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How to Deal With Fake Yelp Reviews

With over 31 million app users and millions more web visitors, Yelp is a platform with high visibility. A bad customer experience can immediately impact your business, whether on Yelp or any other review site.

As a local business owner or digital marketing professional, learning to deal with fake Yelp reviews is crucial for maintaining your online reputation.

In this guide, we’ll explore the motivations behind fake Yelp reviews, their effects on your business’s online presence, and how Yelp addresses them through Recommendation Software and human moderation.

We’ll investigate how Yelp handles these fraudulent reviews through Recommendation Software and human moderation efforts. Beyond addressing individual negative reviews, our guide also covers strategies for responding professionally to such feedback while demonstrating a commitment to resolving any issues raised. Let’s start.

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Why a Business May Need to Remove a Bad Review?

When it comes to bad reviews, businesses may need to remove them for various reasons. Yelp’s research suggests that 90% of Yelp users purchase within seven days of visiting the platform, so you’ll need to act quickly to protect your business. Poor customer service or an unsatisfactory product can be enough to leave a negative impression on potential customers, which can have serious consequences for the business in question.

Bad reviews often indicate malicious intent; fake reviews created by competitors or disgruntled employees can damage a company’s reputation beyond repair if left unchecked. In some cases, companies may find they have been victims of review manipulation.

This is when someone attempts to manipulate ratings by posting multiple fake positive or negative reviews about their business (or their competitors). Businesses need to identify and remove these types of false feedback as soon as possible to protect their online reputation.

It’s not always easy for businesses to tell whether a review is genuine, but certain warning signs should alert them that something isn’t quite right. If the reviewer has only posted one review, if the language used seems too good (or too bad) to be true, or if the same person appears under different names with similar comments, it could indicate something suspicious.

Businesses should also look out for reviewers who post excessively long posts full of praise (or criticism), which could be another sign that they are attempting manipulation tactics such as ‘astroturfing’ – creating artificial buzz around product services through false endorsements from made-up people or organizations.

Can Yelp Reviews Be Faked?

Fake reviews are a common problem for review platforms like Yelp and other online services such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook. OptiLocal research suggests that 26% of consumers are confident they’ve seen a fake review on Yelp. The Harvard Business Review states there is an “active market” for fake reviews due to their influence on consumer behavior and search engine rankings. This means businesses may pay third-party companies or individuals to write positive reviews about them to boost their reputation or drown out negative ones.

Yelp takes the issue of fake reviews seriously by using algorithms and human moderators to detect suspicious activity. They also allow users to flag any questionable content, which will then be investigated by their team of moderators, who can delete it if necessary. Additionally, businesses can report malicious or fraudulent posts directly through the platform’s website or mobile app so that they can take action against those responsible for posting false information about them.

How Does Yelp Handle Fake Reviews?

Yelp is one of the most popular review platforms for local businesses. It provides customers a platform to share their experiences, good or bad. Unfortunately, this also means that Yelp can be vulnerable to fake reviews and negative feedback from malicious users. Yelp says it’s a “community-driven site” and doesn’t take removing third-party content — such as images or reviews — lightly. It also says it won’t take sides in factual disputes.  That said, it has invested in a number of programs to weed out compensated and fake reviews, in line with recent UK and US legislation:  To combat this issue, Yelp uses its Recommendation Software and human moderators to identify and remove any questionable content.

  • Recommendation Software

The Recommendation Software evaluates each review left on a business profile based on helpfulness and sentiment score. This helps prioritize more helpful and positive content first while de-emphasizing the impact of negative feedback left by malicious users.

  • Human Moderators

Human moderators are also employed by Yelp to manually review potential issues flagged up by business owners or customers for them to take action against inappropriate content, including hate speech, factual disputes, or other violations of Yelp’s terms of service agreement.

Business owners can take direct action against suspicious reviews by claiming their Business Profile and logging in to the Reviews section of Yelp’s website or app, selecting ‘Report Review’ beside an individual post. Upon doing so, this will be sent off for further investigation through software algorithms and the human moderation team at Yelp, who will make a final judgment call on whether it should be deleted from your profile if deemed inappropriate according to Yelp’s Content Guidelines.

