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How to Fight Yelp.com and Win – A Solution to Negative Reviews For Business Owners



If you have stumbled across this blog post chances are you are a business owner who is being affected by negative reviews on Yelp.com.

We get the question everyday from potential clients "How do I remove Yelp bad reviews?"  Getting a negative Yelp review is a serious concern for business owners and something that should be addressed immediately.

45 million internet users visit Yelp.com monthly, and many search engines pick up this review data and index it as immediately relevant to your business. The result is that when potential customers look for your business through web searches, even if they are not looking for Yelp.com reviews, they may see them on the first page.  One bad review can snowball into more and more negative reviews as customers find a place to openly slander your business.

Dealing with Yelp as a business owner is a difficult task, once a negative review is found most business owners will contact Yelp to try and get assistance with removing the unwanted review. Unfortunately, Yelp does not remove reviews unless they violate their terms of service. If a review is found to be false or was not posted by a customer this does not qualify the review for removal under Yelp’s TOS.

Realizing you have negative information about your business displaying prominently in the search engines that won’t be removed can be a shocking and terrifying experience. We get calls daily and have heard countless horror stories from business owners about their Yelp reviews.

The Internet has turned into a place for customers to extort businesses, “If you don’t give me a good deal I will leave a bad review online.”  This is a common scare tactic business owners are now receiving from customers.

The most common question we get is, “How I can get 1 bad Yelp review deleted?”  The answer to this is simple, if it doesn’t violate Yelps terms of service you can’t remove it, period.  The good news is there is a solution for dealing with Yelp and all other review websites.  As a business owner you need to think long term; Yelp is not the only review website and won’t be the last of its kind.  Removing 1 review from Yelp still leaves you exposed to negative Yelp reviews in the future and negative reviews on Google Places, Yahoo, Vitals and countless other websites.

The Solution to Combating Online Reviews - How to Remove Yelp Reviews

The solution to managing your online reviews is to understand that it is not whether negative reviews are going to appear, but where they are going to appear.  Review sites are typically used by people with a grudge, rarely do people take the time to go online and report a positive experience.  Having review sites on the first pages of Google and the other search engines that you don’t control leaves you and your company exposed.

Below is a graph showing where people in the search engines click, as you can see the majority of people focus their attention on the first 6 results and the first page of Google. If you have a negative item appearing in one of these spots or on the first page chances are your customers are going to see it.  Websites on page 2 of Google and further back are only getting clicked on and average of 1.5% of the time.





 When a customer is looking up your business they are conducting a search in Google, Yahoo or Bing.  Nearly 70% of online searchers used Google to conduct their searches online.  The remaining used Bing, and Yahoo.  Yelp and the other review sites don’t make the list.  This makes it clear that if you control what your customers are seeing in Google, you will control what 70% of your customers will see.  By controlling all the search engines you will control what nearly all of what your potential customers see.



By taking Yelp and other online review websites that you don’t control out of the search engines you take control of your online presence.

InternetReputation.com uses a comprehensive solution for defending your business against bad reviews and online reputation damage from the popular review sites. Using advanced SEO, content strategy and reputation management techniques, InternetReputation.com is able to eliminate Yelp from appearing in the search engines and clear your good name of bad reviews.

Our review management package suppresses the negative reviews from appearing in the search engines and creates new review profiles for your business that you control. 

Our Review Management Process

1)    We target the keyword that potential customers and current customers are using to locate the negative reviews.

2)    Once we have established your keyword and where the negative reviews are appearing, we will create thousands of custom digital assets, online profiles and user controlled review sites that will suppress the Yelp and other review websites to the latter pages of the search engines.

3)    We use advanced search engine optimization to optimize the assets we have created to drive them up and keep them in place. 

4)    The end result is the Yelp.com and other review sites are no longer appearing in the search engines, customers are no longer finding this information, and you have the first 3 to 15 pages or more of Google controlled.  You take back control of your “Google Real Estate”.

More often than not, users will take advantage of Yelp.com’s widespread exposure as a public venting area to voice disgruntled, bad reviews against a business in public. An automated filter designed by Yelp programmers hides some reviews automatically, but good reviews are sometimes filtered away while bad reviews are left. Yelp.com typically refuses to remove these reviews.
What legal rights do I have against Yelp.com?

