Online reviews play a crucial role in shaping a business’s reputation. When we surveyed our 150,000+ customers to know about the state of online reviews in 2024, we found that:

  • Google reviews soared by 15% from the previous year, capturing 79% of all online reviews.
  • The use of automated responses by businesses escalated to 42%.

These statistics highlight a significant jump, indicating a shift towards more efficient, tech-driven customer engagement strategies. If you’ve read our blog on how to ask for a review, it’s natural to ask if you can leave an anonymous Google review. 

As of May 28, 2018, leaving an anonymous Google review is no longer possible. Google has even deleted all previously posted anonymous reviews.

This update reflects Google's efforts to combat fake reviews and protect businesses from unjust damage.

This blog is your go-to guide to know if there are any ways to legitimately write an anonymous Google review and how you can do that. 

Why did Google change its policy regarding anonymous reviews?

Anonymous online reviews are feedback or evaluations posted on the internet about a product, service, or experience without disclosing the reviewer’s identity. These reviews can lack accountability, making it easier for individuals to post false or malicious comments without facing repercussions. This can lead to misinformation and unfair damage to the reputations of businesses or individuals being reviewed.

To post anonymous reviews, customers were required to use Google+. Anonymous reviews appeared posted as “A Google User” on Google Business Profiles.

Since the primary account was connected to Google, there was somewhat more accountability than in the previous system. Still, business owners would often have no idea if the person who left the review was a real customer.

In 2018, Google decided to make the process of leaving anonymous reviews subject to more regulation. This was partially in response to complaints by business owners but more because Google wanted to maintain the trust economy of online reviews on its platform.

Why leave an anonymous Google review?

Online reviews serve as digital word-of-mouth, allowing individuals to share their experiences with businesses. However, some prefer to maintain their anonymity while expressing their opinions. 

After speaking to many reviewers who chose to leave reviews anonymous, we’ve curated a few reasons behind their intent to do so: 

#1 Candid feedback without identity exposure

One of the primary reasons to leave an anonymous Google review is the ability to provide candid feedback without revealing your identity. Whether it’s a critical evaluation or a praise-worthy experience, maintaining anonymity ensures that your details remain confidential while your opinion is still heard.

#2 Focusing on the experience

When your identity is anonymous, the spotlight shifts from who you are to the experience you had. This can lead to more focused, detailed, and honest reviews. Readers are more likely to trust the authenticity of a review that seems to be driven by the experience rather than personal biases.

#3 Addressing sensitive topics

There are situations where the review topic might be sensitive or very personal. Anonymity allows you to discuss these topics openly without attaching them to your identity. This can be particularly helpful when reviewing healthcare services, counseling, or any services where privacy is paramount.

#4 Shielding from retaliation

Sometimes, individuals hesitate to provide negative feedback out of fear of retaliation or consequences. An anonymous review can shield against such concerns, encouraging people to express their genuine opinions without worrying about negative repercussions.

#5 Empowering consumers

Anonymity empowers consumers to share their honest thoughts, which can influence the purchasing decisions of others. Businesses and service providers also benefit from anonymous reviews as they gain insights into areas for improvement, enhancing their overall quality.

#6 Encouraging open dialogue

By offering a platform for anonymous reviews, businesses, and service providers encourage an open dialogue. Customers are more likely to voice their concerns, allowing companies to address issues and make necessary changes.

#7 Objective evaluation

Anonymity helps remove biases associated with a reviewer’s identity, promoting more objective evaluations. Readers are more likely to focus on the content of the review rather than forming opinions based on the reviewer’s background.

Though Google doesn’t allow you to leave a review anonymously, you may leave a review without actively revealing your real identity. You can leave an anonymous review on Google while maintaining your privacy and sharing valuable insights.

The easiest way to post Google reviews anonymously without revealing your identity – Change your name on Google

The most legitimate way to leave anonymous Google reviews is to change your name on Google 

Or create a new/alternate Google account that you’d use for unofficial purposes/personal use. 

You can use a pseudonym, a nickname, or simply “Anonymous.” 

Here’s how to leave a review without a Google account:

Step 1 – Go to Google Maps

Search for the business you want to review.

Step 2 – Click “Write a Review” under the “Reviews” section.

A pop-up will appear for you to sign in to your Google account. 

Step 3 – Click “Sign in.”

Now, you have to create a new account that you’ll use for this purpose. 

Please note that this will be a real account you can name. You may also name it “anonymous” if you want not to reveal your real name. 

Step 4 – Click “Create account” in the next window and select “For my personal use” from the list.

Step 5 – Click “Create a new Gmail address.”

A new popup will appear where you have to fill in your details 

Step 6 – Add a recovery address as your backup.

A new popup detailing Google’s policies and code of conduct will appear. Read and then “Accept” it. 

Congrats, your anonymous Google account is live.

Once you’ve created your account, you can leave a review by selecting the number of stars and typing your feedback in the text box.

