Removing Negative Reviews

Expert Strategies for Removing Google Reviews: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s digital age, online reviews can significantly impact your business’s reputation. While positive reviews can boost your visibility and credibility, negative ones can do just the opposite. Recognizing the power of customer feedback on platforms like Google, it’s crucial for business owners and managers to understand how to manage their online presence effectively. This guide provides a comprehensive walkthrough on how to remove a Google review, starting from the basics of signing into your Google Account to navigating the nuances of appealing a review’s removal. Whether you’re dealing with unjust criticism or inappropriate content, our step-by-step approach aims to empower you with the knowledge to protect and enhance your business’s online reputation.

Step 1: Sign into your Google Account

To remove a Google review, you must first sign in to your Google Account. Follow these steps to sign in:

  1. Open a web browser and go to the Google sign-in page.
  2. Enter your email address or phone number associated with your Google Account.
  3. Click “Next”.
  4. Enter your password.
  5. Click “Next”.

Step 2: Open Google Maps

To remove a Google review, you’ll need to access Google Maps. Follow these steps to open Google Maps:

  • Search My Business on Google search
  • Select Read Reviews
  • Scroll down to the review you would like to report
  • Select the three dots and then select Report Review
  • Pick the policy Violation that best fits why you are reporting the review.
  • For more information on prohibited & restricted content, click here.

Negative Review Removal

Step 3: Check the status of your flagged review

Manage your Google Business Reviews


Step 4: Select eligible reviews for appeal

  • No policy violation: Our team investigated and found no policy violation. If you’re confident there’s a violation, you can submit an appeal.
  • Pending: Our team is reviewing the request. If you flagged a pending review more than 3 days ago and want to expedite it, you can submit an appeal.

Appeal Google Review


Step 5: Submit an Appeal

Use the following link to submit your appeal.


Review the policy page provided by Google and select the option that best fits your appeal.

Provide any evidence you have that will support your case. For example, social posts that may have triggered the negative reviews, employee documents that prove the review was left by a former employee.

Request Removal of Inappropriate Reviews

Google Review Removal Email

Step 6: Appeal Denied, what next?

If your appeal was denied as a last option, you can visit the Google community forum and create a post. A Google Product Expert can help escalate your case for another review.

When posting in the forum include the following information:

  1. Your case id
  2. Your business name
  3. Your Maps URL
  4. A link to the review you are trying to remove

Google Community Forum

negative reviews

Navigating Negative Reviews: A Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding the Impact of Negative Reviews

Online reviews are more than just feedback; they shape your brand’s digital footprint. As we’ve highlighted before, reviews play a pivotal role in local search rankings and influence consumer trust.

But what happens when these reviews are less than favorable? Negative reviews, while challenging, offer a unique opportunity for businesses to showcase their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Strategies to Address Negative Reviews Effectively

  • Stay Objective:
    • First and foremost, approach the review without emotion.
    • Understand the core of the complaint before formulating a response.
  • Acknowledge and Apologize:
    • Recognize the issue raised by the customer.
    • Offer a genuine apology, showing that you value their feedback.
  • Provide Solutions:
    • Address the specific concerns mentioned in the review.
    • Offer actionable remedies, be it a product replacement or another form of compensation.
  • Engage Offline:
    • For complex issues, consider moving the conversation offline.
    • This allows for a more detailed discussion without making all interactions public. 
  • Encourage More Feedback:
    • Engage with both positive and negative reviews.
    • Encourage customers to share their experiences, fostering a balanced online reputation.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Negative feedback, when addressed correctly, can be a stepping stone for brand growth. By demonstrating a proactive approach and commitment to improvement, businesses can not only retain customers but also enhance their online reputation.

In the digital landscape, every review counts. By adopting a strategic approach to negative feedback and leveraging the insights we’ve shared, businesses can navigate the complexities of online reputation management with confidence.

Crisis Averted: Take Control of Your Google Reviews with These Expert Tips

Google has recently updated its algorithms to flag business reviews, causing widespread concern and frustration among businesses and customers alike. Many businesses are reporting that their Google Reviews are missing, and legitimate customer reviews are not displaying. This has caused confusion and frustration for businesses and customers who rely on these reviews to make informed decisions.  In response to these concerns, Google issued a statement on Local Guides Connect acknowledging that “our protections took down more than expected policy-abiding reviews from a set of Local Guides.” This suggests that Google’s algorithms are not yet fine-tuned enough to effectively identify and only remove reviews that violate its policies, resulting in the removal of genuine reviews.  Google has implemented a moderation system for all new reviews, automated by machines. However, the algorithm is not perfect, and it appears that authentic reviews are also being wrongly filtered in this moderation process. As a result, businesses across the world are experiencing negative impacts on new review generation for their business.   
Missing Review
Business complaint in the Google forum over missing reviews

Google’s Policy on Reviews and User-generated Content

Once a reviewer hits “post” on a review left on Google Maps, that review goes through a moderation process. The system is designed to evaluate whether it violates any Google policies. Google provides information on what it considers to be prohibited and restricted content. With the millions of reviews left daily, Google relies on algorithms to moderate the vast amount of reviews received daily. These algorithms focus on: 
  • The text of the review 
  • The account that left the review 
  • The business receiving the reviews 
While some reviews may clearly violate policies, others may not be as obvious. It’s important to note that what a business may consider offensive or off-topic does not match the same criteria as Google’s machine learning. This can be frustrating for businesses looking to remove negative reviews. 
Fake Review
Business complaining about fake reviews
In an effort to combat fake reviews, Google examines the account that left the review. Is it a newly created account or has it left multiple reviews? Does the account have a history of suspicious behavior? However, sometimes Google’s trained machines make mistakes. To ensure the authenticity of reviews, Google also examines the business in question. Their trained machines recognize categories that typically receive a regular stream of reviews compared to those that only receive a few per month on average. Therefore, if your business experiences a sudden influx of new reviews, you may be flagged for “suspicious activity.” Nevertheless, Google does take into account whether a business recently received negative publicity via social media or news outlets that could have triggered a surge of fraudulent reviewers. This helps maintain the integrity of Google’s review system.  Mike Blumenthal, co-founder of Near Media and a Google Product Expert, conducted a study on missing reviews and identified the categories most affected by Google’s new algorithms. His findings showed that service-related businesses were the most impacted. New business profiles, particularly those created in the last three months, were also highly targeted. Businesses that asked for reviews using the “ask for reviews” URL from their Google profile were greatly affected as well. Additionally, Google now considers whether the reviewer actually visited the business, which has an impact on whether the review will be published or not. 
Get More Reviews
Give customers a link to review your business on Google
For more information on why you are missing Google Reviews, check out 7 Reasons Why You Are Missing Google Reviews

