4.7. Perhaps this will change over the next couple of days as well?

    Regardless, I appreciate your post as it gave us the needed information to have this addressed when we thought it was something we just had to live with.

    • Steve

      May 19, 2016 at 7:39 am Reply

      Thanks for the response, Blake! Another commenter above you (Bryan) said that he also wrote to another Canadian Google office and got it sorted. Maybe that’s the way to do it from 2016 and beyond…?

      Regarding the star rating anomaly, it’s actually normal (for lack of a better word) for Google to do that. Apparently Google use a Bayesian average system on their reviews – you can read more about it here (which will explain it better than I ever could…!) Bizarre, but true. I’ve known listings that’ve never had a bad review (and therefore never needed to remove one) that still show 4.8 or 4.9 when they only have 5-star reviews, so it might be the case that that’s happening with you. Or it might be the case that it’s a delayed effect of the negative review going away, like you say. Do let us know if you see it readjusting in the future.

      • Blake Schroeder

        May 20, 2016 at 5:54 pm Reply

        Well, Google actually took it down before the letter got to them. So, the online process worked for me. I mentioned that the review was libellous (it was), which may have helped.

        Update: it’s been a few days and our rating has been adjusted as well. We’re now 5 stars with 15 reviews.

        Again, thanks for your help.

        • Steve

          May 20, 2016 at 6:34 pm Reply

          That’s awesome – thanks for the update and glad you got it sorted! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    July 7, 2016 at 9:56 am Reply

    Hi Steve, came across your excellent article while searching this problem.
    I run a small therapy business and have a malicious review left on Google my business page.
    The client actually stopped coming to me years ago but stayed in contact via facebook. To cut a long story short we had a disagreement NOT related to my work and she decided to write a nasty untrue review. including twisting information given to them by a third party. I’ve repeatedly reported this to Google . It was even reported by another client who told me they were angry that this lie was not being removed, but nothing has happened
    I’d really appreciate any advice, I’m in the UK

  • […] few years ago, I wrote a monster post. It became so popular that it dwarfed all other pages on my website (even the homepage) – […]

  • Caroline Flynn-Ryan

    September 2, 2016 at 10:23 am Reply

    Hi Steve, I read your article and followed the steps you advised in the hope of getting a slanderous review removed, but unfortunately Google have not removed it. I even found a phone number for Google so that I could try to talk to a human being. After pressing the number for Google+ I was put through to someone from Google Apps who said we ought to get the police involved! He tried to be helpful by providing a link by email so that I could talk to a ‘specialist’. The first person I spoke to was very sympathetic, said they should be able to remove the review and could block the reviewer’s email address, etc, but he needed to chat to a colleague. I was then put through to a supervisor, and it was like hitting a brick wall. Hesaid that they wouldn’t remove the review, even though I told him that we had evidence that the person in question was not our customer, that the review was factually inaccurate and was a personal attack on my husband (director of our very small business). The supervisor told me that because my husband wasn’t actually threatened with physical violence, and because the review doesn’t contain obscenities, they won’t remove it. Even though I said we had evidence we could send to show the person in question is making a deliberate attempt to damage our reputation, the supervisor said that they don’t consider evidence. Yell were far more helpful in removing the slanderous reviews. I didn’t know if it would be any use contacting the CEO, or writing a letter to the UK office? Are you able to offer any advice, please – I would very much appreciate it. We are based in the UK. Thanks.

  • Matthew Arnesen

    September 10, 2016 at 6:33 pm Reply

    Hi Steve, I’m commenting on behalf of my business – based in the UK- which has a review on google that is just pure lies and largely exaggerated in order to make me seem like a horrible person. In reality this gentleman was very awkward and believed he was getting a service which I clearly outlined to him at the start which we don’t provide. I’ve tried following the steps above although I have no idea which laws this breaks and I don’t know where exactly to report it. I’d very much appreciate some feedback on where to proceed. Thanks

  • George Charo

    October 31, 2016 at 4:40 am Reply

    how do I know if the person who posted the fake review has a google+ account? Where do I click? On the name or…on the review posting?

  • Lee

    November 29, 2016 at 11:40 pm Reply

    This happened to me today. I spoke to Google expecting them to be sympathetic but no. A total refusal to remove the fake review created by a disgruntled formal employee. So by refusing to remove it Google are encouraging unethical black hat behaviour, as the only way to dilute a bad review is to create lots of falsely positive reviews. Google needs to get its act together. A class action will come soon enough and just like the right to be forgotten it will eventually create a better web. But we should not have to sue Google to force this. Google should be acting ethically in the first place. I’d be happy to switch off reviews altogether, good or bad. google has such a monopoly now that it really does need a class action to stop them abusing us in this way.

  • Dr Leah Remeika-Dugan

    June 11, 2017 at 11:28 pm Reply

    thank you

Post a Comment