July 1, 2024

Debunked: The truth about paid review removal services

Why to avoid rip-off “review removal” services and how to improve your ratings on your own.

In this article, learn:

  • Why paid “review removal” services are a rip off
  • How to submit negative reviews for content moderation on your own
  • The much better way to improve employer ratings

We had a client tell us of a service that charged $200 per negative review removed on Glassdoor. 

WHAT?!!! 

Is that real?! Yes, there are actually quite a few companies that specialize in “removing negative reviews” on Glassdoor, Indeed, Google, Yelp or just about any other mainstream review platform. Just google “How to delete Glassdoor reviews” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’ve known about these services for many years. The purpose of this article is to set the record straight.

These companies are a rip off.

Why?

They are following simple content moderation steps that anyone can do on their own.

They don’t have an inside track to remove negative reviews just because you ask them to.

Let’s begin by highlighting the disingenuous and deceptive practices of these “review removal” services.

How “review removal” companies pitch you on their services

Similar to a phishing scam, these organizations use an appeal to emotion and fear mongering. When you first see that horrible negative employee review, most HR leaders, executives and people managers have an emotional reaction. 

Perhaps you feel mad, sad, frustrated or something in between. How could they say that?!

Then you almost instinctively google: “how to delete glassdoor reviews”. It feels like the easiest solution, right? You don’t know how this works.

Instantly you see a whole list of companies that claim to permanently remove reviews from Glassdoor. You think it must be a thing. You click. Then you call. Someone answers. They reinforce how horrible this situation is and confirm they can easily take care of it. The best part? You don’t pay a single penny until the review is removed.

Sounds too good to be true? It is.

How reviews are actually removed and who can actually remove them

Let me state this very clearly. No third party can remove or otherwise delete reviews from Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, InHerSight or any other review platform. I’ve managed reviews for a decade for multiple employers and clients. I’ve dealt with just about every review platform out there.

It’s simply illogical that any review platform would give power to another group over their content. It is theirs. They protect it. They moderate it, diligently. After all, if their reviews become untrust-worthy, it destroys trust, sales and profitability.

So can negative reviews get removed from review sites like Glassdoor? 

Yes. 

But, again, let’s be clear here. It is only the platform that can remove reviews and only under certain circumstances will they do it.

What are the special circumstances when reviews will be deleted? Simple. Any content piece that breaks the platform’s community guidelines. Just like any sport out there has rules of what’s allowed and what’s not, review sites define what content they will accept and what they will block.

For the most part, it’s pretty intuitive. Unsavory content, threats of violence, sharing of confidential intellectual property.

Most of the time, reviews that don’t meet the community guidelines get blocked before they are ever posted. Most employee review platforms use a combination of algorithmic policing of content and human moderation.

But sometimes a review slips past the moderation process and still posts, even when it breaks the defined community guidelines. There are some reasons reviews might be removed that are less obvious though, such as misinformation or spam. If you can make a strong argument that a review meets criteria for removal, it might get removed. 

Enter the “review removal” services. 

Operating like bottom feeders in a community content ecosystem, they try to convince you only an expert can do what they do, sometimes insinuating they’re actually connected to the moderation process somehow. In reality, all they are doing is pushing a request back to the real moderators (Glassdoor, or other review sites) and asking them to take another look and see if a review breaks the community guidelines.

They know this is a numbers game. How do I know that? I’ve literally made hundreds of content moderation requests on behalf of my employers and clients. I’ve tracked the success rates. Although I can’t disclose specifics, I can tell you it’s much less effective than these organizations want you to believe. But hey, they already calculated for that and have a “guarantee” to only charge you when a review is actually removed. Rrriiiigghhhtt….. 

How you can petition for removal of negative reviews on your own

Notice this section was not titled: “How you can delete negative glassdoor reviews.” Remember you can not delete reviews. Wording matters here. Every review platform controls their own content. You’re just surfacing content to their attention so they can reevaluate it. 

Here are the 2 steps to follow to petition for removal of a negative review.

1. Decide if the review in question actually breaks the community guidelines. 

If you don’t have a genuinely strong case, forget it. Submitting a content moderation request is a waste of your time. The community guidelines is their scoring rubric. It’s what all moderation team members will reference when determining if a review should remain on the site or be removed. Here are links to each of the four top employee review sites for you to do this step.

Glassdoor Community Guidelines
Indeed Company Review and Photo Guidelines and Policies
Comparably Review Guidelines
InHerSight Best Practices for Posting Comments

2. Directly submit the review in question to the review platform for content moderation.

Instead of flagging a review as seen here, contact the platform directly. This more effectively gets their attention.