How to Remove a Fake Review for Your Business: Steps to Take

Machine learning is not perfect but will improve over time.  Businesses can report “fake” or “inappropriate” reviews on their Google profiles here and end users can report them here.  
Manage your Google Business reviews
Manage your Google Business reviews
To escalate a review removal request on Google, businesses can seek help from Google Product Experts by posting their issue in the Google forum. The escalation process involves manual review by trained operators and analysts to evaluate the claims made by the business. To ensure a successful escalation, businesses should include the following information in their request: 
  • Your Maps URL
  • Images of the “fake” reviews
If you have followed the process to remove the reviews and are still unsuccessful, you can post your issue in the Google forum and have a Google Product Expert escalate the review for you. The escalation process allows for trained operators and analysts to manually review your claims.  For a deeper dive into combating Fake Google Review Attacks read Mike Blumenthal’s Step-by-Step guide.

Get Missing Google Reviews Published: Steps to Take

Many business owners are expressing frustration over the new machine learning algorithms that are filtering out legitimate reviews, resulting in an influx of missing reviews.
Filtered Customer Review
Filtered Customer Review
  If your business is experiencing missing Google reviews, consider visiting the Google forum and requesting assistance from a Google Product Expert. Through the escalation process, qualified operators and analysts can manually review your claims to help address the issue. When asking for help be sure to include:
  • Your Maps URL
  • Images of the missing review(s)
In case you don’t have the image, you may try providing the Google account name.  However, it’s important to note that the account name might not always be the same as the customer’s name. If the name doesn’t match, the review restoration process might not be successful. 
Google Product Expert
Review Restored by a Google Product Expert

Tips for Posting in the Google Forum: A Guide from a Google Product Expert

As a Google Product Expert, I often come across users who waste their time and energy by posting their issues incorrectly in the forum, resulting in not getting the help they need. If you need help from a Google Expert and want to post your issue in the Google Forum, here are some tips to keep in mind: 
  1. Avoid commenting on other users’ posts unless you have relevant and useful information regarding their issue. Helpful
  2. If you find a thread helpful, mark it as such or recommend the posted answer to help other users.
  3. Do not ask for help on someone else’s thread; start your own thread. A Google Product Expert can only help one user per thread.
  4. Include all necessary images and your Map URL to avoid wasting time and receive proper assistance.
  5. Provide specific details and avoid posting vague requests, as this will not help you receive the necessary help.
    Google Forum
    Insufficient Request Posted
  6. Remember that Google Product Experts are dedicated to helping users and providing their expertise for free.  Always be respectful and mindful of their time and service. Note that they are not Google employees, but rather SEO experts in Google products.

Generating New Reviews with Reputation Arm’s Dashboard

Dealing with missing or fake reviews on your Google profile can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that Google is constantly working to combat illegitimate reviews. One way to stay ahead of the game is to focus on generating new, legitimate reviews for your business. Reputation Arm’s dashboard is a great tool to help you do just that. Our platform makes it easy to manage and monitor your online reviews, and our team is always available to help with any questions you may have. Whether you need assistance setting up your account or want to learn more about how to effectively solicit reviews from your customers, we’re here to help. You can reach us by Phone, email support@repnew.local, or by filling out our contact form. Start generating new reviews and building your online reputation today with Reputation Arm.  

Reviews Impact Your Local Search Rankings

Conflicting messages abound with regards to how reviews impact your local search rankings.  Google review count and the rate at which a business generates new reviews can vary from industry to industry.  There are many assumptions and myths regarding reviews:  

  • Does the number of Google reviews impact your rankings?
  • Does the text of a Google review impact your rankings?  
  • Does the review recency impact your rankings?  

The truth is, we don’t really know but we do have case studies to help prove that our assumptions are relevant.  For more information on why reviews matter on your Google Business Profile visit The Ultimate Guide to Google Business Profiles.

Does the Number of Google Reviews Impact Your Local Search Rankings?

For many years now we have been led to believe that the more reviews you have, the better your ranking should be.  I see that many of our clients have accumulated a large number of reviews but are somehow getting outranked by competitors with less reviews.  I began to wonder if their Google reviews were really as significant as I was led to believe.  Joy Hawkins from Sterling SKY lays out a nice case study which illustrates how jumping from 3 reviews to 16 helped to increase the business local ranking significantly.  However, after the business received 31 reviews, the ranking boost was not as significant.



While the results are not nearly as significant when exceeding 10 reviews, I do find that continuing to generate more reviews still helped edge this business up a few more notches–maybe not at the rate one would want, yet with visible  improvement.  It is important to also recognize that a business with 300 reviews can be outranked by a business with 50 reviews.  This can lead us to conclude that the number of reviews does not help you outrank your competitors; it’s just one piece of our SEO puzzle.

Does the Text of a Review Impact Your Local Search Rankings?

Joy Hawkins from Sterling SKY did a case study in which she found that the text within a Google review did not affect Map Pack Rankings.  In the image below, you can see that the search term “Christmas trees” did not improve.  The business accumulated six new reviews over a period of a few months.  They made sure that the review contained the word “Christmas trees,” but the results showed no significant ranking increase.

Reviews and rankings


This blog actually led many local SEO experts to question the legitimacy of the study.  However, it’s important to remember that Google’s algorithms change and what may appear to have significant results one year or month may not be the same the following year or month.  It is also important to remember that there are hundreds of other factors that may not be considered.  So, while the study did not show significant results in keywords within the review for ranking, we shall see over time what other experts conclude.  Joy did a nice job proving that correlation does not indicate causation.  She was able to demonstrate that when tested, the review text did not improve this business’ ranking.

