Tyler recently wrote me:
One quick question - If I add one of the product review apps to my website do I have any control over removing negative reviews or is it basically no matter what the review is, they all show up?
This is a common fear because on many 3rd party marketplaces you're unable to edit or remove any reviews.
How it works in your Shopify store would depend on the reviews app you use.
Some of the apps I've tried will let you remove or unpublish reviews (Shopify Product Reviews, Stamped.io, Yotpo, etc).
But don't remove every negative review.
Having a few negative reviews are good. That way your customer gets a balanced picture of the product.
But I'd agree, some negative reviews are... questionable.
(Insert Internet joke here that says 1% of people are crazy, +/- 99%)
Once the review app is in place they or JSON-LD for SEO might export those reviews to Google through structured data.
That review data is then used Google in your Rich Snippets.
Put it all together and you can see how you're in control of the reviews and what Google sees.
If you want all of your reviews shown, make sure they're in the structured data.
If you want to hide the reviews from Google, remove them from the structured data or the reviews app.
If you want to disable reviews completely, remove the reviews from that product and the structured data.
It might take awhile before Google removes them from the search results, but it'll happen.
Curate your reviews, both positive and negative to make sure there's a balanced picture shown to new customers. I'd add clarifying responses to reviews if they are needed.
And make sure your reviews are exported to Google.
If you don't have JSON-LD for SEO installed yet, why not? With automatic, 0-click integrations with 8 review apps you can get your structured data and reviews handled in the next 5 minutes.