Become a Social Media Influencer

How You Can Use Video Testimonials to Create Social Proof Online

View All

Negative Google Reviews & How They Affect a Small Business

December 1, 2020 | Healthcare Google Reviews

What is a Negative Google Review?

A negative Google Review is two-star review or below; three stars is equivocal (neither good nor bad) while four and five star reviews are good-to-excellent.

Here’s what we’ll also discuss on this blog post.

Table of Contents

  1. What is not a negative Google Review
  2. How to respond to a negative Google Review
  3. How to remove a negative Google Review
  4. Do negative Google Reviews always hurt your business?
  5. Does Google prefer Big Business or small business in local search?
  6. What is Google My Business (GMB)?
  7. How to get Google Reviews
  8. Fight back against negative Google Reviews with new technology
  9. Google Review vendors
  10. There is a better way to ask for Google Reviews
  11. ONLY positive reviews get posted
  12. The customer posts their testimonial text into YOUR Google My Business page (GMB)
  13. YOU control which Google Reviews get posted to your Google My Business page
  14. Free Offer and Privacy Policy

Let’s get started…

What is Not a Negative Google Review

Your customers who leave reviews are bound by Google’s Terms of Service when posting ALL reviews – even negative reviews.  Therefore, if the review fits into one of these ten categories below, you have grounds to have it removed.

Google has ten specific reasons they will flag and remove a negative review if the consumer fails to adhere the Google Terms of Service :

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous & Derogatory Content
  • Impersonation
  • Conflict of Interest

If you believe a review falls under one of the above prohibited themes, you should report it to Google in order to get the Google Review removed.

How to Respond to a Negative Review

  1. Listen to your customers’ complaint, take a deep breath and then respond – “We hear your frustration and we’re sorry this happened.  Let’s try to make sure this NEVER happens again…”
    Add your own words – remember, this is all being typed in your Google My Business dashboard in your response dialog box.
    screenshot of GMB Review dialog box
    Screenshot of Google My Business (GMB) Review dialog box
  2. Apologize.  Even if you feel an apology is not warranted, in most cases since you’re the business and the customer feels aggrieved you should probably apologize.  An apology will make you seem gracious.
  3. Provide an explanation, as appropriate.
  4. Offer to compensate the reviewer, as appropriate – “We’d like to offer a complimentary session…” 
  5. Ask the reviewer to call or email you to continue the discussion off the review platform.

How to Remove a Negative Google Review

You can remove a negative Google Review based on the above criteria.  If the customer has violated the Google Terms of Service you, as the business owner, can ask Google to have the review removed.  Here are the steps you need to follow:

Note:  These steps assume the review is in violation of Google’s Terms of Service (above).  If this is simply a poor review or a review you don’t agree with, please follow the steps in How to Respond to a Negative Review.

  1. Flag the review
  2. Report the review

Do Negative Google Reviews Always Hurt Your Business?

Not necessarily.  

Internet consumers are savvy – they realize that even the most excellent businesses will occasionally make a mistake.  Maybe they served a customer who’s having a bad day and that person goes home to vent their rage on Google Reviews – it happens. 

However, negative reviews are so common that the absence of ANY negative reviews leads consumers to mistrust the authenticity of the remaining positive reviews.

According to research by social search company Reevoo, one or two negative reviews can actually increase consumer engagement on your site.  Engagement is defined as the time your customer spends on your page.

“The company found that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all.”

Does Google Prefer Big Business or Small Business in Local Search?

Is ‘brand’ a ranking factor in the Google search algorithm?  Most people think the answer is ‘Yes’ even though the technical answer is ‘No’.   How can that be?

Branded websites, such as WalMart, McDonalds or Starbucks, tend to be highly correlated to factors in the ranking algorithm – they tend to earn web traffic from a wide variety of sources. Big businesses sell SO many things that each is a keyword that adds to their traffic and ranking. 

Think of how many things WalMart sells – items from toilet paper to food to lawn machinery.  Each on these items can act as a keyword.  Each keyword may add a tiny amount of traffic to WalMart’s site.

Now, think of your local dentist or chiropractor.  How many things do they sell?  Their web traffic, in comparison to WalMart, will be tiny.

Small businesses, however, NEED to earn web search traffic from organic, local search.  Local search tends to be the ONLY channel small, local businesses have to earn legitimate web traffic.  

Rand Fishkin of breaks the branded v. unbranded discussion down here.

Google Reviews tend to affect small businesses disproportionately since small businesses don’t have the benefit of a branded presence. 

Customers are less likely to know what to expect from non-branded small businesses so they turn to the online review services, Google and Yelp. 

Branded businesses, which tend to be larger in scale, may have the benefit of advertising.  Customers know what to expect when buying a hamburger from McDonalds or a pair of jeans from WalMart.

What is Google My Business (GMB)?

Google My Business (GMB) is an online listing service. 

