Can I Turn Off Reviews For My Google Business Profile?

21 Mar, 2024 Google Features

For any business to have a strong online presence, a Google Business Profile (GBP) is essentially required. However, there can be many concerns regarding the creation of one of these profiles One of the most common causes for concern is reviews, which can make or break your business when it comes to Google search engine ranking and, by proxy, the amount of patronage your business receives.

While many businesses may want to just turn off their reviews altogether, there currently isn’t a way to shut off that feature. However, there are other ways to manage your GBP reviews with some help from Google. Google can remove reviews if they fit a certain set of criteria. In this article, we are going to discuss these solutions in detail so you can manage your GBP reviews.

Getting Google to Turn Off Ability to Leave Reviews on a Specific Listing

There are many ways that you can get review turned off  for a specific Google Business Page listing. For some businesses, they may even have this activated automatically. Schools and instructors often have their reviews turned off by default, but the activation of this feature can be inconsistent.

In some cases, Google will step in to turn off reviews manually. Often times this is in the case of negative review attacks, where a large influx of negative reviews are coming in during a short period of time. In order to get Google to shut off your reviews, you must have evidence that someone may want to threaten your business. This can include a threatening email or text message, though can be less direct. If your business has been reported in the news negatively due to a scandal or other faux pas, then you may be able to get your reviews turned off as a way to deflect overly critical reviews from people judging the headlines rather than your quality products or services.

For some industry professionals, your business may have strong confidentiality laws such as therapists and psychiatrists. You may have concerns that reviews on your business may break this confidentiality, resulting in legal troubles for you practice. Unfortunately, Google does not offer an exception for these industries. It is smartest to consistently review your reviews for any that could pose a problem to your business. Should you find one such review, there are ways to get that specific review removed.

Getting Google to Remove a Review

If you find a specific review that you feel should be removed, then there are ways to get Google to remove it. First, the review must have some trouble with its content. If the review is spam, fake, off-topic, illegal, terrorist, sexually explicit, offensive, dangerous, or derogatory, then Google may remove the review upon request. Additionally, if the review is from someone impersonating you or otherwise poses a conflict of interest, those can also be removed in the review removal process.

If the review you would like to remove fits within one of the categories listed, then you need to flag the review for removal through your GBP dashboard. Wait three days for Google to remove the review. If they don’t remove the review by the end of the three days, then you can use the review removal tool to appeal for its removal again. After waiting another three days, your appeal will be reviewed and either granted or denied.

If your original request to remove the review and your appeal are both denied, there is one last avenue you can try. By submitting your case to the Google Support Forum, you can try to get the review removed. However, if the forum feels that your review fits within Google’s terms of service, then the review will not be removed. This can cause some obviously fake reviews to not be removed due to not breaking GBP guidelines.

If you are unable to get the offending review removed, it may be worth responding to the review in a level-headed manner clarifying how you know their situation is fake. This will at least ensure that, while future visitors to your GBP may read the review, they will at least get your context on the situation as well.

Improving your Google Business Profile

Beyond reviews, there are a myriad of ways you can optimize your Google Business Profile for search terms and keywords popularly used to find businesses like yours. BluShark Digital has a team of digital marketing professionals to help optimize your page and digital presence so you can dominate the competition across the internet. To learn more about what we can do for your business, contact our team today.