How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Yelp Review?
How much does it cost to remove a Yelp review? No matter the price, the costs of doing nothing can be much higher...
If your business has some bad reviews on Yelp, you want to reduce their impact as soon as possible.
But before you attempt this yourself or get help, let’s learn more about the Yelp system.
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And then you will know the answer to: how much does it cost to remove a Yelp review?
Do not panic about receiving an extremely harsh review, especially if it seems dishonest or exaggerated. There are ways to deal with this problem using a qualified online reputation management firm.
At the same time, do not be cavalier about managing your online reputation with Yelp.
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Yelp’s influence remains significant with the average consumer. The website receives about 200 million unique monthly visitors. There are over 90 million reviews of over two million businesses. Yelp is now covering more than 20 countries.
Yelp searches are 10 times more than its nearest competitors of UrbanSpoon or CitySearch.
Fake Reviews on Yelp
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A terrible review may come from a customer. However, a business will generally learn how upset a real customer is by other means. They will typically have complained elsewhere if they are a real customer, such as asking to speak to a manager in a store.
A seriously unhappy real customer does not usually only express a fierce complaint on Yelp using bad language.
These bad reviews may also come from a vicious competitor, a disgruntled ex-employee, an ex-spouse, or another Internet troll or spambot trying to destroy your valuable online reputation.
A study by Harvard Business School found that 20% of Yelp reviews are fake! This study included both good and bad reviews.
Yelp Allows a Reviewer to Modify or Remove a Review
If a bad review comes from a real customer, then you can ask them to modify or remove it.
One appropriate way to find out if the review is real is to immediately respond with an extremely polite private message. Make a generous offer in a private message for a full refund and another added benefit such as a discount on a future purchase to see if they will modify or take down the bad review.
A regular customer who is treated in such a nice way will usually accept the offer if the customer service is excellent.
A fake review, usually, will not respond to a private message.
If there is no response to a private message, then put the generous offer in a very concise way on the public comments such as “we would like to offer you a full refund and a discount coupon for your next purchase if you would kindly contact our customer service.
Providing Excellent Customer Service
Irate customers want attention, and that is why they post a bad review. When they get kind attention and are permitted to vent their frustrations without being challenged about them, it normally calms them down significantly.
Use open, non-combative communication such as “We know this is upsetting to you, and we would like to make it better.”
Others do not necessarily interpret a bad review as a bad review if it serves as a highly public example of how your company immediately responds with a generous offer to fix the problem.
Yelp internal research finds that one-third of customers will upgrade a review if a company sends them a personal private message within 24 hours of the bad review posting.
Can a business remove its Yelp page?
The official position by Yelp is that a business cannot remove a Yelp page, only Yelp can do this. Yelp believes that they provide a valuable consumer service and that consumers had the right to know about the reputation of businesses.
Yelp will only take down a business listing when the business is in violation of its basic guidelines. This happens when the business
- Is only online and has no physical location.
- Focuses only on B2Bservices and does not sell to consumers.
- Is located in a country that Yelp does not support.
If the business owner wants to completely get rid of the Yelp page for a business that meets any one of the above qualifications, then contact Yelp and demand removal based on the guidelines.
If a business closes either temporarily or permanently, then tell Yelp about it by updating the business listing. Listings for closed businesses may remain on Yelp for a long-time, but the listing will not accept any further reviews.
What is the value of a five-star rating on Yelp?
The studies of star ratings come from before the pandemic. One study found that an improvement in the star rating of one-half star for a restaurant increased business by an average of 19%. Before the pandemic, a bad rating on Yelp for a restaurant could put it out of business.
This makes common sense. If you never visited a restaurant before and saw the same type of food at a four-star Yelp listing compared to a three-star listing, you would naturally try the four-star restaurant over a three-star one with a similar style, location, and menu prices.
This is the main point of why people read reviews.
Can a bad Yelp review be deleted by a business?
Getting a bad review on Yelp deleted by anyone other than the reviewer is almost impossible. Yelp allows businesses to flag review for the Yelp moderators’ analysis only if the review violates the terms of service.
To delete a review, the Yelp moderator must decide based on any evidence submitted by the business or contained within the review itself.
Reasons to delete a review include the review is in violation of Yelp’s terms and conditions. The review contains prohibited language, it is fake, blatantly false, or the reviewer has a proven conflict of interest.
Rarely will a Yelp moderator agree to delete a review. Sometimes, a questionable review is moved to the section of reviews at the bottom of the listing and identified as not reliable.
Reviews Removed by Yelp’s Algorithm
The problem with Yelp is that they use a filtering system that tries to remove spam reviews and fake reviews, but it also removes real reviews from actual customers by mistake. If a real customer posts a real review that gives a five-star rating, it can be considered an unreliable review by Yelp’s system algorithm.
This review removal might happen if many five-star reviews come in at a rapid pace.
Soliciting Reviews Goes against Yelp’s Terms
Yelp’s terms and conditions prohibit review solicitation. That being said, all businesses need to manage their reviews and solicit them from their best customers. It is unfair for Yelp to prohibit a business from asking its best customers for a review.
Most businesses ignore this unfair condition and ask for reviews anyway.
What does Yelp say about: How much does it cost to remove a Yelp review?
It is interesting to see what Yelp says about bad reviews in its FAQ.
What should a business do if a reviewer demands payment to delete a bad review?
Demanding payment to remove a bad review is prohibited by Yelp. This type of demand is extortion and might be illegal. Please do not succumb to this as a solution to the question of — How much does it cost to remove a Yelp review?
Instead, submit evidence of this extortion to Yelp’s moderators. Request a review deletion based on a violation of Yelp’s terms and conditions.
Can a business sue Yelp for bad reviews?
A business can sue Yelp, but the business will not likely prevail in court. It costs a lot of money to use an attorney for legal action against Yelp. Many times, Yelp faced lawsuits many times over this issue.
None have won any judgment award from Yelp or obtained a court order to force Yelp to take down a review.
Yelp enjoys protection under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA) and is not responsible for the content that users post as reviews. A business can sue the bad review poster if the reviewer is identifiable and the post is libelous.
When should a business report a bad review to Yelp?
Yelp will delete a bad review if it violates Yelp’s content guidelines.
A review violates Yelp guidelines when it:
- Includes apparent conflict of interest.
- Appears to be a competitor or former employee.
- Is posted by someone affiliated with the business.
- Promotes another business or a competitor.
- Does not convey a real customer experience.
- Describes extraordinary circumstances (e.g., COVID-19 or media-hyped stories).
- Primarily disputes another Yelp review.
- Is about the wrong business.
- Is plagiarized from some other source.
- Includes inappropriate content, such as racist, offensive, lewd commentary, and derogatory language.
- Contains hate speech, promotes violence, or is threatening in any way to others.
- Reveals confidential information about employees or patrons of businesses or of Yelp.
How much does it cost to remove a Yelp review?
If you do not know the lifetime value of a new customer, calculate how much an average customer spends per visit, times how many visits per year, times how many years they might stay as a customer.
Then, apply this amount times your conversion rate of the percentage of leads that become customers compared to the total advertising costs. This gives you the average customer acquisition cost.
Imagine you are losing 25 customers per year through bad reviews on Yelp. Based on the calculations above, these customers have a lifetime value of $1,000 each.
If an online reputation management program costs $10,000 and if you do not manage this problem, you are losing $15,000 a year. That is how to figure out the answer to — How much does it cost to remove a yelp review?
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