The best ways to submit Glassdoor reviews for removal:

- Email your Glassdoor rep directly (if you have one)

- Email the Glassdoor content team at content@glassdoor.com

- Chat Glassdoor support directly from your Employer Center admin portal


The best ways to submit Indeed reviews for removal:

- Email your Indeed rep directly (if you have one)

- Email the Indeed client support team at client-help-us@indeed.com

- Chat the Indeed client support team from your Indeed for Employer admin account. (Click “Help”, then click “Contact us”.)


The best ways to submit Comparably reviews for removal:

- Email your Comparably rep directly (if you have one)

- Email the Comparably support team at comparablysupport@zoominfo.com


The best ways to submit InHerSight reviews for removal:

- Email your InHerSight rep directly (if you have one)

- Email the InHerSight team at: hello@inhersight.com


Tips for making the strongest case for removal of a negative review

- Use a subject line like “Community Guidelines Question”, “Moderation Question”, “Content Question”.

In the body of the email or chat message:

a. Ask if they could take a look at the review in question and see if it meets their community guidelines.

b. Be organized, objective and to the point. Include a screenshot and/or link to the review in question.

c. Link to their community guidelines and specific reasoning as to why the review might break them.

d. Thank them for their time and let them know you’re available if they have follow-up questions.

- Don’t ask them to evaluate reviews that do not break the community guidelines. It’s a waste of time and will turn your requests to spam in the eyes of content moderators.

- Don’t submit mass quantities of reviews for content moderation requests. Again, your requests will become spam in the eyes of content moderators. They may just throw out all of your requests as disingenuous, potentially causing you to miss the chance to have reviews removed that rightfully should have been.

- Don’t be demanding, forceful or entitled in your language. Recognize it is the platform’s place (and right) to moderate content on their own site. Instead, take a journalistic tone, stating the review in question might possibly break their community guidelines and you just wanted to share it for their review, respecting whatever decision they come to.

- Lastly, realize Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, InHerSight and all review platforms value active participation on their platform. If your profile has existed unclaimed on their site for years, then you out of nowhere demand they remove reviews from it, feels disingenuous. The better approach would be to first claim your profile, update it for accuracy, then contact them. This shows more intent to participate on the platform in a more genuine way.


Confirming if a review has been removed

Just like Indeed states below in their Company Reviews Guideline article, most platforms will not contact you to let you know if they removed a review. If you want to keep track, simply save the URL or screenshot of the review. If you check the URL later and it’s broken, that means they removed the review. You can also go back to your company profile, sort the reviews by date and search for the one you reported. If it’s not visible, it has been removed.


The better way to improve your ratings on Glassdoor, Indeed and more

What the “removal services” will never tell you is there’s a better way to improve your ratings than trying to remove negative reviews. They feed you fear, trying to convince you there is no path forward without permanently deleting the negative review.
But they’re wrong.
In my book, The Review Cycle: The four-step model to mastering your online reviews©, I share how negative employee reviews can actually increase the number of applications you get for job postings. That’s because having some negative reviews actually brings an increased measure of authenticity to your positive reviews.
So what’s a better strategy for strengthening your ratings on Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably and InHerSight? 

Follow the four steps of The Review Cycle©:



1. Ask for reviews: Yes, you can directly ask employees for reviews. In fact, each employee can share one review per year on each of the four platforms. Collecting more reviews is directly tied to increasing ratings. That’s because when you don’t ask for reviews, the negative perspective is typically overrepresented. Read pg. 79-83 in The Review Cycle© for more research on this principle.
2. Respond to reviews: Strategic replies to reviews can increase the number of people that apply for your jobs. You’re showcasing the level of care and attention others could expect if they have a problem. This directly increases trust and influence.
3. Harvest insights from reviews:
As you learn from your reviews, either from reading them or using Mobrium to help summarize trends, you identify the top positive and negative themes. Those positive themes are things you should protect in your employee experience. The negatives are areas of opportunity, which can improve your ratings as they are addressed.
4. Market with reviews: Find positive reviews that reflect your top positive themes. Using those reviews in a job post, on your career page or in other employer branding material is far more influential than you saying it’s a great place to work. You will start attracting people to work for your company for the right reasons. New hires will be more aligned with the experience they will actually have, making them more likely to be engaged, productive and leave better ratings online.

Want help addressing a difficult negative employee review?

Mobrium is here to help you- the right way. Our proprietary software is inspired by The Review Cycle©, helping HR pros and brand managers:

⭐️ Automate employee review requests across top employer sites
✍️ Simplify monitoring of employee reviews from a single platform
🔎 Discover trends in employee reviews
⚡️ Supercharge employer branding

Do you have a particularly difficult negative review you’d like help with?
Schedule a call and we’ll take a look at it for free

Are you interested in learning the best practices of requesting employee reviews?
Schedule a call and we’ll show you our FTC compliant approach.

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