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How to Remove Unacceptable Yelp Reviews

I hear this question frequently from our clients and prospects; “How do we get rid of outrageous reviews that are lies, slander, defamation, or out of bounds with the guidelines of Yelp?” Answer? Submit a request for removal especially if the review isn’t compliant with the Yelp guidelines.

At least a third of the dealers I speak with come across bitter with just one mention of Yelp.  Some of them might be throwing down their own gavel as Yelp is back on court over alleged extortion and review manipulating. Angry Business Owners Appeal Yelp Ruling Over Alleged Extortion  

Yelp says “Inappropriate content: Colorful language and imagery is fine, but there's no need for threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry.”

What is even more disturbing is when you engage a disgruntled Yelper (could be a competitor smearing) to resolve the issue and all you get is another visceral low blow or flat out silence. Reacting with an attack against the offender is natural, but I would advise dealers to step back, stop defending it, and consider a request for removal rather than engaging in a nasty verbal salsa with a bitter enemy. Search engines love the dirt and the more you respond to belligerence, the higher the debate will rank for your dealership name.

One of our clients once asked, “Can you help me get a Yelp review removed?” He shared his feelings of defeat; “The owner of the dealership has been personally attacked and it’s destroying our reputation and we’re losing business.”

I told him the review was ludicrous; falling within Yelp’s inappropriate content guideline and he didn’t have to tolerate it. Here’s the Yelp review that was on the web for only a month and did significant brand damage.

The Consumer Yelp Review

The removal submission to Yelp from our client

The "review" that XXX has left our dealership is not only extremely far from an accurate account of her attempted transaction, but is a blatantly published defamation of our dealership’s character and slander. We are a locally owned business for over 30 years and our owner, XXX, is a former recipient of the "XXXX" award. For "XXX" to name my salesperson and call him a "Racist Idiot" is nothing short of slander and is an embarrassment to my salesperson and his family and to YELP for allowing such verbal abuse to occur on your site. [Dealer Name] works extremely hard in encouraging our customers to leave reviews on sites such as YELP because of the relevancy and authenticity of your reviews. However, this particular review is neither authentic or relevant and most of all it is defamation and slander. XXX other reviews also need looked at. They are also racially motivated and distasteful. We ask that you please remove this immediately.

Response from Yelp within 24 hours


We have removed the review by XXXXX because it falls outside our Content Guidelines. Please keep in mind that if the user chooses to edit their review so that it falls within our guidelines, we will allow it to remain on the site.

Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California

Yelp Official Blog |
Yelp Frequently Asked Questions |
Yelp for Business Owners |

A huge victory for our client considering Yelp is not easily swayed in favor of the dealer. With dealers becoming more and more aware that Yelp dominates the mobile experience for iPhone users, now is the time to make the move to get content removed. If you’re not challenging defamatory reviews and instead, engaging in war, that’s like throwing cotton balls at a moving train.

If you’re wondering if filtered reviews on your Yelp listing are unjust and ludicrous, check out The Definitive Guide To Avoid the Yelp Review Filter

Yelp can help you submit your removal request

Jerry Hart

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Yelp's Kharma Police will be citing Dealerships

Some dealership decision makers may not be aware that Yelp has 78 million monthly visitors and Yelp is now Yelp'ing that 78 million visitors “can be a strong incentive for some businesses to try to game the system.”

I’ve heard first hand from dealerships the audacious truth of how they game Yelp, then wonder why they can’t get customer reviews published. Dealerships have been known to inflate their ratings with glowing testimonials submitted by friends and employees.

The stakes just went up again! They should. Up to 40% of online reviews are sketchy, according to experts.

The San Francisco-based website, which already tries to filter out dubious reviews, said it will now start posting visible consumer alerts on websites suspected of soliciting reviews-for-hire to boost ratings.

The alerts will stay up for at least 90 days – longer if the suspicious activity continues, according to Yelp.

Users, many of whom consider Yelp to be the last word on whether a business is worth visiting, can click on the alerts for more details.

Yelp also said it will start informing visitors when a business has a slew of reviews posted from the same computer – often a red flag for inauthentic reviews.

My suggestion? Integrate an online management solution that proactively builds "REAL" reviews and STOPS negative ones.

The one missing major takeaway from Yelp’s announcement is…

Review sites with too much negative feedback or dealerships not found on highly ranked review sites will be moved down the Google search stack and compromise their competitive advantage.

Even more reason to encourage customers to post positive feedback on highly ranked review sites from their computer and also make a gentle request to share directly to key internal contacts IF they are unsatisfied

Plus, leverage every customer touch point and follow up with communication incentivizing them to tell you directly they are unsatisfied or passively encourage posting positive feedback on review sites.

Eric Singley, vice president of the site’s consumer products and mobile division said because of Yelp’s clout, “some businesses will go to extreme lengths to bolster their reviews.”

Auto consumers seem addicted to peer review sites such as Yelp, Google Local, CarHelp, DealerRater and more. Good web reviews now weigh so heavily on spending decisions that satire group the Onion recently spoofed the phenomenon with an article titled “Brave Woman Enters Restaurant Without First Looking It Up Online.”

Jerry Hart

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Automotive Dealers Need to Pay Attention to The World Around Them in Regards to Power of Online Reputation... Even Midas Gets It.

I Just saw this commercial on CNN a couple of minutes ago and it is EXACTLY the TYPE of Commercial that Auto Dealers should be doing on TV and online...

It seems that someone at Midas has been paying attention to Google's ZMOT Philosophy. People are talking about things they like and do not like on social media, on cell phones via a myriad of apps and sites. Dealers need to embrace this culture and reality.

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