Joy Hawkins, a local SEO, has written a post saying that Google has updated the form businesses use to ‘flag a review’ within Google My Business as being inappropriate. There are now more options on the form which offers more options, along a slightly updated workflow.

  • Off topic: Review doesn’t pertain to an experience at or with this business
  • Spam: Review is from a bot, a fake account, or contains ads and promotions
  • Conflict of interest: Review is from someone affiliated with the business or a competitor’s business
  • Profanity: Review contains swear words, has sexually explicit language, or details graphic violence or other illegal activity
  • Bullying or harassment: Review personally attacks a specific individual
  • Discrimination or hate speech: Review has harmful language about an individual or group based on identity
  • Personal information: Contains personal information such as address or phone number

Here’s what Joy had to say about what’s changed:

  1. The descriptions below each option weren’t there before.  This is new and extremely helpful as it makes it much easier for a business owner to see which option they should choose. It also gives greater insights into what types of reviews are actually against Google’s guidelines.
  2. Previously there was only one option called “hateful, violent, or innapropriate”.  This has been split up into 3 specific ones: Profanity, bullying or harassment, and discrimination and hate speech.
  3. The personal information option is new.
  4. They also have a new page that shows up after you select the violation type which clarifies that it takes 3 business days for Google to review the request.  This was something that a lot of people weren’t aware of previously so this messaging makes it much clearer.

The business owner will also be shown a new confirmation screen when submitting the review flag.

Source – Search Engine Land and Local U