Online reviews can increase your sales exponentially. Or bury them deep underground. You know what I’m talking about: bad reviews, the thorn in every small business owner’s side.
People are more inclined to leave a review when they have something bad to say. And they turn to the most popular sites where they can make the most damage to voice their dissatisfaction. If you ever received an unflattering review, then you’ve definitely wondered how you can remove bad reviews from Yelp, Google, Facebook, or any other similar platform.
I’ve got some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that you can rarely remove negative reviews from Google, Facebook, or Yelp. BUT the good news is that you CAN do something about them and, in special cases, even get them removed altogether.
Yes, the process may be a bit complicated. Still, it’s worth it. Here’s why:
The Effect of Bad Reviews on Your Business
Here’s something curious: bad reviews aren’t entirely bad. While every business strives to get a rating that’s as close to five stars as possible, people rarely trust perfect scores. Everyone knows reviews can be bought, so a perfect score is bound to raise some eyebrows.
Better yet, negative reviews give you a chance to make positive ones shine brighter. Answering them (click here to learn how to respond to negative reviews [LINK]) is the perfect way to establish your brand as authentic, transparent, and able to deal with constructive criticism.
Speaking of constructive criticism, negative feedback is the best way to improve your products or services. Your negative reviews are virtually free focus groups, where you can come up with tons of ideas for improving existing products or launching new ones.
However, there are some bad reviews that simply don’t have a good side to them. Just like you can purchase good reviews (but please don’t; you’ll get into trouble!), your competitors can purchase bad reviews for...you. Fake reviews have destroyed the reputation of more than one business, so this is definitely something you want to intervene in.
Then there is, of course, the irate client who will never be happy no matter what you reply or how you offer to compensate them. So they will make things sound far worse than they were and they might even get their friends and family involved, asking them to leave 1-star reviews to help bring your rating down.
Again, these are reviews you should fight to have removed.
While some balance between good and bad reviews is necessary, a flurry of bad reviews will only harm you. Losing a single star in a five-star review system will have a terrible impact on how many people click on your website.
90% of consumers won’t buy from a business that has a bad reputation.
Image via BusinessOfApps
What’s worse is that 83% of Generation Z shoppers interviewed in the same study say that they don’t just stop buying from businesses with a bad reputation, but they also tell their family and friends to do the same.
No one wants to lose so many customers over a bad, angry, and simply unfair review. Let’s see how you can get those bad reviews removed from various platforms -- or at least deal with them in a professional manner that limits your losses and the blow to your online reputation.
How to Remove Bad Reviews from Yelp
92% of people who visit Yelp will make a purchase afterward. This is just to give you an idea about how important a platform Yelp is.
The good news is that most Yelp reviews are positive:
Image via Yelp
As you can see in the graph above, there are quite a few removed Yelp reviews. Keep in mind that not all those 8% of removed reviews were bad ones. Yes, you can remove a bad Yelp review. But it’s not exactly easy.
Here are some instances when Yelp support will remove a review for you:
The Review Mentions a Competitor
“X Shop’s products are terrible. Y sells better products, has faster delivery. Here’s a 20% discount code you can use on Y.” This is the type of bad review that will be deleted from Yelp quite quickly.
Because it’s obvious that the reviewer tried to put another business into a more favorable light. So, if you see a bad review for your business on Yelp and it mentions a competitor, you’re in luck. You won’t see it for too much longer.
2. The Review Doesn’t Match the Customer’s Order
Yelp only displays the first name and the initial of the second name of reviewers. Still, from these nuggets of information plus your order history, you can do some detective work and find out who the angry customer is.
If they complain about a product they didn’t actually order, you can contact Yelp and say that the review is inaccurate.
3. The Reviewer Is Suspicious
If you check a reviewer’s profile and see that in the past few days they’ve left bad reviews for all the online shops in your niche, then something may be wrong. Usually, it’s a competitor trying to get ahead.
Yelp typically spots suspicious activity quickly, but if you happen to do so before they do, give them a nudge.
The standard Yelp policy says that they don’t like to get involved in disputes between reviewers and reviewed businesses. So you can’t simply delete a bad Yelp review on your own.
If you have proof that the review is fake, you can flag it as such.
