By Pierre Zarokian from Reputation Stars
As most small businesses know negative Yelp reviews have the power to ruin a business and even cause to go out of business. Many have tried suing Yelp for not removing defamatory posts and have failed due to the Communications Decency Act.
Yelp’s Court Wins
Yelp recently won a court decision where a judge ruled that the company could legally arrange its reviews any way that it wanted. People in the reputation management industry have long suspected that Yelp uses negative reviews to put pressure on businesses, and this ruling seems to be in step with that thinking.
Yelp knows that bad reviews are a pain point for you. They will tell you that every star means a bump or a loss in significant revenue, and they control what your listings look like. Payment doesn’t guarantee removal of negative listings either, only greater visibility. This could be a problem if the negative reviews keep piling up.
Dealing with Yelp
Your best defense against bad Yelp reviews is to increase your positive reviews. Your own customers, your loyal and faithful customers, can leave positive reviews online as well. Yelp does not allow you to pay for reviews, or incentivize them, but you can make it a point to ask. In fact, we have found email and social media outreach to be beneficial tools when you need to increase positive reviews. Don’t pay and hope for a way out. Grow your existing customer base using honest reviews.
In some cases, negative Yelp reviews may be removed if they do not comply with the Yelp Terms of Service and Content Guidelines. My company offer Yelp Negative Review removal services and may be able to help you. Each situation is different and every review needs to be analyzed to see what the chances of removal are. We also do not charge a fee unless we are successful!