Removal of Google Reviews: Tips for Businesses in Austria
Removal of Google Reviews: Tips for Businesses in Austria

Getting a removal of Google reviews is often easier than one might think if the right approach is taken. In our blog, we have previously explained that in Austria, one can also take action against the company Google itself if a legitimate deletion request is denied. However, this is often not necessary. We describe below how a deletion request with Google can proceed and how you can seek support if needed.

Removal by the Author of the Google Review

If the identity of the author of the review is known, for example, because it is indeed a customer or business partner, you can try contacting them and request the removal. Often, reviewers are not aware that a Google review can have legal implications and may result in civil and, depending on the content, criminal consequences. Since every reviewer can remove their Google review, convincing the reviewer is a possibility. It is essential to avoid publicly escalating the dispute and responding to the review by disclosing the reviewer's personal information. Contacting the reviewer to request removal of Google reviews should not be done through a publicly visible comment. If you intend to have a Google review removed, we generally advise against commenting. This does not help you in the process, and it does not improve the review.

Removal of the Google Review by Google Itself

Due to the often anonymous nature of the author of the Google review, one will likely have to contact Google directly to get Google reviews removed. Google has listed on its website the content that should not appear in Google services.

Misleading Content and Misleading Behavior

Google considers this to be untrue or forged interactions. An example would be a review from someone claiming to be a customer but has no actual business relationship with the reviewed entrepreneur. Completely false statements about products and services also fall into this category. Posting a review under a false name, such as that of a real customer, is also impermissible.

Inappropriate Content and Inappropriate Behavior

This category includes content that is either legally objectionable and/or violates internal company policies. Hate speech is included, as well as harassing content. The publication of personal data can also lead to removal, which is quite common. Repetitive content (e.g., multiple negative reviews from competitors with the same wording) can also justify removal. The category also encompasses some (criminal) cases, such as the publication of terrorist information or information that endangers children.

Pure expressions of opinion are allowed (for example, "The products of business XYZ did not convince me!" or "The services of ABC are, in my opinion, too expensive."), as long as they are genuinely related to a customer contact.

Procedure for Removing Google Reviews

It is crucial to present the facts in a way that Google support staff can quickly understand the situation. The argumentation should be brief, concise, and, if possible, legally well-founded. If these conditions are met, a negative review can often be removed quickly.

What if removing Google reviews does not work?

In this case, consider whether it makes sense to take direct action against Google. In individual cases, this can be promising, especially since Google, according to the initial case law, is considered a media owner in such matters. We have described more about this in the blog. However, this approach is more complex and involves a certain risk of costs.

How can we support you?

Those who formulate removal requests to Google themselves often face the problem that these requests go unanswered. If, from Google's perspective, the facts and legal reasoning do not align, the application is likely to be rejected. In many cases, Google asks the author of the review for a statement. Those who proceed against Google or the author through a lawyer tend to have higher success rates.

Conclusion: Getting Negative Google Reviews Removed

Negative Google reviews harm the reputation of a business. The chances of achieving removal on Google are good if the right approach is chosen.

Do you have further questions?

If you have questions about our services or would like us to assist you in the removal of negative Google reviews and provide guidance through a lawyer, we, as specialized attorneys, are here to help protect your reputation. For the removal of Google reviews, we are happy to offer you a fixed price. Feel free to contact our law firm under office@geuer.at or by phone at +43-1-4380072. We look forward to hearing from you.

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