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Bad Yelp Reviews & Why Yelp Reviews Disappear

Aug 14, 2020 | Blog, Social Media

Why Yelp Reviews Disappear

As a business owner looking to grow your sales and connect with the locals, the Yelp platform is a critical tool for business. Most companies get clients through positive Yelp reviews – it is the king of review sites, so this feedback is vital. In fact small businesses often live or die by ratings so these comments are crucial and drive more profit than other marketing efforts. In fact, according to a Brightlocal survey:

86% of U.S. consumers consult online reviews before selecting a local business.

This means it is more impactful than a Google search, Facebook advertisement or other online marketing effort. Unfortunately, a bad Yelp review can be harmful to the business, so having lower star ratings is problematic. In fact only 53% of people would consider a business with less than four stars. This means, bad review hurts, so a business must have a strategy for reputation management.

Great Yelp Reviews Can Disappear

A great review accelerates profitability. Perhaps even worse, is that you can have your positive review deleted. The Yelp review removed could have been active in winning more clients for you, but then it vanishes mysteriously. (Note we are not referring to “How to remove a negative Yelp review” – as this was covered in another post)

So why does this happen? Where can you go to search for them, and how to get these 5 star reviews back?

Reasons Why Your Yelp Review Can Go Missing

These reviews disappear because of one of three main reasons.

  1. The author that wrote the review could delete it for their own reasons. This is unlikely, unless it was in error, typed the wrong business or somehow they used the incorrect Yelp profile.
  2. If the review goes against the Yelp’s set guidelines, it is a breach of the platform’s Terms of Service. It acts as a concrete reason to have the review removed by the Yelp’s User Operations staff. Bear in mind, that having your Yelp review removed due to the violation of terms does not happen regularly. The review gets removed permanently only when the community flags it. Unfortunately, those in the community may include your competitors who can do anything to bring you down. A 1 star review by them is commonplace. In fact Business Insider reports that a staggering 20% of all Yelp reviews are fake..
  3. Sometimes Yelp can just filter the review as “Not Recommended.” In such a situation, you can still find your review, but it won’t show up in your business reviews section. To determine whether to review filter, Yelp usually runs algorithms to analyze the content, the author’s profile, the date written, and the author’s history. The results determine whether to display or not and outside your control.

After Yelp filters your review not to display, you may wonder where it goes. Yelp usually hides any review it suspects to be fraudulent or c its community’s opinion behind a link located at the bottom of the page. These can be clicked for further inspection.

With Your Yelp Review Removed, Can You Retrieve It?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. There is not much you can do with your Yelp content deleted. According to Yelp, it filters most positive reviews because;

  • Yelp does not know about most people who write such reviews, making them unpopular with the platform’s automated software. Yelp terms the process as a standard for all review types, whether negative or positive.
  • Some of the reviews usually fit in a different pattern recognized by Yelp. Their software detects such anomalies but can sometimes make a mistake and detect a fake review.
  • Most Yelp users write positive reviews, which may not seem genuine.


Bad Yelp Reviews May Not Disappear

Competition is tough, and a rival may want to tarnish your brand’s reputation. It is heartbreaking, frustrating, and irritating to come across 1 star reviews on your account. In this case, the only business concern is to delete the questionable review so potential customers only see genuine customer experience. How is this done?

How to Have Your Negative Yelp Review Deleted

First, try to reach out to the person who left the negative review and request they remove it. If there was a misunderstanding, try to address this directly and share the Yelp process for removal. Real mistakes do happen, apologize, and ask for the removal of the review. If the author realizes their mistake, request they leave a positive review to replace the negative one. This is a great opportunity to showcase effective customer service. This approach has a high percentage success rate. We have listed a few tips on ‘Bad Yelp Reviews Removed – so suggest this is checked out.

It can be a hard nut to crack if the author refuses to remove the negative review despite all your efforts. The situation gets neutralized when you try to resolve the issue before your customers, but the author remains adamant, there is little else you can do. At least they get to know the truth of the matter, and that you tried to address the issue. When the author refuses to delete the review – even though it’s incorrect, what do you do?

What To Do When the Author Refuses to Have the Yelp Review Removed Even When It’s Incorrect

As a business owner, your reputation is at stake, and you cannot allow an incorrect review to destroy your efforts. Go ahead and contact Yelp. You can do so on the Yelp business page and follow the guidelines.

Highlight the review you want to remove by highlighting it using the ‘flag icon.’ You will get presented with options to select as to why you want the review removed. Select the reason that suits your case, and offer supporting information when asked. Though it’s not a guaranteed decision of removal, you may get lucky. But to avoid the hustle of removing a negative rating, you should sort out the issue when you spot someone about to give a bad appraisal. It is easy; just go through your reviewers’ opinions and identify those with low opinions or have given low ratings. Even better is to use a digital feedback tool that captures negative ratings as the user is experiencing your service (some of these features would solve the issue)

Reach out to them directly, maybe on their mobile phones, and sort out the issue. Remember, a happy client is equivalent to a positive Yelp review with high ranking.


According to UC Berkeley if your rating on Yelp increases by half-star, the likelihood of your restaurant’s seat filling increases by 19%. This means If you have a business, you absolutely need to use social media. It is your new ally that will help your business grow and succeed.

This post has detailed how you may find that beneficial, positive Yelp reviews may be removed, yet negative, harmful reviews are more likely to remain. Seems a bit unfair right?

There is no other marketing effort that yields a better return. A staggering 4 out of 5 Yelp users stated that they visit Yelp when prepared to spend money and 35% of Yelp users will visit a searched business within 24 hours of searching.  It is, therefore, vital to prevent great reviews from disappearing AND deleting those reviews that are negative.

However, there is more reliable, less perilous approach to both, preventing negative feedback, AND obtaining positive feedback. How is this possible?


A Better Approach using a Digital Comment Card

Most review platforms deliver the consumer experience, but only after the event has occurred. There is a more effective tool for businesses – that would help prevent negative feedback on Yelp so protecting your online reputation and still enlisting real users. It would also avoid fake reviews, deliver genuine feedback and wonderful testimonial on social media.

  • Enable on location, real-time feedback at your location
  • Allow negative feedback to trigger instant alerts to your staff
  • They can then fix the issue and connect with the client – before they leave

This strategy eliminates fake reviews for businesses , and pre-empts negative feedback ever showing up online.

Check out the video, and say goodbye to negative reviews.


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