Does Review Recency Impact Your Local Search Rankings?

Review recency refers to how recently the review was left.  Moz recently published a blog on The Habits of Review Readers that revealed the following statistics

  • 98% of people read reviews.
  • 79% spend the most time reading Google reviews.
  • 36% use star rating as the basis for deciding between local businesses.
  • 39% use the most recent filter when looking at reviews
  • 68% trust what customers say about a business over what a business says about itself.

Interestingly, 39% of users filter the most recently posted items when looking at reviews.  If that is truly the case, then it would be wise for Google to rank a business that consistently generates new reviews.  However, it is important to recognize that recency is not the same as quantity.  So, while Google wants businesses to consistently generate new reviews, it’s not the volume that matters.  Every industry is different and the best way to determine how often you should generate new reviews is by looking at your competitors.

Joy Hawkins did another study on review recency where she found that rankings improved as the business went from no reviews or a period of time in which the reviews went stale, to steadily generating new reviews.

review recency

This finding is very significant as you can see from the image Sterling SKY shared.

The Key Takeaway!

Businesses need to focus on generating new reviews in the most organic way possible.  The best way to do that is to engage the help of a platform  like Reputation Arm that allows you to consistently ask your customers for new reviews.  Reviews matter and are relevant for your local search rankings, but more importantly for building trust with your customers.  Google searches are looking at your reviews and in order for your business to successfully convert a new customer, they need to showcase themselves through the reviews.  As Moz helpfully points out in their article, 98% of people read reviews.  If your business is lacking in reviews, then chances are you are not capturing as much business as you could.

Using tools like the Reputation Arm dashboard allows you to organically dispatch review requests to all your customers.  Our dashboard allows you to integrate your system’s API so that we can set up an automated review campaign that will have your business generating new reviews organically with no effort on your part. Contact us today for a free demo.


The Ultimate Guide to Google Business Profiles

In this post, we’ll be providing an all-encompassing guide to creating, claiming, and optimizing your Google Business Profile.  Google Business Profile is a free tool that enables users to publish personalized, authorized information about their business online, and has essentially become the most critical ranking factor for Local SEO.   A Business Profile is one of the first things that users come across when searching for a company or service on Google Search or Google Maps, making it essential to have your business listed, verified, and managed appropriately.

If you’re looking for the ultimate guide to all things Google Business Profiles, look no further–you’re not alone.  Many local businesses are realizing the importance of maintaining a well-optimized profile,  and for good reason.  According to statistics compiled by The Media Captain, “Over half of Google Business Profile interactions produce website visits.”  Google interactions include calls, driving directions, messages, bookings, menu views and website clicks.


Have you recently used online search?  83% of shoppers in the U.S. say they’ve used online search before visiting a store.  “Near me” searches are increasing across almost every category according to  With the growing number of consumer searches, it is more important than ever to focus your marketing efforts on your Google Business Profile.

If you own a local business or are a local service-based business, you can benefit from our Ultimate Guide to Google Business Profiles.  There are nearly 4,000 Google Business Profile categories ranging from automotive, grocery, restaurant, banks, lawyers, plumbers, swimming schools, and, well–many, many more.

The History Of Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, launched as Google Local in March of 2004.  It first operated as a digital replacement for the Yellow Pages but has since evolved into Google Business Profile.  Today, the platform allows business owners to create their business profiles and list their business on Google, which is then displayed in Google Search and Google Maps.  Its interface was designed to make it easier for local businesses as well as brands to be found in Google search results.  A user must have a Google account to create or access their Google Business Profile.  Review the complete timeline of Google Business profiles from 2004 to 2022.

How To Add Or Claim A Google Business Profile

Use your Google account to create or claim your Google Profile.  A Google Account gives you access to many Google Products such as Google Drive, Google Chat, Google Groups, Calendar, Forms…  On your computer, sign into your Google Maps account.

  1. Enter the address of your business in the search bar within Google Maps, and from there, click Add your business.
  2. You can also click the menu on the top left, and from there, click Add your business.
  3. Google will take you through on-screen instructions to complete your Business Profile.


If your business is already on Google Maps and you want to claim the listing, follow these steps:

  1. Sign into Google Maps.
  2. Search for your business name.
  3. Click the business name and verify it is the correct one.
  4. Locate the  Claim this business link by your verified business name.
  5. The next step requires a verification option.  The two most common options are postcard by mail or by phone.

If you cannot find a Claim this business or Own this business link on the Business Profile, then it’s possible that you already manage the business.  If you do not have ownership but still do not see the links, go to  Follow the steps there to find the business.  If one exists that matches your name and address, the option to request access will be present.

Add your business to Google

If you verify your website URL with Google Search Console, you may get instant verification.  In addition, if your business manages 10 or more profiles for locations of the same business, that business may request to activate a bulk verification capability from Google.  It’s always best to use an email associated with the business url.  Adding a user, shows Google that you are authorized by the business to manage or own the listing.  

How To Optimize A Google Business Profile

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is a critical step after claiming or creating your Google Business Profile.  Providing details such as services, products, and company descriptions will help you to get maximum results with Google.  Google tells its users that in order to improve your local ranking on Google, you need to claim and update your business information regularly.

  1. Enter complete data. This includes: address, phone number, category, attributes, and your business description.
  2. Check your verification status with Google.
  3. Keep your hours accurate.  This includes making sure that all your social and website hours match your Google listing.
  4. Manage and respond to all reviews.
  5. Add photos regularly.
  6. Add products.
  7. Add an offer.
  8. Add a post.

Need help managing several locations? Reputation Arm’s review dashboard is perfect for managing and soliciting reviews.  Book a demo

Updating these pieces of information will maximize how often users find and engage with your business in local search results.  At minimum, a business owner should post once a week and should add photos regularly.  Google encourages its users to share photos: “businesses with photos are more likely to receive requests for driving directions to their location, as well as clicks through their websites, than businesses that don’t have photos.”