  • Respond Professionally

Responding professionally, even with negative reviews, is key when preserving your online reputation. Customers tend to trust companies that demonstrate commitment to resolving customer complaints quickly rather than ignoring them. This can damage your brand’s image in the long run if not addressed properly immediately.

Therefore, crafting thoughtful responses that don’t appear defensive yet remain respectful while addressing all concerns raised within each case goes a long way towards helping you recover your reputation over time.

Additionally, providing excellent customer service so happy clients feel encouraged enough to share their experiences publicly via social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter is also an effective strategy for recovering one’s online reputation.

Strategies for Recovering Your Online Reputation

Recovering your online reputation can be daunting, but it’s not impossible. With the right strategies, you can turn negative reviews into positive ones and help restore your business’s good name.

  • Provide Good Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is key to building client trust and recovering from negative reviews. Make sure you are offering quality products or services that meet customer expectations. Respond quickly to customers’ complaints or issues, and take the time to listen carefully so you understand their concerns and address them appropriately. If possible, offer solutions that will compensate for any dissatisfaction they experienced with your business—anything from free product replacements to discounts on future purchases.

  • Encourage Customers

Encouraging customers who have had a positive experience to share their feedback on Yelp is an effective way of restoring your online reputation. Request satisfied patrons to leave reviews about their experience with your business, as even small gestures like this can make a huge difference in generating good publicity for your venture.

  • Social Media

Devise social media campaigns that showcase success stories where clients were delighted by the services they received from you – this will show prospective customers that others have had great experiences working with you, which may prompt them to give it a shot too. Ensure that all content contains relevant keywords and is written using active voice while adhering to proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation standards (no exclamation points.).

FAQs about How to Deal With Fake Yelp Reviews

Fake Yelp reviews can damage a business’s reputation, so it is important to respond quickly and professionally. First, contact the reviewer directly via private message or email to address their concerns. If that fails, contact Yelp Support with evidence of why the review may be fake or inaccurate. Finally, post an honest public response on your page for other customers to see how you handle the situation and demonstrate good customer service practices.

The best way to fight a bad Yelp review is to respond quickly and professionally. Accept the customer’s grievance, express regret for any distress caused, and present a remedy or clarification. If possible, contact the customer directly through private message or email. Express your readiness to collaborate with the customer to address their concern. Additionally, encourage other customers who have had positive experiences with your business to leave reviews and balance out any negative ones.

  • 1. Monitor online reviews regularly to identify any suspicious or fake reviews.
  • 2. Respond quickly and professionally to negative feedback, providing evidence-based solutions for customer complaints.
  • 3. Use reputation management tools such as Google Alerts to track mentions of your business across the web and respond accordingly if necessary.
  • 4. Reach out directly to customers who have left a review, asking them for more information about their experience with your business to verify its authenticity before responding publicly or taking action against it if needed
  • 5. Implement automated systems that detect spammy language patterns in reviews so they can be flagged and removed quickly without manual intervention from staff members.
  • 6. Take legal action against malicious actors who deliberately leave false reviews to damage your business’s reputation.

Yes, fake Yelp reviews are illegal. Posting deceptive, untruthful reviews to deceive consumers is forbidden by the federal Consumer Review Fairness Act. Posting bogus evaluations may be considered deception and slander, bringing about real lawful results, including fines or even imprisonment. Businesses should always strive for honest customer feedback to accurately represent their services.


When dealing with fake Yelp reviews, businesses must take a proactive approach. Business proprietors should immediately monitor their digital visibility and tackle any unfavorable or deceitful critiques. Businesses can report the review to Yelp and provide evidence that it is false to have it removed. Additionally, responding professionally and promptly will show potential customers that they care about customer service, which may offset some of the damage caused by bad reviews.

Take control of your online reputation with OptiLocal‘s comprehensive services for dealing with fake Yelp reviews. Our team will help you protect and promote your business by monitoring, responding to, and mitigating any negative feedback on the platform.

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