In this wondrous day and age of instant information sharing, the online reviews from patrons provide various, valuable opinions about places, products, and services in an effort to inform both potential shoppers and the businesses they patronize about their experience. Unfortunately, this platform has all too often been a place for ex-employees to trash-talk their former employers. Alas, Google has realized that this form of badmouthing is enough of an epidemic that they've decided to detail specific language to address this issue in their review policies. Finally, negative reviews from ex-employees are against Google's guidelines!
Where Can I Find the Google Conflict of Interest Review Policy?
On December 14, 2017, Google policies for leaving reviews are now found in the *Google Maps support page Contributed Content Policy updated its content to disallow 'posting content about a current or former employment experience'. The page outlines ten policies for prohibited and restricted content that apply to all formats, like photos, videos and reviews. The policy states that reviews or images found to distort the truth, content unrelated to the business where they are tagged, or contributions that do not accurately represent the business where they are tagged may be rejected from publication. Under 'Conflict of Interest' you'll find the very simply stated:
This bit of news has been a sigh of relief for so many business owners and the SEO companies that have gone through the appeals process to have a review from a disgruntled ex-employee removed, only to find that Google considered that the disgruntled review content did not fall under the 'prohibited and restricted' sort.
How Do I Remove an Ex-Employee's Negative Review?
Begin your petition to remove an ex-employee's negative review immediately to minimize the damage it may cause to your online reputation. While the process of removing a review from your disgruntled ex-employee may only take days, it will feel longer. Be persistent; follow-up and follow-through with all requested information during your appeal. Fortunately, the process is easy enough:
- Find your business on Google maps.
- Find the offending review
a. Click on the vertical ellipsis ( ⋮ )
b. Click on 'Flag as inappropriate'
- Fill out the policy violation page and hit submit
Google will now take necessary action and remove the violating review. You will only hear back from them if they require further information or if they have anything additional to share with you.
*note: The review appeals process used to be located in Google My Business, it is now found in Google Maps.
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