When a user or bot posts an inappropriate review on a Google My Business page, business owners or representatives can flag the submission for removal. Google has recently updated the form used to identify reviews that violate the standards of the GMB service. 

Learn more about three changes to this process that can expedite the removal of spam, personal information, and off-topic or offensive reviews.

  1. Modified Policy Violation Categories

The new flag review generates an on-screen overlay to ask why the user is reporting a submission. Seven options are now available, including off-topic, spam, conflict of interest, profanity, bullying or harassment, discrimination or hate speech and personal information.

Earlier versions of the Flag Review feature had only one option for “hateful, violent or inappropriate” reviews. The new feature presents three distinct categories for profanity, bullying or harassment and discrimination and hate speech. The option to flag reviews containing personal information is also a recent addition.

  1. Descriptions for Each Type of Violation

Each of the options available for flagging reviews are accompanied by brief descriptions. The following explanations make it easier to choose the right violation:

  • Off-topic: Review does not pertain to an experience at or with this business
  • Spam: Review is from a bot, fake account or contains an advertisement or promotion
  • Conflict of interest: Review is from someone affiliated with the business or a competitor
  • Profanity: Review contains explicit language or details violent or illegal activity
  • Bullying or harassment: Review personally attacks a specific individual
  • Discrimination or hate speech: Review has harmful language about individuals or groups
  • Personal information: Review contains an address or phone number

These descriptions make it easier to understand the nature of content that violates Google standards. Business owners and representatives should select the option that corresponds to the content of a review.

  1. Timeline Clarification for Review Removal

After a review flag has been submitted, a new confirmation screen appears. This dialog states that it can take up to three business days to process requests. Google also clarifies that it is not possible to remove negative or disputed reviews that do not fall under any of these categories.

Business owners and marketing professionals should know how to flag inappropriate reviews on GMB. It is important to manage a business page to protect the reputation of a business and ensure that customers can find the information they need without distractions. Any enterprise can benefit from outsourcing GMB management and other local SEO services.

Need Help With Your Business GMB Listing?

For help with your Google My Business listing, contact Sprout Media Lab.  We have 13+ years of experience in dealing with Google Map listings, Reviews and Digital Marketing as a whole.  For a Free Consultation about your business and how we can help, just call us at (800) 617-6975 or contact us here!