How Google Determines Local Ranking

Every business owner will ask themselves at one point, How is Google determining my local ranking?  The first thing Google primarily looks for in local search results is relevance.  “Relevance refers to how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for.”  If a search term is “Mediterranean restaurant near me” and your Google Business Profile features the primary category, “Mediterranean restaurant”, your business listing is more likely to appear in the search results.

Of course, the next thing Google looks for is distance.  “Distance considers how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search.”  Google picks up our location from real-time signals, like an IP address or a device’s geolocation.  They also track your past activity to better customize your search experiences.

The third factor is prominence.  Prominence refers to how well your brand or business is known.  That’s why some businesses adapt to creating local listings, otherwise known as citations.  Citations help tell Google how prominent you are.

If you are looking for help in becoming more relevant and prominent with Google, Reputation Arm is ready to help.  Contact us now or Book a demo at no charge.

How Do I Choose The Best Category For My Google Business Profile?

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, your category is relevant to Google.  It’s the best way for Google to match your business with a user’s search intent.  Always select the most specific category that best matches your business as the primary category.  For example, if you’re a personal injury lawyer, you shouldn’t choose “Lawyer” as your primary category.  Instead, you should choose “Personal Injury Lawyer”,  with “Lawyer” optionally as a secondary category.  Instead of “Salon” choose “Nail Salon”; instead of “Restaurant”, choose “Pizza Restaurant”.  If the specific category you desire isn’t available, then you must choose a more general category.  This doesn’t mean that that category doesn’t accurately describe your business–it’s just that Google doesn’t allow users to create their own categories.

What if your business can fall into many categories? Google provides some scenario guidelines to help users determine how to select the best category for their business.  Google advises its users to focus on the concept of “this business IS a” rather than “this business HAS a.” Google allows up to nine secondary categories, studies show it is best to add as many categories as relates to the business.

Simply click Edit Profile while logged into your Google account.  From there, you should see the option to edit your category and business name, description, phone, website, menu link, service area, hours, and more.

Edit Profile 

Add or edit categories on Search

Add or edit categories on Maps

If possible, you should add up to 10 categories.  It has been said that anything more than the top three categories are irrelevant but more recently that has been updated to add as many categories as relates to your business. In this scenario, more is better.  

Guidelines To Maintaining A Service-Area Business With Google Business Profile

A service-area business is a business that serves its customers at the customer’s residence or business.  Examples of service-area businesses are plumbers, landscapers, pest control companies, locksmiths, painters, roofers, contractors, etc.  Typically, customers aren’t visiting these types of businesses at a fixed business location, so Google requires that these businesses hide the address they work out of and enter the service area that they are willing to travel to, or work within.  If a business serves customers at its business address and wants to set a service area, Google requires that the business location be staffed and able to receive visiting customers during the stated hours.

The number one reason why a service-area business gets suspended is for not following the guidelines highlighted below:

  • If you do serve customers at your business address and also have a service area, then you can enter your address and service area.
  • If you don’t serve customers at your business address, you must clear the address field and only enter your service area.

Service-area businesses that run out of their homes should not list their address.

If a service-area business has several locations with staff at each location, they are eligible for one profile per each location.  However, Google sets service area boundaries for your profile.  The overall service area should not extend more than 2 hours of driving time from the business address.  Specify your service area by city, postal code, or another type of area.

Google looks at the information you provide and the information provided by other sources to determine how best to display your business address.  For this reason, many companies may find that they have been operating their Google Business Profile for years with no issues but then suddenly, their profile has been suspended.

If a business doesn’t properly set up their profile according to Google’s guidelines, they risk getting suspended.

Rental properties, vacation homes, vacant apartments, lead generation companies, and any business that does not own or lease is ineligible from creating a Google Business Profile.

Why Is My Google Business Profile Suspended?

We hear it all the time: “My Google Business Profile was suspended and I have no idea why!”  Google becomes more and more sophisticated year over year, and that means that your Business Profile needs to be accurate and consistent with other sources.  There are many reasons why a Google Business Profile gets suspended:

  • You changed your address on your Google Business Profile.
  • You updated your category, name, website or phone number.
  • You are a service-area business with a visible address, which Google has now picked up on.

Google does not inform a user as to why their profile was suspended.  It is up to the business to accurately represent information in their Business Profile and to make sure they adhere to the Google guidelines.

To learn more about how to get your Google Business Profile reinstated, read our blog which includes 6 critical steps you need to review before you file for reinstatement.

My Google Business Profile Was Hijacked by a Third Party

Google allows many third party apps and agencies to manage business information on a Google Business Profile.  By adding managers to your profile, you are allowing the agency or third party to manage your profile on your behalf.  However, be aware of scams where unethical individuals hit the “claim this business” link on your profile.  This generates an email request to gain control over the listing.  Unwittingly ranting access to those you don’t know or trust can be very dangerous and can pose some serious problems.  If your Google Business Profile has been hijacked, you can report it here.

If you are a pizza delivery business and your order online links have been crowded out by other third parties like GrubHub, Seamless, Postmates, Slice, etc., you are not alone.  In order to take back control of your ordering process, use this form to completely opt out of Food Ordering with Google.



Understanding Google Business Profile Posts

Google Posts were first introduced by Google in 2017.  Since then, there have been many updates as to how they are populated, who sees them, and for how long they are visible to the end users.  Whether you are a multi-location business or have a single location, you can benefit from posting on your Google Business Profile.  Google allows three post types:

  1. Update Posts
  2. Offer Posts
  3. Event Posts

To create a post, simply make sure you are logged in to your Google account and click your Business Profile.  You can also search for “my business” and it should appear in the search results.  Select “Add update” and choose the type of post you wish to share.

GBP Posts


Your post can have one of three post statuses: Live, Pending, and Not Approved.  Be sure to follow Google’s posts content policy, for many users are finding that their posts are getting rejected. For more information on why your post has been removed from Google, visit our blog.  We share some helpful points to help you avoid post rejection.

