1-Star Review Removed from Google Business Profile

The process to remove fake reviews from a Google Business Profile

I have had quite a bit of success removing fake reviews from Google Business Profile accounts.

One recent example is a law firm who contacted me about a 1-star review that appeared to be fake, or at least not from one of their clients. The attorney checked all of her records and did not see any client by that name and she had not worked on a case in the practice area that was mentioned in the review for many years.

Email from Divorce Lawyer About Fake Review

Below I detail how I helped this lawyer and the three steps you can take to remove a non-client review from Google.

But before you start trying to get a review removed though, make sure it really shouldn’t be there.

Determining that a review is fake

For some businesses, it can be a bit challenging to determine a review is fake. If you get a lot of reviews or don’t monitor them regularly it is easy for a review from a non-client to slip through the cracks. 

For most lawyers however, it should be fairly easy to spy a fake review. Was the person a client or not? 

Before you attempt to remove a review that you believe is not warranted, make sure you are certain the review was from a non-client. 

  • Check your records to confirm you did not meet with the person.
  • Look at their review “profile”. Have they given any other reviews?
  • Is the person who left the review from your area?
  • Did the person leave multiple reviews on your listing?
  • Was the reviewer a former employee?

After doing some sleuth work and you have determined that you never met with this person as a client or potential client, it’s time to take action.

Here is what I did to get that review removed from the attorney’s Google Business Profile

Step 1 – Report the fake review to Google

The first step to removing a fake review from a Google Business Profile is very simple. This is the same process you will see on many other websites and should be done before trying anything else. 

It works well and it is pretty quick.

How to report a fake review to Google

      1. Sign In to your Google Account and access the Google Business Profile
      2. Access the reviews management tool for the business. You can do this several ways but the easiest is just to click on the link on the right side of the page.
      3. Locate the fake review and look for the 3 dots on the right side. Click that.Locating the Link to Report Fake Reviews
      4. Select “Report review”. What you are going to do here is just send a signal to Google that says something is wrong with the review. Please check it out and if you agree, then remove the review. Report Link on Google Business Profile
      5. There are several options on the Report review tool that you can choose. I like to select “Off topic” as it specifically states that the review does not pertain to an experience at or with this business. In other words, a non-client. Choose a Reason to Report Fake Review
      6. Confirm the reason you want to report the review by clicking “Submit”. Once you do this you’re finished. There are no fields for an explanation or ability to upload photos and diagrams. You just get to report the review as fake. Click Submit to Confirm Report Reason
  1. Having excellent reviews can certainly help a business collect more leads and even some high-net-worth clients. But, not every review reported like this will get removed. If you are not successful getting the fake review removed with this method, then it is time for step 2.

    Step 2 – Appeal Google’s decision on the fake reviews

    Should the review you flagged not get removed you can submit a one-time appeal. For this process you will need to fill out a simple form where you have an opportunity to explain why you believe a review does not meet Google’s guidelines.

    Go to the Google Review Management Tool and confirm your email.

    You can then select which business you want to remove a review for.

    Then, you can indicate you want to “report a new review for removal” Report a Review for Removal on Google

    Finally, Google will present the reviews that you flagged in Step 1 above. From here you can “Submit an appeal” Confirm Reviews for Appeal

    This is where Google will give you a short form to explain why you think the reviews you reported violated their policy. Explain to Google Why a Review Violated Policy

    In this case Google very quickly made a decision that the reviews did not violate their policy and sent me the following email denying my request. Response from Google on Request to Remove Review

    To be honest, I have not had much success with the appeal process. However it is very important to complete the process even when rejected as you will need the confirmation number to proceed with the final option.

    Step 3 – Contact Google Business Profile Community Support

    If you are unsuccessful in removing a review on your Google Business Profile with the first two steps, there is one final option. It is very important that you don’t just bypass the first 2 steps to get here. But, trust me, this works.

    One client I work with had 61 reviews. After reviewing all of them I noticed a pattern where 8 of the reviews used a variant of the same name, all done within a few days.

    Here are the names that were used:

    Mariyah Williams

    Diamond Diamond

    Mariyah Diamond

    Diamond Diamond

    Riyah Dime

    Mariyah Diamond

    Riyah Williams

    Mezziah Mariyah

    Spam and fake content that is posted to specifically manipulate ratings is against Google’s policy. This includes posting multiple times, including from different accounts. 

    Example of Content Intested to Manipulate Google Rankings

  2. So, I reported this to the google support board.Thanks for contacting Google Business Profile Support! For your reference, your case ID is 0-3077000012345.
    1. 5/28/23- Flagged the review on the GBP dashboard.
    2. 5/31/23 – Checked status – all reviews deemed not in violation.
    3. 5/31/23 – Submitted appeal
    4. 6/9/23 – Received response from Google they can not remove the reviews
    5. 6/12/23 – Requesting help from the forum

    Here is the actual note I sent to the forum requesting the fake reviews be removed from the Google Business Profile:

Actual request to forum:

I am trying to remove a bunch of 1-star reviews that are obviously fake. All of these reviews were added in the same time period about one year ago and negatively impacted the overall rating for the business causing a noticeable decrease in calls.

Here is a list of the names of the reviewers. There is a clear pattern of mix-match of the names. In fact 2 of the names are duplicated.

Mariyah Williams

Diamond Diamond

Mariyah Diamond

Diamond Diamond

Riyah Dime

Mariyah Diamond

Riyah Williams

Mezziah Mariyah

This is against Google’s policy of posting fake content to manipulate rankings:

“Spam and fake content that is posted to manipulate ratings. This includes posting multiple times, including from different accounts.”

In an attempt to get Google to resolve this I:

  1. 5/28/23- Flagged the review on the GBP dashboard.
  2. 5/31/23 – Checked status – all reviews deemed not in violation.
  3. 5/31/23 – Submitted appeal
  4. 6/9/23 – Received response from Google they can not remove the reviews
  5. 6/12/23 – Requesting help from the forum

Link to GBP:


Name of Business:

ABC Company

The reviews in question can be found by sorting based on Newest. They are all together except one apparently unrelated (also 1-star with this as the only review but different name) review in the middle.

All of the reviews were the only review by that account except 

Riyah Williams

Riyah Dime

Both of these have a 2nd review for the same business.

  1. Within a few days, I received the following response from the Google forum:
  1. Response:Response on Submission to Google Forum
  2. Within one business day, all of the fake reviews were removed. My client’s rating went up from 3.9 to 4.1 and we immediately saw an increase in calls from the Google Business Profile.Follow instructions explicitly!

    What to do if a fake review is not removed from Google

    Even though you are 100% certain the person who left a review was not a client, Google may determine that they are not as sure and decline your request. 

    When this happens, it is time to move on. But there are a few things you can and should do.

    Add a response to the fake review

    Craft a positive response. Your response is for future readers so take any emotion out of it. 

    Just say, I’m sorry you had a bad experience. We have no record of you being our client. Please contact our office right away so we can get to the bottom of your issue.

    This shows potential clients that you care about the service you’re providing and it adds a little doubt to anyone reading the review as to whether it was real or fake.

    Get more reviews to push the non-client review down the list

    Let’s face it, the further down you can push a negative fake review the less likely anyone will ever see it. Yes, low ratings will lower your overall score, but businesses with all 5-star reviews seem a little fishy. 

    So if you have exhausted these 3 steps for removing fake reviews from your Google profile with no luck, it’s time to dive in and get some more great reviews to wash the false one away.

    If you need help removing fake reviews or setting up a program to collect lots of great reviews, let me know.

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