How do I get my Yelp business listing removed? This is one of the most frequently asked questions to our digital marketing firm in Toronto. Upset business owners feel frustrated and exhausted when dealing with Yelp and its negative reviews. What’s worse is that Yelp tends to archive many reviews it feel is “spam” when in actuality they come from real satisfied customers.

As you already know, Yelp is an online directory that lists your business and business details (e.g. location, hours, website, etc.) in its database. It also allows consumers to leave reviews about businesses they’ve had dealings with in the past. Reviews are scored between 0-5 and members are encouraged to leave comments. Unfortunately, the reviews are not always authentic and written by “real” customers who have tried the business’ products or services.

Another thing that gets business owners blood pumping is the supposed “dirty dealings” Yelp involves itself in. Business owners have claimed that they received bad reviews on Yelp one day and a call from a Yelp executive another day trying to convince them to advertise with them. Others argue that Yelp purposely hides positive reviews until the business (client) pays them for advertising.

The topic is so controversial that there is a new film coming out about it – “Billion Dollar Bully”. The documentary, which will be directed by Kaylie Milliken, will investigate allegations of manipulation and fabrication of reviews and questionable business practices by Yelp. Milliken got her inspiration for creating the movie when she visited her doctor last year, who started a conversation about her negative experiences with being listed on Yelp.

“She was really upset over it. And then she received a review where the client listed ailments about themsel[f] that she had never seen before, and this was the day after she had gotten off the phone with someone from Yelp,” Milliken told International Business Times.

It is understandable why you as a business owner may want to close your Yelp business listings account. Unfortunately, it is not possible. Besides, Yelp is a directory site that provides free online marketing opportunities for your business. It is a highly trafficked website that your business is listed on and you can capture hundreds or even thousands of new customers.

Ask yourself, “How much is one client worth?”. If you are a doctor, one client may be worth over $500. If you get 5 new leads a month for site, that’s an extra $2,500.

What You Need to Understand About Yelp And Its Reviews

  1. Negative reviews make you look real – most consumers want to see the good and the bad. In fact, if your listing has no bad reviews, it will look fishy. A Reevoo study found that 68% of consumers trusted Yelp pages more when there were bad reviews mixed in with the good.
  2. Negative Yelp Reviews help with your SEO & Content Marketing efforts – Each review can inspire you to write a blog or social media post that addresses one or more issues.
  3. Yelp Reviews can help you address internal issues that your business faces – it provides you with a snapshot of what consumers are seeing when they enter your store or invest in your products/services. Zendesk argues that 42% of consumers think repeated discussions with customer service staffers is the most frustrating part of the customer service experience as a whole.
  4. It usually takes 10-15 reviews before a Yelp reviewer is “trusted” and his/her reviews are no longer filtered often or at all.
  5. Yelp reviews can get filtered and unfiltered multiple times. It depends on whether the reviewer goes inactive for more than a couple of weeks.
  6. Flag any false reviews. False reviews are not permitted by Yelp and can be flagged for removal.

Your Yelp business listing and its reviews are likely to stick and there may not be a way for you to remove them. What you could do is invest in online reputation management services and ensure that the negativity is buried or at least sandwiched between the good publicity.

About iRISEmedia is a Toronto digital media agency and SEO company, specializing in Social Media and online marketing. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.

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