Why Reviews Matter On Your Google Business Profile

Did you know that the quality and quantity of reviews within your Google Business Profile impact one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO?  There are many factors involved when determining your business search ranking, but one thing we do know is that reviews can be a strong signal to search engines.  Besides the information provided on your Google Business Profile, reviews are the third strongest factor within the local ranking algorithm.

2023 Local Search Ranking Factor Groups


There are many factors to consider when focusing on your reviews.  According to moz, the following impact search rankings.

  1. Recency – Are your reviews recent, or old and outdated?
  2. Velocity – How often are you collecting new reviews?
  3. Diversity – Do you feature reviews on your social platforms and other relevant sources?
  4. Authority – Is the reviewer a local guide? Some speculate that reviewers that are considered “professional reviewers” carry more weight than other users.
  5. Format – The content in the review matters and is typically more relevant than non-text reviews.  Reviews carry keywords that Google recognizes as justifications.

Take a look at the image below that demonstrates how Google uses review justifications to highlight a business.

Review Justification

Your reviews reflect your brand.  The better your review rating and review velocity, the more significant your brand will become.  Not to mention that,  81% of consumers read Google reviews.  Our blog Brand Management through Google Reviews discusses 5 reasons to ramp up your Google reviews as well as your reputation management.  In summary, our top 5 reasons are:

  1. Google uses your reviews in your local SEO ranking.
  2. Consumers rely on Google reviews.
  3. Google reviews correlate with higher sales.
  4. Reviews build consumer trust.
  5. Your competitors are paying attention to reviews.

How Do I Generate More Reviews For My Google Business Profile?

Now that we understand how reviews can significantly impact our local search results, let’s discuss how we can work on generating new reviews.  There are a number of recommended practices to adopt to help your business generate new reviews.

  1. Ask customers directly for a Google review.
  2. Send out an email campaign with a link to review your business.
  3. Send out a text campaign with a link to review your business.
  4. Add a review link to your website.
  5. Add a review link to your email signature.
  6. Don’t be afraid to send out multiple requests.

Make generating Google reviews a priority.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have enough reviews–you can never get enough reviews for your business.  The more reviews you accrue, the more significant you appear to Google and other search engines.  Reputation Arm offers a robust Reputation Management dashboard that helps businesses manage reviews on multiple review sites.  Our dashboard not only imports all reviews for your business, but allows you to reply, store response templates, review analytics, solicit reviews by text and email, and provide automated reports.  To learn more, book a free demo now.

Why Do I Need To Respond To My Google Reviews?

While generating reviews is important for your business, responding to them is just as significant.  Not only does responding to a review help build loyalty between the business and the reviewer, it also shows other customers who are reading your review responses that you care.  Google encourages all businesses to respond to reviews. If you follow suit, this will show Google that you are an active business owner.  Not sure how to respond to a negative review? Check out our blog, 10 Effective Review Templates to Help You Respond to Negative Reviews.

Stand out against your competitors by responding to positive and negative reviews.  Google states: “According to consumers, businesses that respond to reviews are seen as 1.7x more trustworthy than businesses who don’t (76% vs. 46%)”.



Tips for responding to customer reviews
Tips for responding to customer reviews


It is important to keep in mind that all responses are public, so exercise professionalism and review some of these helpful tips.

Some Thoughtful And Easy Tips For Review Replies:

Build Relationships With Customers

  • Be polite and avoid getting too personal.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Always thank the reviewer.
  • Avoid being a salesperson, but do share new products or events.
  • Respond in a timely manner.

Best Practices For Negative Review Responses

  • Do not attack your reviewer personally or share data about them.
  • Move the conversation offline by offering to talk it over.
  • Don’t rush to respond–investigate the reason behind the negative review.
  • Be honest and courteous.
  • Show compassion and empathy.  If appropriate, apologize.
  • Respond in a timely manner.

Why Are My Reviews Not Showing Up On My Google Business Profile?

As a Product Google Expert for Google My Business, our team has seen many active business owners express concerns over authentic reviews not displaying on their Google Business Profile.  We know how discouraging this can be, especially for newer businesses hoping to gain visibility within local search through their Google reviews.  Unfortunately, since March of 2022 there has been a significant increase in reviews not appearing on Google Business Profiles.

Typically what happens is that the customer can see their review on their end, but the review never gets published publicly.  This means that the reviews triggered Google’s review spam algorithm.  Google believes the review to be spam and therefore filters it out. For more information on the topic, read our blog on 7 Reasons Why You are Missing Google Reviews.  There is also a section that reveals what to do if your authentic reviews were flagged by Google’s algorithm. 

How Do I Remove A Fake Review From My Google Business Profile?

If you feel that you are a victim of a fake review, Google has an appeal process for you to follow.  You can submit an appeal by using the following link.  Through this workflow process, you’ll be able to select the location and then review eligible reviews you can flag.  Once you find the review, you can select the “Report” button which then takes you to the following page.

Why are you reporting this review?
Why are you reporting this review?


Be sure to pick the appropriate option.  Once submitted, Google will send you an email stating that your removal request is being assessed.  It could take up to 3 business days and you should receive a follow up email.  If you do not receive a follow up email, use the same link to check the status of a review you recently reported.  I have found that the status can display “decision pending” for days and weeks.  Once a decision is made, you’ll have one opportunity to appeal the decision.  Make sure to include relevant data or photos to help back up your claim.

Fake review or not, it’s always best practice to respond to all reviews.  This way, if Google doesn’t remove the review, other customers can see from your response that the review may be fake or is not relevant to your business.  Always remember to be courteous and avoid being defensive.  The response is meant to address other customers and not so much the reviewer itself.

We hope you enjoyed our Ultimate Guide to Google Business Profile.  Check back with us often as we will regularly update this page with all things Google Business Profile.  Remember that Google rewards active business owners, so consistently visit your Google Business Profile page and review your NAPs, categories, services, and other data often.  Post often and upload new photos as well as reply to all your reviews–consistency is key to winning the local SEO battle.

If you don’t have the time to manage your Google Business Profile, or would like to discuss our amazing review management dashboard, reach out to us.  Our team of experts would love to hear from you.