How to Remove Bad Reviews from Google
Google reviews carry a bit more weight because they count towards your ranking, not just towards your reputation. Sure, even bad reviews on Google can boost your ranking, but you don’t want too many of those.
The average for businesses in top positions is just below 4 stars.
Image via BrightLocal
Not very encouraging, right?
So how can you make things better and remove bad reviews from Google? The rules are pretty similar to those of Yelp. If the reviewer is on a bad review rampage if the review is inaccurate, or if it mentions a competitor, then you can go ahead and flag it for removal:
Besides off-topic rants, spam, or the use of bad language, Google will also remove bad reviews if they are left by a former employee who badmouths the employer, not the business itself.
If you have a legitimate complaint, all you have to do is:
- Login to your Google My Business account from your computer. Make sure that you select the correct view if you manage multiple locations or businesses.
- Click on “Reviews” on the left-hand menu.
- Use the three dots next to a particular review to flag it as inappropriate.
The chances of success may not be very high. But even if the bad review is not removed from Google, you can still do some damage control and answer it. Check out our guide on how to respond to Google reviews like a pro.
Did you know that you can stay on top of your online reputation with Wiremo? Timely actions and responses to reviews are crucial on any platform, but it can be time-consuming to log in and out of multiple websites. With Wiremo, you can moderate reviews, auto-reply to them and even check the sentiment and generate analytics feedback. Try it out!
How to Remove Bad Reviews from Facebook
There are A LOT of people on Facebook.
Image via Oberlo
A lot of these people will leave reviews or recommendations. And not all these reviews will be good, just like they aren’t on any other platform.
The good news is that Facebook does a pretty good job of removing bad reviews on their own. They have pretty strict community standards, so pretty much anything that violates those standards will be removed fast. Spam and hate speech are big non-nos, so if an irate customer didn’t watch their language, their review will be deleted.
However, if they berated you without using hate speech, then removing the bad review from Facebook is a bit more tricky.
You can’t delete a bad review from Facebook, but you can report it. Just go to your page’s reviews tab and click on the bubble next to a particular review. You will be prompted to say why you think that review is inappropriate:
As with Google or Yelp, you should also respond to the review in the meantime. However, there is a big difference between Facebook and the other two platforms. On Facebook, you can opt to hide reviews altogether.
This means that all the reviews you’ve received so far will be hidden and no one will be able to leave reviews for your business. Think about it carefully, though. Business pages with no reviews tab aren’t too well regarded by potential customers.
If you’ve received a flurry of bad reviews recently and Facebook takes its sweet time to sort out the situation, here’s how to de-activate the tab:
- Go to the “Settings” menu of your business page
- Choose the “Templates and Tabs” option
- On the right hand, you will see a toggle button for reviews. Once it’s clicked on, you will receive no new reviews and the existing reviews will be hidden.
Again, this is something you should consider carefully. Not all bad reviews on Facebook are harmful and, if you answer them tactfully, they might even help your business.
Wrapping Things Up -- How to Delete Bad Reviews from Major Platforms
You may not always be able to remove reviews from Yelp, Google, or Facebook. Even some fake reviews may squeeze in despite the vigilance of platform staff.
But not all bad reviews are damaging. In fact, human readers might be better at detecting fake reviews than the AI behind Google, Facebook, or Yelp. What’s more important than deleting bad reviews is the way that you manage them.
Wiremo allows you to manage all your reviews from a single dashboard. You can sieve through them and easily separate the wheat from the chaff.
Better yet, you can create your own templates, so it will only take you a few clicks to respond to both good and bad reviews. As soon as a response is posted, you can decide what to do with the review further.
With Wiremo, you can hit publish on any review from another platform and it will be automatically added to your website -- no coding skills required, just the push of a button. For good reviews, you can also offer incentives to thank the customer for taking the time to help your business.
You can also easily prevent bad reviews from being published on your website and respond to them in a timely manner. If your answer comes quickly enough, you may be able to appease the conflict before it degenerates and the user leaves a cross-platform flurry of reviews in their wake.
Wiremo helps you react quickly and do your best to make even the angriest customers happy. But we know that that’s not always enough and that some customers will never be satisfied. In those cases, you now know how to delete reviews from Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
Before it gets to that, try Wiremo, your best ally in online reputation management. It’s 100% FREE to try, we won’t even ask for your credit card number. What have you got to lose?