Google Prohibits Incentives Offered to People for Removal or Revision of Negative Reviews


Joshua Waller, SEO Manager at Ontario SEO
October 13, 2022
‘Review us on Google’ sign.

In an update to Google Maps reviews guidelines, Google will now disallow making requests for revisions or removals of negative reviews. This includes discounts, free goods or services, or any other incentives.

The new guideline (found here) prohibits “content that has been incentivised by a business in exchange for discounts, free goods and/or services” going on to say “this includes merchant requests for revision or removal of a negative review…”

Why We Care

It’s not uncommon for a business to offer some kind of incentive to have a bad review updated by the person who wrote it. This, in addition to paying for or incentivizing positive content is strictly prohibited.

This year, Google has spent considerable energy in making the Google Search landscape a more authentic user experience. This is just another part of those efforts. Prohibiting the incentivization of review revision means more first-hand, honest, reviews will remain available to the user. Ultimately, this should allow the consumer a more educated buying process.