7 Reasons Why You Are Missing Google Reviews

As a Google Product Expert for Google Business Profiles, the main issue I have seen recently is authentic customer reviews not showing up for the business.  This can be extremally frustrating for a business who values their reviews and understands how important it is to build their Google reviews.  Reviews have a significant impact on branding and local SEO.  With that in mind capturing all reviews is important to the business and missing even one can be burdensome to say the least.

Missing and Delayed Reviews

There are several reasons why a business is missing a Google review.  The following article from Google will help you understand missing and delayed reviews.  Google claims that most reviews are removed because they violate policy like spam, or inappropriate content. For a better understanding on what Google deems prohibited and restricted content click here.  Like all things, Google isn’t perfect and they rely on their algorithms to help detect fake reviews.

Google’s goal is to provide user-generated content (“UGC”) to enhance user experience.  They go to great lengths to ensure content published by users is helpful and authentic.  Google states, “Deliberately fake content, copied or stolen photos, off-topic reviews, defamatory language, personal attacks, and unnecessary or incorrect content are all in violation of our policy.”  For more information on the topic and to understand Google’s machine-learning algorithms read their Maps user-generated content policy.

Understanding Google’s Machine Learning Review Algorithm

Google uses a moderating system to make sure reviews are not violating any policies. That does not mean that a human is not factored into the moderation of reviews.  Google invests in both tools and people to moderate reviews.  However, the machine is the first line of defense.

  • Does the content contain offensive or off-topic content?
  • Does the Google account that left the review contain a history of suspicious behavior?
  • Does the business suddenly have a increase in reviews over a short period of time?
  • Has the business had negative press either on the news or social that would motivate fake reviews to be left?

If you feel that you are the victim of fake or fraudulent reviews, you can report them here.

What To Do if Your Authentic Reviews Were Flagged by Google’s Algorithm

  1. Get screenshots of the review from your customers
  2. Provide Your Business Name and link to your Google Business Profile
  3. Go on Google’s support forum and Ask the community for Help

Google provides its users with a group of Google Product Experts, like myself that can help frustrated users escalate missing reviews and suspension issues.  A silver product expert and higher can escalate your review if you provide the above information for them.  You can also try escalating your issue with Google support,  It could take up to three weeks to resolve your issue.

Google Business Profile Help


7 Factors to Consider When You are Missing Google Reviews

There have been a significant amount of Google Reviews that disappeared in 2021, below are some reasons why…

  1. There are known issues with reviews not getting published on older mobile phone and operating systems.
  2. Your customers just created a new Gmail account to leave you a review.  Google’s algorithm can pick this up as a fake review.  Make sure they post their photos on their profile as well as leave reviews for other businesses.  Fake profiles typically don’t contain a photo, name or other information.  If you are receiving multiple reviews from empty Gmail accounts, this is a trigger that the reviews were created by bots and are fake or paid.
  3. Reviewers cannot be on your Wi-Fi.  If the review was written from an IP address used to manage your Google Business Profile, the spam filter could have been triggered.
  4. Reviews cannot contain phone numbers or URLs
  5. Get reviews on your Yelp and FB accounts.  If you have 0 reviews on other platforms and several on Google this may look suspicious.
  6. Do not incentivize your customers to leave reviews.
  7. Reviews cannot be left by an employee.

At Reputation Arm we help manage our clients reviews, if your business is struggling to get their reviews posted or you feel that you have other underlying issues that have not been solved, reach out to us for help.


Have you heard? Building Reviews Drives your Local SEO

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It’s not secret reviews have a large impact on your brand and your local SEO.  Google and Amazon reviews have revolutionized the way we rank, whether it’s a local business or a business selling a product.   Reviews matter and the way you respond to them are just as important.

How do Reviews help a business?

Reviews not only influence a potential buyer / customer they increase credibility.  Reviews encourage customers to do business with you ultimately leading to more revenue and more profits.  There is a big correlation with reviews and revenue.  The average number of reviews is 82, a business that has more then average number of reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue.  In short, if you are looking to maximize sales its probably a good idea to start thinking about how you can generate more reviews.

Online Reviews Matter for Local SEO

According to, here are some fascinating statistics for 2021.

  • Customer reviews can increase conversions by 270%.
  • 92% of consumers will hesitate to buy a product if there are no reviews left by customers.
  • 97% of consumers report that the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions.
  • 95% of all travelers read online reviews before booking.
  • Consumers trust customer reviews 12 times more than manufacturers’ reviews, according to consumer trust statistics.
  • About 5%–10% of consumers write reviews, influencing around $400 billion of the total e-commerce sales revenue.
  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends.
  • 82% of shoppers specifically seek negative reviews.
  • 94% of consumers refuse to patronize a business because of negative reviews.
  • 75% of people online trust a business after seeing a positive review.
  • People spend up to 49% more money at a business that reply to reviews.


After reading through these statistics, you may want to take a closer look at your online reviews.  Ask yourself these important questions.  How many reviews do I have?  Do they appropriately reflect the number of years I have been in business?  When was the most recent review left for my business?  What is my average star rating?  You may quickly start to realize that you need to start focusing more efforts on building reviews.  The good news is it will not cost much and will likely bring you increased sales.


How do I generate more reviews?

Generating more reviews requires some effort from a business owner or management team.  Below are 8 great tips on how to generate reviews for your business.

  1. Encourage your employees to ask for reviews from your customers. Even the most well-intentioned customer can forget to leave a review.  Asking for reviews works and is appropriate.  The worse that can happen is they forget or do not write one at all.
  2. Solicit more reviews through email and text campaigns. Review Campaigns are being used more and more by local businesses.  If your marketing campaign doesn’t include building reviews you need to rethink your strategy.
  3. Add a Leave a Review call to action button on your website. It’s very common for a customer to look on your website if they want to leave a review.  Make sure your call-to-action button is clear and easy to find.
  4. Create a Google reviews page on your website. Doing so will show customers that leaving a review for your business matters.  Reputation Arm’s dashboard not only makes it easy to solicit reviews with text and email campaigns, it will provide a widget for you to embed on your website.
  5. Include a leave a review link in your surveys. If a customer is taking the time to fill out a survey asking them to post a review at the end is most appropriate.  They are already in the mind set of providing feedback so why not take advantage of the opportunity.
  6. Ask your social media followers for a review. Many of your followers are current or past customers.  Take the time to post a 5-star review on your page and ask the customer to provide their feedback.
  7. Include your Google review link in your email signature. Adding a link to review your business on Google within your signature is great way to ask your vendors and partners to leave a review.  It’s also effective if you use email to communicate with your customers.
  8. Respond to all your reviews. Responding to reviews lets potential customers know that you are listening to the feedback and showing them it’s an effective way to provide their feedback.