The CDA 230 protects online service providers from liability and lawsuits over user-generated content, meaning that sites like Yelp are not held responsible for the content posted on their website by a third party i.e. a reviewer.  In 2011 Yelp was challenged by a California dentist for hosting negative reviews, the court ruled in favor of Yelp, dismissed the case and required the dentist to pay $80,000 in attorney fees.
Ultimately Yelp is protected by the CDA Act and has been challenged numerous times in court and won all cases relating to negative reviews to date. The law is not on your side when it comes to negative online reviews.

After being hit with a class-action lawsuit in 2010 for allegedly accepting $300 each month from businesses to hide bad reviews for clients, Yelp will only consider removing specific reviews that violates their TOS. This lawsuit was ultimately dismissed in favor of Yelp. Yelp will not comply with requests to have reviews hidden or deleted if they appear legitimate at face value and don’t violate their TOS. Unfortunately for business owners, negative reviews are ultimately part of Yelp.com’s content strategy.

InternetReputation.com uses strategic reputation management technology to eliminate the impact of negative reviews on Yelp.com. We have helped clients remove or hide bad reviews from search engines, meaning potential customers searching for your business will no longer be greeted by negative reviews on the first page of your search results. Strategic promotional materials and reputation management procedures can clean your reputation up on Google, Yahoo, Bing and any other popular search engines quickly and effectively. 

Yelp.com is open to all internet users, and your business will eventually be added to the service by your customers whether you like it or not. InternetReputation.com will not only help you lower the search ranking of negative Yelp reviews in search engines, we can also establish a preventative virtual firewall to protect your business reputation from further attacks and slander.

Feel free to contact us today for a free consultation on correcting your Yelp.com problem.


Reviewed by author: Ashley Adams

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32 comments:

  1. I agree whole-heartedly with the information in this article about Yelp.com and how unwarranted and unethical negative reviews about many businesses need to be combatted and the solutions involved to help prevent them. Yelp.com should have more class and do what is fair and balanced for businesses. Online reviews and traffic in many cases are the lifeblood for businesses and can decide the success or failure as well as the valuable reputation of those businesses. The CDA Act should be abolished or reformed to help protect businesses and not unfairly defend the likes of a site like Yelp.com. A service like InternetReputation.com is long overdue and seems like will level the playing field and help many wonderful businesses against such slanderous and ridiculous negative reviews now and in the future. Excellent and very important article.

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  2. Overall, I feel that this article does a good job at pointing out a major issue in this day in age. With the reputation of a business (even a mom and pops shop) being dependent on what the internet says about it, it now, more than ever, important that we find a way to gain knowledge about how to combat it. We must understand the issue, and realize that while we can't beat it, we can survive it. Personally, I find that the CDA act is disgraceful (for the lack of a better word). Especially in an economy where businesses are crashing as quickly as they flourish, Yelp should be held responsible to monitor the reviews that go onto their website. The same way somebody can flag a comment on YouTube, a business owner should be able to dispute a review on Yelp. All in all, this is a very important topic, and a pleasant read.

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  3. I totally agree with the article. I am a business owner myself and have gone through the same problems. I've had people tell me they'll write a bad review on customercomplaints.com or yelp if I don't give them a good deal. Paypal and ebay operate in similar ways. If the customer starts a case all they have to put is item not as described and 99% of the time they win. Even when it is completely untrue. They dont care. Yelp doesn't care about anyones reputation but their own. They've made that pretty clear when they say even if you can prove the review to be false they still won't take it down?! How is that legal? So anyone can go on their and write a 100 reviews on how bad the place is even if they've never shopped there? That sounds cool. Great to know if I ever want to put someone out of business. Someone should create a website on how bad yelp is and get it to the top right below yelp. See how they like it. The CDA act is completely crap. How about saying, don't create the website if you don't want to be responsible for what people put on it. Especially when you allow anyone to put anything and you yourself don't review it. Yelp is a online review company that does not review their own content. How does this make sense?

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    1. Hi Tom, The CDA act has caused a lot of businesses and people harm over the past few years. I'm sure as the things change and the Internet grows the laws will catch up and sites like Yelp and RipOffReport.com that really push the lines will have some problems. Recent litigation against thedirty.com has shown that the CDA act may not protect sites that "promote" writing harmful content.

