Good online reviews on Google and elsewhere are now a valuable commercial currency. They cement existing business relationships and attract new clients – whatever sector you are in. But bad reviews can cause reputational damage to your business and ultimately hit your bottom line. Nath Solicitors in London helps clients manage their online reputation in two ways:
- We work with Google and others to remove damaging and defamatory reviews where possible
- We help reduce the impact of negative reviews that cannot be taken down
Can I remove a bad Google review?
Business owners sometimes feel powerless to confront negative reviews on Google and other online forums. Particularly when initial approaches to a host or internet service provider are met with silence or general unresponsiveness. But there are clear rules. If a review contravenes the law in some way – for example it is defamatory – or breaches guidelines of search engines and service providers we can deal with the appropriate authorities on your behalf to remove the offending material.
Google for example undertakes to remove reviews in a range of circumstances, including:
- When someone uses a review to advertise another business and includes links to other sites or phone numbers
- If it thinks the review amounts to Spam. For example if the review contains promotional or commercial content or appears to be a duplicate of another review posted from a different account
- When the review is not relevant to the business being reviewed or is about someone else’s experience of the location or business
- If there is offensive language or content that amounts to a personal attack on others
- Where there are links to illegal content
- If the review contains copyrighted material or somehow infringes the rights of others
- Where the reviewer posts on behalf of others or misrepresents his or her identity or relationship with the business under review
- If there is personal, confidential information in the review
How do I deal with negative reviews that Google will not remove?
Even if you strongly disagree with a particular piece of online criticism you may not be able to seek its removal. The content might not be defamatory. Or it might not come under one of Google’s reasons for removal listed above. In these circumstances the way you respond to the review is crucial.
We help you develop careful, tactful and structured approaches to negative reviewers. Most sites for example allow a right of reply. A thoughtful, measured response to a negative review can often effectively reassure other potential customers and take the sting out of any criticism. Alternatively you could approach the reviewer and suggest a follow-up visit to your business or use of your services to see if you can improve his or her experience.
Every case is different. But in our experience aggressively insisting on removal of objectionable content or threatening formal legal action often serves very little.
For advice on dealing with negative online and Google reviews about your business please call our London office on 0203 670 5540 or contact us online.