There isn’t one best practice, there are many that a business needs to actively work on.  Business owners needs to understand that generating new reviews isn’t a one and done task.  These tips should be worked on all year round to ensure a solid review rating.  Google isn’t just looking at the overall rating.  Google and other review platforms focus on a business’s number of reviews and the rate at which a business generates new reviews.

10 Effective Review Templates to Help You Respond to Negative Reviews.

Online reviews are critical for local businesses.  A local business without them may find it hard to generate leads and conversions without the right number of reviews, quality reviews and recent reviews.  There are several sites a customer can leave reviews for a business.  Google, Facebook, Yelp, Travelocity are of the most popular sites to leave a review.  Depending on your industry, focusing your efforts on reviews may be the # 1 reason you convert a lead.  In addition to generating and converting leads, your reviews will help you rank better.  Search engines look favorably on businesses with a high number of reviews.

While generating reviews is critical, responding to them is just as important.  Responding to reviews builds brand loyalty and is a great opportunity to engage with your customers.

How to respond to negative reviews

Relax, it’s not the end of the world.  You received a negative review, you’re human.  Its how you respond to negative reviews that really matters.  Being a local business owner isn’t easy.  Juggling day to day tasks and training new employees is a daunting task, if only your customers could understand! Remember this isn’t a boxing match or an opportunity to pass blame.  Instead, look at it as an opportunity to let your customers know that you are working on staffing issues and perhaps get them to realize you need a pass and you will do better.  Here are some steps to guide your thru the process of responding to your negative reviews.

5 Steps to guide you thru the process of responding to negative reviews.

Step 1: Take a deep breath!

Take a deep breath and do not allow yourself to get overly frustrated.  Instead reflect on the reviewer’s message for a moment and learn from it.  While its best practice to reply to reviews within 24 hours you don’t always have to rush to respond once posted.  Take the time to ask your employees questions and investigate further.  You may find the feedback is helpful on improving your business.  Turn the negative to a positive.

Step 2: Thank you?

Yes, thank the reviewer for taking the time to provide feedback.  Without the feedback how else can your business improve.  Acknowledging a customer complaint is good customer service.

Step 3: Ensure your customer that you will do better.

After you thank the reviewer for the feedback let them know that you will take the information provided and discuss it with your staff or use it to improve the services offered.  Constructive criticism can go a long way.  Communicate any improvements or changes you will or have already made as a result of their feedback.

Step 4: Move the conversation offline

If the reviewer is out of line with his comments or you truly believe they are wrong, why not move the conversation offline.  Ask them to reach out to you via email for more details and allow yourself the opportunity to gather more information.

Remember the way you respond will reflect on your business.  It’s important to remain calm and always stay polite no matter what the comments are.  Your temperance in your response will show potential customers your commitment to customer service.

Step 5: Make things right

Avoid generic responses that don’t allow you to make it up to your customer.  Invite them to email you for the opportunity to make things right.  Once your customer sends you an email offer them a discount on their next visit.  You never know they may decide to edit their negative review.

10 great example review templates to help guide your negative review response

Take a look at these response templates to help you formulate your negative review response:

Thank you {Reviewer Name} for writing this review. We take pride in giving outstanding service and we’re saddened to see we missed the mark. Your detailed review will make us better. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Hi {Reviewer Name}

We are terribly sorry to learn that we have let you down.  Your constructive criticism will allow us the opportunity to improve and do better.  We sincerely appreciate you bringing this to our attention.  We are always looking for ways to improve.  Please email {company email} and allow us the opportunity to make things right by you.  We appreciate your time and do hope that you will reach out to us soon.

Hi {Reviewer Name}

Your detailed review is very thoughtful and we are happy to receive all the feedback. We will definitely address your review with all our staff both the good and bad. We especially appreciate you pointing out… Thanks for being such a loyal customer.

Hi {Reviewer Name}

While I totally agree that the situation is quite frustrating, we believe that this issue was an isolated incident.  We would appreciate the opportunity at a second chance.  Please contact {company email} and allow us the opportunity to book your next reservation.  This will ensure that we take all the necessary steps at providing you with the 5-star experience we are known for.

Hi {Reviewer Name}

We are sorry to hear of your disappointment on your recent {order / visit}. Please email {company email} with your contact information so that we have the opportunity to address your review. We value your business.

Dear {Reviewer Name}

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.  I’m so sorry to hear you had a frustrating experience.  We apologize that our service did not meet your expectations.  Your comments allow us the opportunity to do better.  We are looking into the issue and hope to resolve it promptly.  Please do not allow this isolated incident stop you from giving us another chance.  We are confident that your next experience will be worthy of a 5-star review.

Dear {Reviewer Name}

Please accept our deepest apologizes on behalf of everyone at {location name}.  This incident is rare and not the custom service.  As you can see based on our overall review rating, we put customer service first and strive to always provide a 5-star customer experience.  Please allow us another opportunity to show you a more enjoyable and pleasant experience.  We truly value your business.

Dear {Reviewer Name}

We are sorry to hear of your disappointment on your recent order.  Please email {company email} with your contact information so that we have the opportunity to address your review.  We value your business.

Dear {Reviewer Name}

We are truly sorry about your recent experience at {location name}.  Please reach out to {company email} with your contact information so that we have the opportunity to gather the information needed to further assist you.  We value our customers and stand behind our work and would like the opportunity to make things right for you.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Dear {Reviewer Name}

While I totally agree that the situation is quite frustrating, we want you to know that this is not the norm for us at {location name}.  This isolated issue should have never happened.  We kindly request you to give us another chance.  As you can see from our reviews that we strive t give the utmost customer care and I assure you that once you come back you will be happy with the outcome.