Click on the “Post” button to publish your review.

Please note: Though you may write a review, a business can flag a review if it seems dubious.

And if it’s true, Google may take your review down if it violates Google’s review politics and terms.

Note: Even if you alter your Google profile name, Google can still track your IP address. So, realistically speaking, you won’t be entirely anonymous.

How to leave an anonymous Google review on a desktop?

Wondering how to leave a Google review on your desktop anonymously? Here’s a step-by-step to do it:

Step 1: Go to Google

Step 2: Search the business you want to review.

Step 3: The business’s name will appear on the right-hand side of the results.

Click on the business listing. 

Step 4: Scroll down to the “Reviews” Section. And click on “Write a review”.

Remember the alternate email ID we created in the step above? 

Log into that. 

But if you want to create another ID, you can follow the same steps and make another anonymous Google ID. 

Fill in the required details and login with that anonymous Gmail account.

Step 5 – Login and write the review.

Step 6 – Select the number of ratings and then click ‘Submit/Post.”

Here’s a GIF guiding you to do it:

Done! You’ve successfully posted an anonymous Google review from the desktop. 

Leave Google Reviews Anonymously by Changing Your Name on Google

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Our customers, their stories: 

“I like that Birdeye gives you feedback based on sentiment so that you can easily identify the good reviews from the bad reviews and that you can aggregate reviews from several other platforms into Birdeye. Being able to separate the negative reviews from the bad reviews is very helpful because it allows us to leverage the good reviews across our website, on gated landing pages, as testimonials on microsites and our actual website etc. The negative reviews are helpful because we can leverage this feedback to improve our product and also improve internal issues/teams such as customer service.” 

– Francesca Margate, 8X8

How to leave an anonymous Google review on mobile?

Leaving an anonymous Google review on mobile is not very different from a desktop. 

Customers prefer doing it on mobile because this saves time and ensures the customer’s review is more accurate and relevant to their recent experience.

Step 1: Log in to the anonymous Google account

The one that you created with an alternate email address, as mentioned in the steps above. 

Step 2: Search for the business you want to review.

Enter the business name and location for accurate results.

Step 3: Tap on the business listing from the search results to access its details.

Step 4: Scroll down to the “Reviews” section.

Scroll down the business details page until you find the “Review” section. 

Step 5: Rate and write the review you want to publish anonymously.

Tap on it to start writing your review.

Step 6: Publish your review.

Occasionally, Google may ask you to complete a CAPTCHA test to confirm that you’re not a robot. Follow the instructions to complete the CAPTCHA and proceed with submitting your review.

If you report a Google review, is it anonymous?

When you report a Google review, the process is indeed anonymous. The person whose review you're reporting will not be notified that you specifically have reported it. This anonymity encourages honest reporting without fear of retaliation or conflict.

Solutions for managing anonymous Google reviews

Here are five solutions for managing anonymous Google reviews:

1. Monitor and respond professionally to anonymous feedback, demonstrating your business’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

2. Use Birdeye Reviews to track and manage online reviews. With it, you can: 

  • Identify and tackle fake reviews
  • Personalize your review replies at scale with help from AI 
  • Monitor reviews on 200+ sites
  • Translate reviews in English and then translate your response in your customer’s language
  • Share reviews on your website and social media profiles 
  • Use reviews to improve Google ad performance
  • Summarize the sentiment of hundreds of reviews with a single click

3. Encourage satisfied customers to post reviews, balancing out anonymous feedback with positive testimonials.

4. Use anonymous reviews as constructive feedback, identifying areas for improvement in your business or service.

5. Train your team on the importance of reviews and how to address negative feedback constructively. 

These strategies can help businesses manage and leverage anonymous reviews to enhance their online reputation.

Alternate way to leave an anonymous review

If you do not want to create a Google account just to leave anonymous reviews, there is another easier way to get around the anonymity issue – change your name on Google.

To change how your name appears in reviews, 

1 – Go to your Google account. 

Look for the “Manage your Google Account” section.

2 – Click on it and then select “Personal Info.” 

A page should come up showing your given name and surname. 

At this point, you can either take off your last name to maintain review credibility or pick an alias, or simply use “Anonymous” as your identifier.

Note: While this is an easier way, remember that by doing this, you are changing your name on Google, and your name will appear as the altered name wherever you use your Google account. 

Also, if you revert to your original name on Google at any time, the review you posted anonymously will start showing your real name.

What impact do anonymous reviews on Google Maps have on businesses?

Anonymous Google reviews can impact a business’s credibility, as potential customers may question the authenticity of feedback that lacks a verifiable source. Consumers often rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions. Anonymous negative reviews can deter potential customers, while positive ones can boost interest. 

On the other hand, without specific details or the ability to contact the reviewer, businesses may find it difficult to address and rectify issues raised in anonymous reviews, potentially affecting their reputation. 

