What Kinds of Reviews Can Be Removed From Yelp?

Receiving a negative review can make you feel terrible. You log onto Yelp, keen to read praise from satisfied customers, but instead your heart sinks as you set eyes on an angry or disappointed comment from a customer. Your first instinct is probably to find some way of making the bad review go away, but that’s not easy. Although it’s possible to ask Yelp to remove online reviews, you’ll only be successful if the review violates one of Yelp’s policies.

Reviews That Can Be Removed From Yelp

If the review breaks one of the following policies, click “Report this review” to flag it for removal. This will send a request to Yelp to scrutinize the review, along with your rational for doing so. If it is indeed removed by Yelp, it will no longer show up on the site or in local search results on Google.

1. Reviews That Don’t Relate to Real Customer Experiences

Yelp requires reviewers to have an actual brand experience with a business in order to leave a review. If it’s obvious that a reviewer has no real experience with your brand, let Yelp know that the reviewer is not one of your customers and explain why the review is factually incorrect.

2. Duplicate Reviews

Reviewers are not allowed to post the same or similar reviews of every branch of a business based on a single bad experience. For example, someone who has a terrible experience at their local Starbucks can post a bad review on that branch’s Yelp page, but copying and pasting the same review to the page of every branch in the city violates Yelp’s policies.

3. Defamatory Reviews

If a review makes degrading comments about one of your employees, report it to Yelp. Defamatory reviews are against Yelp’s terms of service. Sometimes, reviewers go to extreme lengths to insult, offend and threaten employees of a brand they don’t like, but you don’t have to put up with the abuse. If a review contains racist or other discriminatory language, or if it makes unfounded accusations against your employees, contact Yelp right away to get it taken down.

What If Yelp Won’t Remove the Review?

If Yelp won’t remove a bad review, you can try replying to the disgruntled customer to see if you can resolve the situation. No matter how rude and unreasonable the review, always be polite. Thank the reviewer for the feedback, apologize for the bad experience, and explain what you are doing to ensure it doesn’t happen again. You may even offer the customer some concession to try your business again.

Even if your reply doesn’t convince the reviewer to reconsider what they wrote, a polite and helpful response shows people who see your review in search results that your business treats all customers with respect. Take a look at our blog post about responding to reviews for some astounding statistics on how responding to bad reviews can actually build your brand and bring you more customers.

How RatingsMax can help.

RatingsMax is a managed service that will handle all of your review monitoring, review response and get you more reviews. We can manage all of this for you. We even have a program to get negative reviewing customers back to your business – and this time you’ll know they’re coming. We are experts at spotting questionable reviews and we have been successful in getting reviews removed when they fall in to the categories above. 

Every business will get a negative review from time to time. The best way to respond after you’re crafted a response to the review itself, is to get more reviews on Yelp – and to make sure those are good reviews, to offset the negative review and any negative impact it had to your star rating. That’s where RatingsMax comes in. We are experts at doing just that – and by allowing our experts to handle it for you, you won’t lose a moment from running your business.