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  4. It seems like InternetReputation.com could help a lot of business owners with this problem of falsely negative reviews. It's just too easy for people to put negative reviews at such places as Yelp without having their content monitored. Many businesses are helped a great deal by positive reviews, but a positive experience at a restaurant or any public business hardly ever gets posted. The CDA act seems very unfair. Yelp should do more to check the content on their site to make sure the information and reviews are valid and legitimate. The business owner should have some sort of means of recourse when it comes to outwardly false and damaging reviews. This is a well thought out article that examines and discusses a prominent problem in the online culture.

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  6. This is a fascinating article. I never heard of a service like this. It's good to know that there is a company like InternetReputation.com that provides this type of service, because a few angry customers who feel they have to get back at a company can do serious damage to the company's reputation. The techniques used by InternetReputation.com sound very good.

    June 3, 2012 2:17 PM

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  7. I almost wish that Internet reviews weren't possible. I know this is a pipe dream and is unrealistic, but seriously, I'm right up there with you in regards to being fed up with the dishonest or exaggerated content posted by reviewers online. Adults don't always act like adults, and some places even PAY people to slander other companies online (I've witnessed it firsthand). Keep fighting the good fight to protect businesses on Yelp.

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  8. This is a great article and I really enjoyed reading. I feel that one bad review can put a big block in the way of a business's sales, marketing, and reputation. There are too many people out there who are all about revenge and will do anything to put down a business! This type of action is not being a responsible person. This stuff has to stop!

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  9. Mike Frulla
    This will teach you the tricks needed to know how to run your online web site the most effective way.

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  10. This is a great article in fact. Many people will do anything to close down a business by any means such as paying people. So keep fighting to protect Yelp.

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  11. It is concerning to me to see how much power customers on yelp have, how one person who might have been treated wrongly by one employer has the power to slam the whole business infront of thousands of readers and might utimately change the way a business operates. To me it has advantages and disadvanages but what concerns me more is the ability of competitors to destroy or corrupt your reputation.
    Businesses really should be aware of the importance of the internet especially online reviews and protect themselves! Very nice article!

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  12. I Also Agree That This Has Become A Problem On The Internet. Reviews Can Be Really Helpul To A Lot O Consumers, And I Myself Look Up Reviews Before Purchases, Dining, Traveling, Attractions, etc. The Problem Here Is That Anything Can Be Posted Whether Good Or Bad, Honest Or Untruthful... There Will Always Be Individuals Who Would Love To Ruin The Reputation Of A Certain Company, Even If It's Just To Give Them An Unjustified Negative Review For No Apparent Reason At All... There Will Always Be Competitors, And Liars In This World Unfortunately... Internet Reputation.com, Is A Wonderful Invention, And Way Overdue In It's Arrival.

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  13. This article is most concerning to me, how a person can be so mean and spiteful to use sites such as Yelp to put down another business. Alot of businesses are "mom and pop" businesses and a bad comment can be very harmful to them. I would have hoped that people would be better than to do this to others...

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    Replies
    1. There definitely should be some protection in place for business owners that would prevent slander and misleading reviews, but unfortunately sites like Yelp use automated "filters" which are not targeted at picking up these type of fake reviews. More human intervention is needed in these review websites.

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  14. This article is a GREAT bit of information! Americans are so spoiled, they exercise their rights more than their morals (if even existent). The small business owners have never had much protection from the beginning. Most people will throw tantrums when they don't get their way! Web sites like Yelp offer that platform for these spoiled brats! This really burns me up! This article needs to be seen by all that run businesses, because they're all susceptible to people with the attitude of, "im taking my ball and going home, but not without breaking your window first" attitude.

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    Replies
    1. Hi John, the Internet laws have definitely provided the consumer with much more power then they used to have. The unfortunate thing is anyone can write anything on the Internet and no one is policing it. We suggest to all business owners that they remove yelp entirely from their marketing and overall business strategy. Giving people a place to openly rant about your business with no filter is not a good idea. Yelp rarely removes reviews, so it's best to remove the entire Yelp profile preventing customers from engaging on it.

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  15. Really found alot of good information that I was looking for here. I am getting ready to start my own little business soon and have been searching for online reputation services and gathering information. This is some great stuff for monitoring and keeping up your business reputation, thanks guys!

