How to Handle a Negative Google Business Review


It is inevitable that any actual business will receive a negative review. When this happens you have a few courses of action that you can take:

1 – Report it, in the hopes that it will get removed.

2 – Respond to it, to show people that you actively care about your customers.

3 – Bury it with good reviews.

Reporting a Review

Google reviews can be difficult to get removed once posted. However, if you click on the three vertical dots next to the review you can report that review for consideration of removal.

Your options for the report are:

  • This review is not relevant to this business
  • Conflict of interest
  • Offensive or sexually explicit
  • Privacy concern
  • Legal issue

You can simply choose the closest reason and then the review will get entered into the Google algorithm for removal. Please note that there isn’t much you can do beyond this point to get the review removed, and trying to report it multiple times will not improve the outcome.

If the review is clearly false, fraudulent, or dangerous, reports from multiple people may improve your chances of getting the review removed. However, the exact algorithm used to remove a review is unknown and there is no data to prove multiple reports will get a review removed.

Responding to the Review

As a validated user for the Google Business listing, you can respond to the review. In this approach, we recommend transparency and a high level of customer service precautions in your response. Take their concerns and issues seriously and encourage them to visit the location. If you need to reply with specifics and clarity, feel free. Just remember to do it in the best possible customer service voice that you can.

Burying the Bad Review

The best course of action for any business to take is to actively pursue positive reviews on the platform. Really, this is true for any public review system. The more positive reviews you have on your business the less impact a negative review will have. Negative reviews are not 100% terrible for a company. A legitimate bad review can actually provide trust in your business. But having a lot more positive reviews than negative is obviously better for your company.

What to Do With Fraudulent Reviews

If you believe a review is fraudulent you can report the review and the user. Google has ways of detecting spam accounts and reviews and will take action in some cases to remove an account and/or person. The best place to report a review and user is through your Google Business Profile.

How to Remove Reviews From Your Business Profile on Google

You may also consider posting a response to the review (with a customer-friendly voice) to point out issues that you take with their review or provide fact-based evidence or information to counteract their review. But always be careful of what you say, your response will be public.

NEVER get into an ongoing nasty back and forth with the reviewer. If a person took the time to generate a fake review they have the time to go back and forth with you or create additional fraudulent accounts and reviews.

It is sad to say that the best approach is usually a report and a single short and polite response, then just leave it alone. If the bad review is removed, great. If it isn’t removed… well then at least people can see that you are serious about reviews, that you are professional, and care about your service. You just have to put your trust in people, and people can typically identify a fake review among legitimate reviews so taking the high road is the best way.


While receiving negative reviews and trying to get a handle on them can be overwhelming, it’s not an impossible task. If you have any questions or would like assistance managing your Google Business account, give Fuzzy Duck a call today!