How to Remove Fake Yelp Reviews
It can be very painful seeing somebody openly smearing your (hopefully) good name. Unfavorable word-of-mouth has been going on for centuries, just in a variety of ways!
These days, it is not unusual for the complaints of unhappy customers and ex-employees to be played out by maliciously reviewing businesses online. There is a fine line between valuable testimonials based upon fact and malicious lying based on just rage. We will cover how to remove those negative or fake Yelp reviews.
Can I Remove Fake Yelp Reviews?
Yes, it is feasible for some reviews. But not always, unfortunately. Yelp and various other review websites such as Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, RipOff Report, BBB, and so on have the right (in the USA) to lawfully store and show user-created content without being accountable for its content. Long story short, they do not have to remove anything if they don’t want to, with a few exemptions. However, if you stay with the process laid out below, it will provide you a fighting chance!
Yelp Filters Reviews
The major aggravation for a local business owner is that they are only seeing negative reviews as the first ones to show up when somebody checks out the page. Their good reviews are pushed down to a “not recommended” area, which triggers them to be challenging to locate.
Even though it doesn’t influence the Yelp rating, it can be very aggravating if prospective clients see negative reviews at first sight. Yelp appears to filter reviews based upon:
- Social media and direct exposure
- The uniqueness of the material
- IP monitoring
Why Reviews Matter
Despite the fact that almost 20% of young people no longer read reviews, more than 50% of young people said they always take reviews when searching for a local business. Individuals over 50 are way more likely to check out reviews, closer to 90%. Your online reputation still matters in 2020.
What NOT To Do with Fake Reviews
Firstly, do not lose it and leave a poorly worded and infuriated reply to the remark. Doing so will make removal more unlikely.
Secondly, don’t threaten Yelp! by stating that you will sue them or take them to court over a review. Companies like Yelp are huge and basically live in court. Unless you have really deep pockets, don’t even think about this. Revenge is NOT a good idea– you are more likely to get in even more trouble.
Furthermore, don’t get involved in a “flame war” with a person on a review website. It will only make you both look unprofessional and unreasonable, and it can drive them to seek out more review websites to bad mouth your company more.
Lastly, don’t track them down on social media sites to bad mouth them or their service. This comes under revenge, but I wanted to mention it twice. Just do not do it!
Ways to Remove Fake Yelp Reviews
1. Have the reviewer remove the review
The simplest way, without a doubt, is to have the client remove their unfavorable review. This is not always feasible, but this is your first go-to step to remove an unfavorable evaluation.
They need to log back onto the site and click the “remove” or “delete” button under their own review. Keep in mind: On Yelp!, reviewers can not remove their review from the mobile Yelp App. So it’s best to let them know that, to remove their review, they need to log into Yelp with a computer. To delete, they should go to the “About me” section -> “reviews” and then click the little trash bin icon on the bottom right next to the review for your business. They can edit their reviewsuch as altering from 2 stars to 4 stars or altering the wording, on the app.
- Keep cool. Just contact the offending reviewer with a clear head.
- Try to contact the customer offline– or at least off the review site itself. It’s best to be able to speak to them in person or over the phone.
- Be overly polite and friendly. People have a tough time arguing with polite individuals.
- Tell them you understand their aggravation or why they are distressed. Compassion wins.
- Take steps to clear up the problem and make an honest initiative to do so.
- Make certain that there is verifiable or at least anecdotal proof the customer or ex-employee will be able to see and believe the problem is dealt with.
- Ask them to remove or at least adjust their review.
- Discuss to them that other people work there and that negative reviews are harming their friends that work there or individuals who depend on those jobs to support their families.
- It’s not about you; it’s about them. Make them think they are doing a kind deed by getting rid of their review.
- Offer something in return as a motion of good faith, such as a complimentary coffee or free meal at your dining establishment or coffee shop, or to see modifications you have made to alleviate their concerns.
2. TOS Violations
Every review website has something they call their TOS or Terms Of Service. This is where they provide all the things they permit and do not allow in their reviews.
Suppose a review is a personal attack on a worker, libelous, demeaning or attacks a person based upon special needs, race, ethnic background, religious beliefs, or other elements. In that case, you can have their reviews removed. In the previous example, where a person states, “our fat waitress” is usually adequate to have a review removed for TOS violations, despite the fact that they are not pointing out a specific individual.
Always point out that you “believe” it is a Terms Of Service offense. In many review websites, they use an automated support process called a ticketing system, and that system is configured to first review an incoming ticket for certain words. When it detects words like TOS in your message, it is likely to send out that review to a person who deals with TOS violations directly. This strengthens your chances of having a review eliminated. One note regarding TOS removals is that you must also reply to the review openly specifying that you have requested it be deleted as an infraction of their TOS For example, “This fabricated review is flagged for an infraction of the Yelp! terms of service.”
When foul language is involved, it’s usually pretty easy to get a review removed for a TOS infraction. If they are calling individuals names or using profanity, these can be reported and eliminated.
Respond to Fake Yelp Reviews
Reply if all else fails, but be careful! If you can not have a review eliminated by the customer or for TOS, then replying may be your only other option.
If the customer sounds like a whiner, completely unreasonable, or states something that makes them seem foolish, do not respond. People will get it and disregard their evaluation.
This is where the “helpful” and “not helpful” buttons on a lot of review websites are available in. Click “not helpful,” and you can motivate other people you know to do the same. When you do ask others to do this, make sure they don’t do it all at the same time! The review website will spot this and ignore them.
There are a few things to consider that will determine the best way to respond to the false review. Your response can help repair the damage or make the situation worse.
When posting a response, carefully choose your words. While your response itself is important, the tone of your reply is just as important.
- Ask them to contact you directly to resolve whatever problem they have
- Respond in a way that clears things up for a third party
- Be helpful and avoid being argumentative
- If review is fake: make it clear that you don’t have a record of the reviewer as a customer
What happens if I Just Ignore Yelp?
You can’t just overlook Yelp anymore. With over 169 million unique site visitors per month, Yelp has a lot of influence on your reputation. Like it or not, people review your company, and people search for your company to see what other customers had to say.