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It does not work? Go then! Delete negative Google reviews

A negative Google rating is a real challenge for doctors, doctor's surgeries and clinics. Anyone who wants to have a negative Google rating deleted or has already tried to do so will usually find that Google doesn't even react. Even some lawyers seem at a loss. And yet you can also delete a negative Google rating.

Google continues to dominate the German search engine market. Even potential patients who were made aware of your doctor's practice / clinic through a recommendation from a friend will first search for you in Google. There is no getting around a Google rating. The search engine prominently displays the reviews available for your doctor's practice / clinic in several places:

  1. In the Google search results for your doctor's practice / clinic
  2. In the Google Maps search result to your doctor's practice / clinic
  3. In navigation systems based on Google Maps
  4. Information systems / apps using the Google database
  5. In the three Maps results in the Google search result for "CITY FIELD"

But Google goes even further: It not only displays the reviews themselves, but also excerpts from the review texts. In the event of a negative Google rating, critical texts are presented directly in the Google search result. In addition, a negative Google rating not only has a negative effect on the human viewer, but also on the search engine's algorithm itself.

Who can post a negative Google rating?

Anyone who sets up a Google Account can leave a review. Google does not assume that the reviewer who gave the rating was once a patient with you. Since Google is not a portal specifically for doctors and clinics, a person who works for you as a craftsman, for example, should also submit a rating.

Can I have my Google profile deleted?

One impulse for action that occurs particularly in the case of negative reviews in series is the desire to delete the Google profile. From a marketing point of view, this radical step would certainly be extremely delicate. But is it even possible to simply delete a Google profile?

In fact, there is a link to "delete" the profile in the administration area of ​​your Google profile. But be careful: This only cuts the connection between your Google account and the profile. This does not mean that the profile disappears from the search results. You just lose all control over it.

Doesn't Google have to delete negative reviews?

Even some lawyers apparently still believe that Google cannot be "gotten" in Germany because the company is based in the USA. Nevertheless, it has already been possible to hold Google Germany accountable several times. With the introduction of the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) ​​in particular, it became clear to Google that the processing of complaints must be implemented sensibly, as otherwise severe penalties could result.

This is probably one of the reasons why Google sees itself as bound by German legislation like all other review portals. References to false statements of fact or defamatory criticism must be checked. The reviewer of the evaluation must be confronted with the position of the doctor's practice / clinic and asked to comment. And Google has to delete it.

When can you have a negative Google rating deleted?

A negative evaluation is not permitted if, for example, it is based on false statements of fact or if it is a defamatory criticism. The distinction between a factual assertion and a subjective assessment is often not easy. Is the assumption that a doctor is “incompetent” a subjective assessment or a factual assertion?

And if this question weren't already complicated enough, subjective opinions can also be inadmissible if they refer to a wrong core of the facts. The statement "I didn't feel well" is a subjective expression of opinion. However, it is inadmissible if it refers to a false fact, for example: "I did not feel well when I was injected with antibiotics." If antibiotics were never injected, the statement is entirely inadmissible.

An abuse is given if there is no dispute in the matter, but the offense of a person or institution is in the foreground. Here, too, the delimitation is difficult. As a guide, one can state: If the evaluation text contains a reason for the same in addition to a derogatory statement such as “Absolutely brainless!”, Then the argument is given and the statement may possibly be more permissible.

This is against Google guidelines

A Google rating must also be deleted if it violates the guidelines set up by Google itself. The Google Ratings Guidelines are a long document. Probably the most interesting aspects are selected below:

  1. No google rating just to tamper with the grade
  2. No Google reviews with multiple accounts for the same place
  3. No multiple Google reviews with the same content
  4. No Google rating that is not based on my own experience
  5. No Google rating that contains obscene, vulgar, or offensive language
  6. No Google rating that stirs up hatred against minorities
  7. No Google rating about current or previous work experience

How can you have a negative Google review deleted?

So how can you go about it? Google offers various contact points here that are more or less suitable.

Contact point "reporting flag"

Next to each rating is the symbol of a small flag. Clicking on the same offers the prospect of reporting the review as "inappropriate". As a rule, however, this procedure does not seem to have any effect. According to Google support, you should log into your Google account before clicking the flag. This would assign a higher relevance to the click. But here, too, subsequent deletions seem to remain the exception.

"Google Support" contact point

Google support can examine your concern and give you an initial assessment. Support can be reached both by phone and via online chat. The support staff cannot delete it, but if they consider your complaint to be understandable, they can forward your request to the “responsible Google department”. This ominous specialist department would be responsible for such tests.

However, Google Support will only check for violations of Google's rating guidelines. They are not familiar with violations of German law, and the legal department is responsible for this. In fact, a negative rating for medical practices / clinics rarely violates Google guidelines, which means that support is rarely an option.

Contact point "Google legal department"

The Google legal department is the most promising place to go - if you know where and how to proceed. You can contact us using a longer online form. At this point, Google demands that you quote “the respective statutory provisions if possible” in order to successfully initiate an examination. In plain language, this means that you should know and recite the relevant judgments that justify your right to cancellation. If you fail to do this, your chances will be reduced.

Conclusion

Successfully deleting a Google rating is and will remain a challenge. Ultimately, however, the deletion of illegitimate negative criticism can be achieved in the same way as on the well-known doctor evaluation platforms.

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