There are many listing services online with the chief difference being that GMB also owns the most powerful search engine on the planet and can direct ALL relevant, local searches to their listing service ahead of competition, such as Yelp or Facebook Reviews.

A business that has many Google Reviews gains a boost in local search.

Let’s say you have a plumbing issue at your house and you pull out your mobile phone and type ‘plumbers near me’.  Google finds two plumbers within one mile of your house; the first plumber has just a few reviews with some negative. 

The second plumber has many, mostly positive 4-and-5 star reviews.  Google ranks the highly-rated plumber first. 

And, you most likely call the first plumber in your search results.

How to get Google Reviews

Google will help you get Google Reviews.  Follow these steps to get your customers to GIVE you Google Reviews:

  1. Claim ownership of your Google business listing by going to
    • If the listing is already clamed (perhaps by a neighboring business or employee) they’ll receive an email asking them to contact you and you’ll receive a confirmation email.
  1. Update your business listing – Name, Address and Phone (NAP)
  2. Post good photos of your business
  3. Ask your customers for Google Reviews

Use technology to capture Google Reviews

Make asking for reviews easy – capture a video of your customer at the point-of-sale or checkout – when they’re at their happiest moment.

The new WOW Promoter app will convert the video-to-text and email your customer the text file of their words.  Then they post their own words into Google Reviews on YOUR GMB page – 5 clicks is all it takes.

Use the WOW Promoter app and make your life easy while getting Google Reviews.  Download now from the Google Play store for Android devices or the Apple App store for iPhones.

Android app Download banner
Android app Download banner with clickable link.
Apple App Download Ba
Apple App Download Banner – clickable link

Fight back against negative Google Reviews with new technology

The proper response is to saturate your Google Reviews page with SO many positive reviews that the ONE negative review is buried by positive reviews.  But, how to do that?

How can you get your customers to give you a positive review?  

You ask them – see our blogpost on how to ask for a Google Review.

Google Review Vendors

A modern twist on Google Reviews is video testimonials – Google has already tested using video testimonials inside its Google Maps product (Google Reviews is governed by the Google Maps Terms of Service).

There are many testimonial vendors today who promise improved Google Reviews – their model is to send the customer an email AFTER your customer has left your business that ‘reminds’ them to do the following:

  • go home
  • open their browser
  • write a review
  • post it to your Google Reviews tab on your Google My Business (GMB) page 
  • …and pray

Pray that your customer actually remembers to give you a Google Review.

Or, pray that their review is sufficiently positive to offset all the negative reviews.

There is a Better Way to Ask for Google Reviews

Our new technology captures a video testimonial in your business, at the point-of-sale:

  • of the faces
  • the smiles
  • the emotion and
  • the ENERGY of your happy customer – on video.

We capture their testimony at their exact moment of ‘surprise and delight’ when their emotion is at its highest, not later when they’re at home and their mind has already moved on to other things.

The new WOW Promoter Voice-to-Text feature converts the customers’ audio track from your video testimonial into a block of text that perfectly transcribes your customers’ positive reviews.

Then, the app automatically emails your customer the block of text with instructions how to post it to Google Reviews.

ONLY Positive Reviews Get Posted

Your Google Terms of Service allows your customers to post negative reviews – which you should respond to immediately.  Further, your customers can immediately navigate to your GMB page and post their own negative review (which many do).  This should not prevent you from PRIORITIZING and PROMOTING positive reviews using the WOW Promoter App.

The App allows your team to immediately capture and post ONLY positive reviews to Google and you control the process.

Here is a screenshot of the Dashboard on your desktop computer with access to all of your testimonial video files.

Click the Blue Envelope icon to convert Video-to-Text and Post to Google Reviews

The customer posts their testimonial text into YOUR Google My Business Page (GMB)

The app makes it super-simple for the customer – click, click and BOOM – you’ve got another positive Google Review.

Only THIS review is full of their emotionally intense words from their positive video testimonial.

The email text block is instantly pasted into the Google Reviews panel for your business.

YOU Control Which Reviews Get Posted to Google

Here’s the BEST part – YOU determine who does and who doesn’t get an email.

Negative video reviews get proper follow-up from management, but no email.

ONLY positive reviews get the email with their happy text block for posting to the Google Review panel in GMB.

Free Offer and Privacy Policy

We take your privacy seriously!  Check out our Privacy Policy.  

Also, the WOW app is HIPAA-compliant so ALL your information is safe in the cloud on AWS S3 servers, ALL the time.

The WOW app is FREE for you to use so download the app today!  

Check out the Getting Started with the WOW Promoter app if you have an account and you need to know how to get started.

Get your 2-month FREE trial today by calling/WhatsApp or texting 1.941.623.6109 or emailing


Android app Download banner
Android app Download banner with clickable link.
Apple App Download Ba
Apple App Download Banner – clickable link