Additional Negative Review Response Templates for Restaurants

Thank you for your review <Review Author Name>, we strive to provide generous portions in each meal. In todays market with food prices rising on a daily basis our standards in food quality remain the same. We stand behind what we serve our guests. Thank you again for visiting us and we hope to make your next visit a memorable experience.

Dear <Review Author Name>, I am sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your experience. It sounds like the bread was not up to our usual standards and we apologize for that. As for the lobster, we strive to provide generous portions of seafood in each meal and we’re sorry that it wasn’t what you expected.  We take customer feedback seriously and strive to do better, so we will make sure to review and address these issues. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Dear <Review Author Name>, Our staff should always check in with our guests to make sure they are enjoying their meal, and it is not okay that standard was not met. We take customer feedback seriously and strive to do better, so we will make sure to review and address these issues. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Dear <Review Author Name>, we are sorry to see we missed the mark with you. We appreciate your feedback, as it’s helping us to improve and ensure a better experience for all.

Dear <Review Author Name>, We pride ourselves on sourcing the highest quality meats and seafood. We are sorry to hear of your less than satisfactory experience with amount of time it took to prepare your food. We hope you will accept our sincerest apologies.

Dear <Review Author Name>, thank you for your detailed review. It is not every day that we receive feedback as detailed and thoughtful as yours. But trust us when we say that it does not go unnoticed. Your comment has given us valuable insight and we sincerely thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

<Review Author Name>, We are sorry to hear that your mood was ruined. We understand how important a particular situation can influence our guest’s experience. We sincerely hope you come back and give us another try.

<Review Author Name>, The market price for that particular seafood ingredient tends to fluctuate, but we charge what we do because we source the highest quality possible. We’d love for you to give us another try.

<Review Author Name>, Thank you for leaving your feedback. I am sorry to hear you had a frustrating experience. Depending on the type of drink you order, prices will vary and our menu states that gratuity is added to all parties. We do this to ensure that our staff is properly taken care of. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

 Hopefully these reviews templates help give you a good idea on how to properly respond to your customer reviews.  If its difficult for you to take the emotion out of responding to a negative review then consider hiring an outside reputation management company.  This will ensure that the responses are well thought out and appropriate.  It will also allow you to focus on the day-to-day tasks of running your business.

Brand Management through Google Reviews

Today Google has transformed the way a brand is conveyed. A brand is what your customers are telling Google through your reviews. Take a look at your business on Google; how many stars and how many reviews are by your business name? At first glance a consumer can judge your entire business just by your reviews. Outdated reviews are just as bad as having no or little reviews. Consistently generating new reviews is significant to your business and it matters to Google. You cannot buy reviews and it requires a bit of effort to generate and maintain reviews and responses. If building reviews is not on the top of your 2021 marketing goals, your strategy needs to be reexamined. I will break down 5 reasons to ramp up your Google business reviews and reputation management this year.

1. Google reviews in general matter more then ever. Google decides how you rank based on your volume, keywords in your reviews, third party reviews, star rating, the reviewer and the velocity.
2. Consumers rely on Google reviews to decide if they will engage with your business.
3. Google reviews have a correlation with higher sales
4. Reviews Build consumer trust
5. Your competitors are paying attention to reviews

Review Signals

SEO or search engine optimization in is primarily focused on Google. It’s the most relevant search engine and therefore your focus should be on having your best image on Google. Review signals account for 15.44% of local SEO ranking factors according to Moz. Back in 2018 reviews accounted for 12% of the local pack. This slight increase shows the importance of reviews with consumers. What exactly are review signals? Review signals are made up of a business’s review quantity with text, review velocity (speed at which new reviews are generated), and review diversity. While review diversity refers to reviews on other significant third-party sites like Yelp and Facebook, the main focus should be on Google.

Consumers Rely on Reviews

At one point or another or perhaps several times a day we look to Google to find a local business. In fact, 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day. This is according to BrighLocal consumer review survey 2020. The review survey found that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses up from 81% in 2019.

Let’s consider a typical individual looking to get pizza for dinner. The consumer may look to Google to see pizza restaurants nearby. After reviewing the first few options it is likely they may click on the business that has the highest star rating and the most reviews passing over the business with no reviews or very little reviews. A business with a low volume of reviews may be mistaken for a business that is slow or not popular. A business with a high volume of reviews will be portrayed as having better pizza then its competitor, after all the reviews say they do and it appears they sell more pizza. Picking a business with higher star rating and volume of reviews will help ensure an efficient, satisfying experience. This brings us to our next point…Google reviews have a correlation with higher sales.

Google Reviews have a correlation with higher sales

Ask your self are you more likely to choose a business with a higher volume of reviews and lower overall star rating or one that has less reviews and a perfect 5-star rating? The studies show more reviews correlates with more revenue. According to Womply’s study on the impact of online reviews on revenue, more reviews equal more revenue. The average number of reviews is 82, a business that has more then average number of reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue. Businesses that have 200 plus reviews earn nearly 100% more annual revenue then the average business. If you are wondering how you can maximize sales its probably a good idea to start thinking about how you can generate more reviews.

Reviews Build Consumer Trust

According to Womply’s study people spend up to 49% more money at businesses that reply to reviews. Stay ahead of your competitors and start engaging with your customers through your reviews. It’s a reflection of how much you care about your business and customer satisfaction. Google also looks favorably on businesses that reply to all reviews, both positive and negative. When a potential customer sees that you care enough to respond to a review it’s a reflection of the responsiveness you will have to customer needs and therefore customers are more likely to choose you.

Your competitors are paying attention to reviews

More and more businesses are realizing the importance of reputation management. Don’t allow yourself to fall to behind. Your branding can very well be summed up by the number of star reviews. It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at your marketing strategy, if your review rating is low you won’t convert your leads. Get with Reputation Arm today for a free consultation.