- Business and Employment
Can you remove reviews from Yelp?
How to Remove Yelp Reviews
With more and more people spending more of their time online it should come as no surprise that consumer behavior is driven almost completely by customer reviews online. The moment that consumers sense a need for a product they go to the search engines or log into their social media accounts to see what other consumers are saying. According to a report from search engine land a whopping 49 percent of consumers admit that they are more likely to patronize a business just based on positive reviews online and 69 percent of people say that online reviews are just as good as a personal recommendation.
Already you can see the impact that online reviews can have on your bottom business. Review sites can hold the fate of your business in their hands. Negative reviews have the opposite effect. Just one bad review can send hundreds of prospect running the other way. If you run a small or large business, bad reviews left online unattended can mean the end of your business.
Until recently there was no clear cut way to get a real measurement of the impact of negative reviews on a company's bottom line. This all changed when Professors Gerard J. Tellis and Seshadri Tirunillai decided to take up a challenge and investigate further. The study looked closely at 15 well known brands from six different industries and the shocking results revealed that negative reviews affected stock prices and trading volumes. Small business owners who pay close attention to their sales and bottom lines are very well aware of this.
There are several known services we will discuss that specialize in repairing online reviews no longer appear in the search engines. These companies effectively remove the yelp listing from appearing at all in the search engines. This is currently the best and only option for removing a yelp review and or listing.
Why Customers Leave Bad Reviews
Negatives reviews are a part of the reality of running an online business. It does not matter how great your product or service is or how much you try to ensure that your customers are satisfied. There is always going to be someone who will be unhappy with your service at some aspect your business or someone who feels that they deserve more. The number one problem with online review portals like Yelp and Google places is there is no one to monitor the validity of reviews. The BBB for instance requires that a customer proves it made a purchase with company before they will lodge a complaint, Yelp requires no such proof. This results in competitors, angry ex employees anyone and everyone with a grudge to openly slander businesses online.
The effective of negative review websites has changed the way people view business and make buying decisions dramatically.
Left unattended a bad review could snowball into hundreds of bad reviews so dealing with unhappy customers must be a part of your business plan if you hope to stay in business. You must develop a plan for identifying reviews as soon as they happen. This is where an online monitoring review platform can help. By monitoring what people are saying about your business on the web you will be the first to know when good and bad things are published for all to see.
Negative Reviews Are Extremely Visible in Google - without proactive measures, negative reviews will appear prominently in Google.
One of the biggest factors in why Yelp is causing so many business owners problems is the presence it has in Google. When a potential customer "Googles" your business they will see your yelp listing prominently displayed along with a star listing. The star listing will appear directly on Google, where the user doesn't have to click on the page to actually see the review. This is a Google rich snippet feature used by many popular review websites to help them increase their traffic and click through rates.
The problem with this, is it brings more viability to negative reviews.
The ultimate solution is to engage with a firm like review repair firm to have them eliminate these negative listings from appearing entirely.
Popular Review Websites Your Business Might Be On
A list of the top review websites
Since the launch of Yelp in 2005 Google, Yahoo and sites like CitySearch.com have started showing up to get in on the "action". These sites generate revenue by charging business owners for top listings. Similar to how the YellowPages used to be, you will automatically get listed, but if you pay you will receive better coverage on the site.
Google places and Yelp have been in what some refer to as a "fight" since 2011 when Google removed Yelp from its "Places" listing. Yelp has since made deals with Bing and Apple to be act similarly to Google places.
The following is a list of some of the major players in the online review space -
1) Yelp.com .
5) Insider Pages
6) Judy's Book
9) Rate MDs
Sites like Yelp, Yahoo, Urbanspoon and many others provide a community where consumers can publicly vent their frustrations with a particular company. These are by no means small communities. Yelp for example sees nearly 45 million visitors every month. Search engines index these sites as it happens so a bad review about your company can show up in the search engine results within minutes after the review is published.
If you discover a bad review about your business your first reaction might be to get on the defense and reply with less than courteous words or threaten the owner of the community for supporting the reviews. Let us just say that you need to hold your rebuttal until you have considered your plan of action. Asking the community owner to take down the review is also not a good idea since they are allowed to legally run these sites. Yelp for example makes it clear that they will not take down a review unless the review is a complete violation of their terms and conditions. So even if the review is not written by a valid customer there is no guarantee that it can be removed. The same principle holds at other online review communities
How to Actually Remove Yelp.com Reviews - The Good News & The Bad News
Good News : There is a solution to having negative Yelp reviews - The solution is to take the reviews out of the search engines in order to take complete control of your online reputation. You can prevent customers and clients from finding these bad reviews by removing them from appearing prominently in the search engines. We will explain how this is done and what you can do to protect yourself. When customers are researching your firm or business online they will be doing it through Google. Countless studies have shown that people don't go directly to Yelp for their reviews, they use Google to find the information they are looking for. In the picture listed you will see how no Yelp listing appears for the individuals business, Yelp is not an issue for this business and will not be. This is what is know as review repair, something firms like InternetReputation.com specialize in.
