How To Remove Bad Yelp Reviews: The Complete Guide

Daniel Flynn

Daniel Flynn

Having a business page on a review site is a double-edged sword. You need one in order to generate reviews & be found by customers. But by doing so, you leave yourself vulnerable to the Yelper wrath (as we like to call it). 

Unfortunately, there’s always going to be an unsatisfied customer that can’t wait to leave a negative Yelp review for your business. Read our article “Why Your Yelp Reviews Are “Not Recommended”” & you’ll see that Yelp is a business owner’s worst nightmare. 

For one, most of your good Yelp reviews won’t even be shown on your Yelp page as only the reviews from seasoned Yelpers will pass through Yelp’s algorithm. And, as you could imagine, seasoned Yelpers are the most critical reviewers of them all.  

Nevertheless, there are a few ways you can remove bad Yelp reviews. However, they must be against corporate content guidelines. And even then, there’s no guarantee that Yelp will actually remove the review as they rely on an algorithm to filter through the majority of requests. 

The rest of this article explains how to remove Yelp reviews. 

Reasons You May Want To Report A Yelp Review

Yelp provides the following main reasons as to why you may want to report a review to Yelp. However, keep in mind that “reporting it doesn’t guarantee it will be removed”. Nevertheless, you can look at the following reasons as guidelines as to whether or not you have a valid reason to report the Yelp review in question. 

  1. The reviewer has an apparent conflict of interest​
    • They appear to be a competitor or former employee
    • They appear to be affiliated with the business
    • They’re receiving payment or other incentives for the review
    • They’re promoting the business or a competitor
  2. The review doesn’t focus on the reviewer’s own consumer experience
    • It’s about someone else’s consumer experience
    • It’s a response to a current event in the news
    • It’s primarily disputing another Yelper’s review
    • It’s about a different business
    • It appears to be plagiarized from another source
  3. The review includes inappropriate material
    • ​It contains hate speech, lewd commentary, or threatening language
    • It contains private information about employees or patrons

How To Flag A Yelp Review As Inappropriate

The following steps explain how to remove bad Yelp reviews:

  1. Sign into your business account on Yelp.
  2. Go to the Reviews section of your dashboard. 
  3. Find the review that you’d like to flag. 
  4. Click the three-dot icon next to the review in question.
  5. Click Report Review.
  6. Choose a reason for reporting the review. (See below for more information)
  7. Offer additional information if requested.

Yelp provides the following reasons for flagging a review:

  • It contains false information
  • It was posted by someone affiliated with the business
  • It was posted by a competitor or ex-employee
  • It contains threats, lewdness or hate speech
  • It doesn’t describe a personal consumer experience
  • It violates Yelp’s privacy standards
  • It contains promotional material
  • It’s for the wrong business

Keep in mind that if you choose “It contains false information”, you’ll receive the following response:

“Sorry, but we don’t take sides in factual disputes. If a review appears to reflect a user’s personal experiences and opinions, it is our policy to let the user stand behind their review. 

There’s always more than one side to a story, as a business owner you can address misunderstandings by posting a public comment or sending a direct message to the reviewer.”

Therefore, you won’t be able to request the removal of reviews under the grounds that the review contains false information. The primary reason for this is that it creates a “he said, she said” situation between Yelp, its users & business clients. 

Yelp, like other review sites, tend to protect users in situations like these. However, this becomes extremely detrimental to businesses when the majority of your positive reviews do not even pass Yelp’s review filter. 

Nonetheless, the review must be against Yelp’s content guidelines in order for the review to be eligible for removal. 

Is Your Review Against Yelp’s Content Guidelines?

Yelp offers the following content guidelines that users & business clients must follow. If the reviewer conflicts one of these guidelines, then the review is eligible for removal. 

  • Inappropriate content: Colorful language and imagery is fine, but there’s no need for threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry.
  • Conflicts of interest: Your contributions should be unbiased and objective. For example, you shouldn’t write reviews of your own business or employer, your friends’ or relatives’ business, your peers or competitors in your industry, or businesses in your networking group. Business owners should not ask customers to write reviews.
  • Promotional content: Unless you’re using your Business Owners Account to add content to your business’s profile page, we generally frown upon promotional content. Let’s keep the site useful for consumers and not overrun with commercial noise from every user.
  • Relevance: Please make sure your contributions are relevant and appropriate to the forum. For example, reviews aren’t the place for rants about a business’s employment practices, political ideologies, extraordinary circumstances, or other matters that don’t address the core of the consumer experience.
  • Privacy: Don’t publicize other people’s private information. Please don’t post close-up photos or videos of other patrons without their permission, and please don’t post other people’s full names unless you’re referring to service providers who are commonly identified by or commonly share their own full names.
  • Intellectual property: Don’t swipe content from other sites or users. You’re a smart cookie, so write your own reviews and take your own photos and videos, please!
  • Demanding payment: Beyond simply asking for a refund to remedy a bad experience, you should not use removing or posting your review as a way to extract payment from a business, regardless of whether you’ve been a customer.

If you have the goal of building your online reputation, then you know that the name of the game is getting more good reviews. It’s common knowledge that most of the primary ranking factors for local business directories are review-related. Therefore, the online review is extremely powerful for a small business.

Not only will generating more reviews help you boost your “street cred” on the web, but it’ll also show search engines that you’re a preferred option among your competitors.

Main Point: no one can deny how important it is to drive positive reviews on your business accounts!

TAPLocal To The Rescue

We offer a suite of reputation management products to help you generate positive reviews, monitor & respond to them, & mediate negative ones before they’re left on your business page.

Our review generation technology is primarily geared toward increasing review count and rating on Google so that you rank higher & increase your online visibility. However, you can also use our tech to generate more positive reviews on Facebook & TripAdvisor. 

For more information on these services, please visit our website. For more articles like this one, visit our blog

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