Never Report a Yelp Review Without Doing This First.

By Sarah Giometti | Local SEO

Jun 07

Hey everyone, Sarah Giometti here, and in this video, I want to talk about why you should never report a negative Yelp review without doing this one thing first.

Now, I get it, Yelp is a love-hate relationship for every small business owner. It’s great if you’ve got a bunch of reviews, it does help you get more business. The negative is they harass you to no end trying to get you to pay advertising dollars to them. And then if you do choose to do that, you are locked into a 12-month contract no matter how valuable it is or isn’t working for you. So those are some of the negatives of Yelp. And they’re also very, very difficult, notoriously, to remove false reviews. So if you get a false review, before you flag it and report it to them to try and get it removed, don’t knee-jerk as soon as it happens, click that and report it, because they will refuse. The only way to get reviews removed from Yelp, and this is silly, even a little sketchy, is if the review is in violation of Yelp’s own terms of service. So the one thing you need to do before you complain about any reviews on Yelp is go read Yelp’s terms of service and determine if any of those apply to this negative review.

There are some very specific ones I want to focus on, but basically, is it inappropriate content, and colorful language is kind of okay, but if it’s hate speech or harassment or threats, then that will qualify. If it’s a conflict of interest, the most famous one is your competitor or a former employee who’s mad at you because you fired them are giving you a negative review. The next is promotional content. We don’t see that very often, but if somebody’s promoting… It’s a negative review and they’re promoting other content, that one’s kind of vague. The relevance one is the most vague one because if you can’t prove it’s not relevant, and I’ve even proven that somebody’s not a customer of the business, and they’re still like, “Well, that’s not really relevant.” Because they don’t care. All they care about, is it a violation of terms of service or not? They don’t care about your feelings, they don’t care about the conflict, they don’t care if it’s a lie. They don’t care about any of that. If it’s a blatant violation of the terms of service, that’s all they care about and nothing else. So take emotion out of it.

Privacy. If the review exposes somebody’s private information or your private information that shouldn’t be there, that would be a violation. If it’s exposing intellectual property, which we don’t typically see that in the reviews either, or demanding payment. It’s one thing for somebody to say, “Hey, I had a horrible experience. I would love to have my $100 back,” but if they’re demanding more money than that and it goes into harassing, that could be a questionable thing too.

So when you get a negative review on Yelp, pause, breathe, it’s not the end of the world, and look, compare it to the terms of service, see if it violates any of those points in the terms of service. And again, the most common ones are conflict of interest, inappropriate content. And if it does violate it, write your complaint in the terms… Very methodical, very logical. You want to be logical and methodical, not emotional, and point out how it violates the terms of service. That’s your best option of getting a negative review that is not a legitimate review removed from Yelp.

Now, if it’s a legitimate review, suck it up, apologize, offer to make it right, and write that on public as a response to that person because it shows everybody else that you care and you’re listening, and you want to make it better. That just makes you look even better as a business owner. So don’t flag every negative review, especially if they’re legitimate. Just take care of the problem and fix it and try not to have that happen again. But if it’s legitimately a false review, make sure you compare it to the terms of service, and you write your complaint to Yelp logically and pointing out how it violates it. That’s the only chance you have of possibly getting it removed, but again, there’s still no guarantee.

I hope you found this video useful. If you’ve got any follow up questions, feel free to drop them below and I will get back to you. If you like this video and you want to see more of my videos, I would love for you to subscribe to my channel. If you know a business owner that would find this video useful, feel free to share it with them. I would not be broken up over that. And if you want a snapshot of what your business looks like online, click here to take advantage of our free local SEO audit, and that will give you a snapshot of how good you are or maybe not doing online. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see in the next video.

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