Bad news: Unfortunately most of the time there is no way to remove a review directly from Yelp. Sometimes competitors can post fake negative reviews to hurt your business or perhaps the irate customer does not want to work things out. When this happens you will definitely want to take action as soon as possible. This is why having a system in place to monitor your reviews is important. As we mentioned earlier going to Yelp might be fruitless since they only remove reviews that violate their terms and conditions. Even if you decide to go through the process to plead your case the damage that can be done while you wait for a resolution might be irreversible.
Once search engines index the review it will be there indefinitely. The customer posts the review on Yelp or communities like Yelp but the damage really takes place in the search engines when prospects go in search for reviews about your business before they make a purchase. If the negative review shows up on the first page of the search results then the likelihood of you getting the sale will be significantly reduced. Search engines are the unfortunate "culprits" that reveal negative reviews about your business to the masses. Consumers rarely go directly to review sites to look for your business.
The Real Reason Yelp Won't Take Down Reviews About Your Company
"Why wont Yelp Remove my Reviews?"
After seeing the impact that negative reviews can have on your business your first reaction might be to upset and immediately call the site to get the reviews off the site. Review sites on the other hand do not share your urgency for a number of reasons. For one, if these websites hosted only positive reviews no one would really be interested. In fact a community with completely positive reviews would be looked upon with suspicion.
The link bait and traffic that negative reviews bring in is another reason that sites like Yelp.com are not too eager to remove negative reviews. People naturally want to investigate negative comments about a company that they might be considering doing business with.
Yelp and the other major review websites all have very strict Terms of Services outlining their policy on removing reviews and wont typically wont remove any reviews.
Yelp has not been without controversy. There was a lawsuit in 2011 against Yelp for allegedly removing reviews for Money. The lawsuit has since been thrown out of court in Yelps favor and Yelp has shown the law is on their side.
The point here is that it won't be easy to get your negative review removed. Pleading, complaining or making threats will not work. Once the bad review makes it to the top of search engine results it will be even more complicated and damaging for your business.
How to Get The Bad Reviews Out of The Search Engine
What are your options?
The best way to fix negative yelp reviews that are hurting your business is to remove your Yelp listing from the Internet entirely.
To accomplish this you need to launch your attack not at the source of the reviews but where customers are finding the negative reviews; the Search Engines. Of course you cannot go asking Google to remove the review but you can setup a reputation management campaign to send out a flood of positive information about your business so that the positive buries the negative in the search results. This all appears simple on the surface. Have a few customers write positive reviews and ask a few influential bloggers to publish a few positive stories as well. It's not always as simple as that though. Yelp and other review websites have designed filters to remove reviews they believe are fake. Creating new positive articles does not always mean it will push down the Yelp profile. Using an experienced reputation management firm like InternetReputation.com can ensure that the negative items are pushed down and no longer found by customers. InternetReputation.com uses sophisticated search engine optimization technology to get negative profiles buried in the search engines.
This is why the best way to remove Yelp.com reviews is to leave it to the experts if you're not one yourself. Reputation management firms target specific keywords that customers use in the search engines that might inadvertently cause the negative reviews to surface. Once the keywords are identified a campaign is initiated to create thousands of positive reviews, profiles and news items about your business which will suppress the appearance of negative reviews from Yelp and other sites in the search results.
Suddenly prospects no longer have access to those poor reviews because they are no longer in the search results or if present they are on pages so far removed from the first page that no one cares to look. A well thought out plan of attack is the best way to respond to negative reviews that could hurt your business but you must be proactive. Acknowledge that once you're in business negative reviews are bound to happen and have a plan for dealing with it before it even happens. This way you can manage any negative comments long before it spins out of control. A proactive approach is always better than a reactive approach and it will pay dividends when it comes to maintaining your online reputation, building trust and maintaining positive relationships with your customers.
Resources on Negative Reviews
- InternetReputation.com's Yelp Review Repair Solution
A service for repairing negative online reviews
- Case Study on the Impact of Online Reviews
A detailed case stud on the impact of online reviews and how they affect business owners.