Anonymous Google reviews and the rise of the trust economy

Earlier, it was easy for anybody to leave a review. Review platforms wanted to make leaving a review easy for anybody, but that came at a cost: the system’s integrity.  

Anonymous reviews made the whole review ecosystem harder to trust. Customers didn’t know if the reviews they were reading reflected real experiences. Businesses didn’t know if the reviews they were reading were from real customers.

So, the question wasn’t whether can you leave anonymous Google reviews but whether the anonymous reviews were fake reviews or a vent out. 

Google doesn’t allow review gating, but it all changed when the discussion came about whether relying on customer reviews should be taken at face value. 

For the trust economy to function properly, customers need to be able to trust reviews: 

  • Customers will only trust online reviews if it’s clear the reviews are authentic and represent an unbiased view of the business.
  • Trustworthy reviews benefit businesses and customers, so preserving an authentic review ecosystem is important.  
Are likes on Google reviews anonymous?
Yes, likes on Google reviews are anonymous. When someone clicks the "like" button on a Google review, the reviewer does not receive any notification about who liked the review, ensuring the privacy of the person who appreciated the feedback.

What are Google’s policies and best practices for leaving anonymous Google reviews?

To deal with all these, Google created a set of rules and guidelines known as Google Store review guidelines to prevent fake anonymous reviews: 

  • Spam and fake content
  • Misleading or biased opinions 
  • Off-topic reviews 
  • Illegal content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Dangerous, offensive, and derogatory content
  • Terrorist content

Read about Google’s list of prohibited content to prevent reviews from misleading customers and harming the business’s reputation. 

What measures does Google have to ensure the authenticity of anonymous reviews on Google Maps?
Google implements several measures to ensure the authenticity of reviews on Google Maps, even if they're anonymous. These include:
- Algorithms to detect and remove fake reviews
- Ability for business owners and users to flag suspicious reviews for further investigation
- Strict policies that prohibit misleading or fraudulent content 
These efforts aim to maintain the reliability and trustworthiness of the review system when left anonymously. 

Tips to follow when writing reviews anonymously that align with Google’s review policies

When leaving a review anonymously on Google, follow these basic guidelines: 

  1. Craft your review thoughtfully – Be honest, respectful, and constructive in your feedback. Avoid using offensive language or making false claims.
  1. Maintaining ethical review practices – Even though anonymous, it has a huge impact. Include relevant details about your experience to give readers valuable insights.
  1. Be objective and unbiased – Focus on the facts and your personal experience rather than preconceived notions or affiliations. State the bad experience objectively. 
  1. Proofread and edit it -. Clear and well-structured reviews enhance your credibility and make your feedback more impactful.

FAQs on anonymous Google review

Can I edit or delete my anonymous review later?

Yes, if you have the review link or are signed in, you can edit or delete your anonymous review.

How can businesses make the most of anonymous feedback?

Businesses can use anonymous feedback to identify areas for improvement and enhance their overall customer experience.

Is it ethical to leave an anonymous Google review?

To leave an anonymous Google review is subjective and depends largely on the intentions of the reviewer. There are many reasons and advantages of leaving reviews anonymously, like protecting your privacy and addressing sensitive topics. 

So, as long as your reviews comply with Google’s policies, and you’re sharing an honest review, you can leave anonymous reviews ethically.

How to edit your Google review from mobile or desktop?

Step 1 – Launch the Google Maps app
Step 2 – Search for the business you reviewed using the search bar.
Step 3 – Scroll down to the reviews section and find your review.
Step 4 – Edit your review. 
Step 5 – Save the changes by tapping the “Save” or “Submit” button.

How to edit your Google review using a desktop?

Step 1 – Go to 
Step 2 – Locate the review you want to edit. 
Step 3 – Click on that review. Your earlier review will pop up. 
Step 4 – Start editing your review and then “post” it. 

How to delete Google reviews from mobile or desktop?

Here’s a quick guide to doing so from mobile (Andriod or Apple) or desktop: 
Step 1 – Open Google Maps. 
Step 2 – Find your review on the business listing you’ve left. 
Step 3 – Scroll down to the reviews section and locate your review.
Step 4 – Tap on the three dots on the right side. Delete your review.

Birdeye’s take on anonymous Google reviews and the trust economy

At Birdeye, we strongly support the trust economy. We are dedicated to preserving an authentic review ecosystem. If you have to leave an anonymous review for the reasons specified in the blog, please do so by maintaining objectivity while writing the review. 

Use Birdeye Review to gather genuine customer reviews and use this feedback to improve customer experience. It’s a win-win for everybody!

Here’s how one of our customers benefited after integrating Birdeye Reviews in their business: 

Our customers, their stories: 

We are able to help customers quicker and easier with Birdeye. Also, the good reviews help us build a bigger clientele. 

– Ryan Link, S&J Engines, Inc. 
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