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  16. As some have stated, I too am looking to start my own business and a bad review from one of these popular review sites such as YELP would be a disaster. If I ever find myself in the position of removing one of these comments, I'm glad I will know where to turn to.

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  18. Having an internet business can make good money these days, but it can also be scary as well. And one of the things that makes it scary are the unwarranted bad reviews on places like Yelp.com. And it is a shame that when they do find out that a bad review is not correct that they do nothing to take the review off. This can ruin a business because people will naturally believe the bad review. Thank goodness that InternetReputation.com has come up with a way to combat these reviews. And I believe that they have come up with a unique way of doing this.

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  19. I think it's awful that a company will not investigate possible slanderous remarks and reviews by customers. Who's to say that the person leaving the review against a business isn't the 'local competition' trying to slander that particular business. The internet has created such anonymity that it's easy for one to cause havic and chaos.

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  20. I never heard about InternetReputation.com. It seems like InternetReputation.com could advice a lot of business owners with this botheration of falsely abrogating reviews. It is just too simple for people to put abrogating reviews at such places as Yelp. The CDA act seems actual unfair. Yelp.com should accept added chic and do what is fair and counterbalanced for businesses. Online reviews and cartage in abounding cases are the aspect for businesses and can adjudge the success or abortion as able-bodied as the admired acceptability of those businesses. Businesses absolutely should be acquainted of the accent of the internet abnormally online reviews and assure themselves. I think InternetReputation.com would be admirable apparatus for business. Thank for this article!

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Yelp review would only be reliable in a perfect world. Unfortunately the world is broken and there are people in cyberspace looking to undermine the success of others just for the sport of it. Yelp should require specific documentation and proof before allowing alleged customers to black-ball good businesses. Thank you for the valuable information.

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  23. It's scary how easy it is for one disgruntled customer to really damage the reputation of a business. I can understand if a customer has a legitimate concern, but these days it seems like every little frivolous thing is cause for people to run to the nearest computer and post a scathing review that can be extremely detrimental to a business' survival. Thanks for providing this info; the article is very helpful and informative.

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  24. This is a very useful article on how important it is for a business to maintain a good reputation with it's customers. Of course, it only takes one person to ruin a good companies name with either false accusations or mainly judging them from a bad experience they might a have with them. In my opinion Yelp should have their users put in more information such as proof before one decides to slander a companies name rather than just be able to write a review when ever they wanted.

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  25. See this is what I can't understand. Why is yelp.com allowing people who are not customers to post reviews? Sure Yelp doesnt know off hand whether the reviewer was a customer or not but if a business owner states they were not a customer then that should be grounds for removal of the comment. Im sure Yelp knows this is going on so why would they state something so ridiculous in their TOS? Im not even a business owner and this article angers me. Well until the part about how to get those comments removed of course.

    You know what I think? I think yelp should have a customer review side too. And have business owners review THEM! Yup lets see how they like it then. If a business can be rated I don't see why a customer can't .

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  26. I find that this article that provides real advice to solving false-negative review from Yelp. This article was extremely helpful. As a small-business owner I find myself more and more worried about my organization online reputations. This article provides me hope that if I receive a false review that I have some course of action. Thank you!

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  27. Wow! That is terrible to get bad reviews on Yelp. I have a business and I sure would not want any negative reviews about my business on Yelp or any other site, for that matter. I found this information very helpful as to how to go about getting negative reviews removed, especially if they are false ones. I agree that if our businesses can be rated, Yelp should be rated too.

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  28. I couldn't agree more. I have to admit that I always rely on the Internet on looking for reviews regarding businesses or product providers. Many people believe that the Internet does not lie, but unfortunately not all that you saw i the Internet is true. People go to yelp.com including me most of the time to look for reviews and I can say that not all of this reviews are true. My cousin is a business provider and she always look upon on her business reputation. She gets frustrated on negative reviews specially that we know this is not true. Your advice could help her a lot to deal with this problem so I am going to share this information for her. It is my first time to hear about InternetReputation.com and its definitely worth looking for.

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  29. I still trust online customer reviews, but now I just read through them to see the quality and specifics. I can't get a definitive answer if posting really low quality spam links to the content will lower its search ranking, using well-known software. It must not be effective as the white hat strategies delineated in the above. As far as selling is concerned, I can't really match eBay's reach in terms of SEO.

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