Google Changes Process for Flagging Online Reviews

Google Changes Process for Flagging Online Reviews

An important part of managing your brand’s online reputation is monitoring online reviews.

Unfortunately, not all reviews are legitimate. And, if a business discovers such a review, they should flag it. Because ignoring this situation can cause harm to your online reputation.

This is why it’s a good idea to be familiar with how to report reviews on all the major review sites.

The most popular customer review site, Google, recently made changes to their process for flagging and reporting online reviews. In this article, we will outline those changes.

What Has Changed?

The biggest change that Google made to their review flagging process is updating the categories provided for reporting an online review. In the past, the options looked like this.

Reporting a Google Review

In the updated process, the options were expanded to a total of seven.

This increase in the number of options will allow businesses to be more specific in stating their case regarding the review in question. We also believe Google did this to assist their internal teams more efficiently handle these requests.

Below are the updated options and descriptions:

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

Updated Google Review Flagging Process

To report a Google review, login to your Google My Business account and select the “reviews” tab. To flag a review, click on the 3 dots on the right side of the review and select “Flag as inappropriate”.

Google Changes Process for Flagging Online Reviews

A screen appears that shows the updated options available for you to pick based on the type of review you are reporting. Simply click on the appropriate option.

Google Changes Process for Flagging Online Reviews

After you make your selection (in this example, we chose “Conflict of Interest”), a screen appears confirming the reason for flagging the review. And, includes a statement saying it will take up to 3 business days to process the request. From here, you submit your request.

Google Changes Process for Flagging Online Reviews


Businesses that make reporting fake or inappropriate reviews a part of their reputation management strategy can help improve their brand’s image and win more customers.

To make this task go smoothly, businesses should be familiar with how to flag reviews on popular review sites like Google. In addition, be aware when these sites make changes to their review reporting policies.

Local businesses need to know about the recent changes made by Google that were covered in this post. The good news is that their updates are an improvement and provide needed clarity regarding their review flagging process.

Tracking online reviews is just one of the many features ReviewIgnite’s online reputation software offers. We specialize in helping businesses leverage their online reputation to get more positive online reviews, attract more customers and grow sales. See our online reputation management software in action. Click the button below to watch our self-guided demo now.

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