CALL US TODAY: 0203 983 8278
Home // How Do I Remove A Bad Google Review?

Most businesses engage in multiple types of web marketing to publicise what they do and generate interest in their work. This might range from a straightforward, standalone website to full blown marketing campaigns across social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. But no matter how proactive you are when it comes to online marketing, just a few bad Google reviews by customers can undo a lot of your efforts. Nath Solicitors in London is a well-known firm of reputation management solicitors. We work closely with businesses in a range of sectors to limit the fallout from negative Google reviews. In this article we explain some of the approaches you may wish to take when faced with a negative Google review. We also examine Google’s own content policies and how business owners affected by negative reviews can use these to minimise the potential commercial damage caused by a negative review.

Does The Review Breach Google Terms Of Service?

Online reviews – like any other online content that appears in Google search results – must comply with Google’s terms of service. Users who generate content must respect the rights of others, including their privacy and intellectual property rights. Users should not abuse or harm others (or threaten or encourage such abuse or harm). As examples, Google cites instances of misleading content, content aimed at defrauding others, illegal impersonation, defamation, bullying content and content that amounts to harassing or stalking others.

How Will Google React To Content That Breaches Its Terms?

Before it takes any action, Google undertakes to provide the poster of contentious content with notice that the content is potentially problematic. It will give the poster an opportunity to defend the content and if necessary, fix the problem. Google also reserves the right to act without any notice where such notice would:

  • Cause harm or liability to a user, third party or Google
  • Violate the law or a legal enforcement authority’s order
  • Compromise an investigation
  • Compromise the operation, integrity or security of its services

If Google reasonably believes that content

  • breaches its terms of service
  • violates applicable law, or
  • could harm our users, third parties or Google,

then it will take down some or all of that content in accordance with the applicable law.

Can Google Suspend Access To Its Services?

Yes. The terms of service make clear that where a Google account user materially or repeatedly breach its terms Google can suspend the user’s Google account. It can also suspend access if it is required to do so to comply with a legal requirement or a court order or it reasonably believes that  a user’s conduct causes harm or liability to a user, third party or Google.

What Is Google’s Policy On Online Reviews?

Google will automatically review content, including online reviews to detect whether it contains any type of content that’s banned by Google.

The type of content that will be flagged up includes content that is:

  • Illegal
  • Terrorist
  • Sexually explicit
  • Spam or fake
  • Off-topic
  • Offensive
  • Dangerous and derogatory, including content or reviews that harass or intimidate
  • Likely to give rise to a conflict of interest, for example if a user posts untrue content about a competitor

Any content, including reviews, that is flagged during this review exercise will be taken down – without the need for the business affected to take any action.

How To Respond To A Negative Google Review?

So far we have looked at action Google may take in relation to a negative review that also breaches Google’s terms of service. But what action can a business take of its own accord to deal with commercially damaging bad reviews on Google?

We’ve explored this issue previously on our blog on how to deal with negative reviews.

When it comes down to it, there is little point in seeking to remove a bad review that contains accurate and legitimate comments about your business.  If you are uncomfortable with a review and think it may harm your business we would advise replying with a polite apology or explanation, contextualising the customer’s perceived negative experience. In our experience approaching the reviewer in such a conciliatory away can often persuade him or her to remove the review voluntarily or amend it to paint your business in a more favourable light.

If however you believe that a review is fake or violates Google terms you should as a matter of urgency flag the review on your Google account to let others know that the review is disputed. You should also respond to the poster, stating in an even-handed manner that the review is fake and refute any false claims.


If you are faced with a negative online review about your business, or you have been asked to remove something you have posted it’s important to act quickly. Google regularly updates its terms and it’s crucial to get advice from a specialist familiar with all updates and how Google is likely to approach your case.

It can be difficult to get reviews removed even when they violate Google’s policies so you should always be ready to approach the poster informally as we have described above. You may also wish to consider employing some kind of  reputation management strategy to address the negative review outside of Google’s system.

Contact Us

For advice on managing online reviews contact Shubha Nath at Nath Solicitors on 44 (0) 203 983 8278 or get in touch with the firm online.


    I accept the privacy policy

    To prove you are not a robot, please answer the following question:


    Copyright. Nath Solicitors Limited. Registered in England and Wales. Company Number: 08724944. VAT number: 207490711. Office Located at: 35 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 5BF. Nath Solicitors Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Registration number 608014. Terms Of Use. Privacy Policy. Cookies Policy. Complaints Procedure.