Policies and Why Yelp May Remove Reviews
Yelp has strict content and review policies, very similar to Google’s. Content and reviews on Yelp need to be:
Relevant: Any review content that doesn’t relate to your dental office and the patient experience you provide will be removed. Reviews for another business, reviews concerning employment practices, and reviews about extraordinary circumstances aren’t permitted by Yelp. This is excellent news for you! Yelp monitors the content of your reviews and will remove them if they’re unfair. You can report the review for removal if you feel Yelp has missed something.
Appropriate: Yelp will remove content that contains threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, or other displays of bigotry.
No conflict of interest: Yelp wants all their reviews to come from an unbiased source to give users the most accurate information. So, here are some things you can’t do:
- Review your own business.
- Review a friend’s or relative’s business.
- Peers’ or competitor’s business.
- Ask patients for reviews.
Protect privacy: Content and reviews that have private information will be removed by Yelp.
Free of promotional content: No one can write a “review” that is promoting another business or yours. It has to be specific about their experience at your office.
Based on a personal experience and original: The review has to be based on that person’s experience, not a family member’s or friend’s. It also has to be original, meaning it can’t be found elsewhere on the internet. Say, if someone copied and pasted from a different review they wrote. This factor isn’t something that Yelp can expressly monitor, so it’s more of an ‘honor code’ system.
Accurate: Reviewers cannot misrepresent their experience, but Yelp doesn’t usually take sides in factual debates. This is more of an ‘honor code’ guideline.
Other Reasons Your Yelp Reviews Disappear
Another common reason why a review may disappear is the reviewer removed it. You won’t be able to get the review to display again unless the author reposts it, and it doesn’t count toward your star rating. The last reason why your review may disappear is that Yelp filtered it.
Yelp has software that filters reviews based on several factors. You can still find “not recommended” reviews through a link at the bottom of your business profile, but the review doesn’t count toward your star rating. Remember when we said that some of Yelp’s review guidelines are based on an honor code? This is where their recommendation software comes in. The software evaluates the reviews based on their quality, reliability, and the Yelp user’s activity. Here are some criteria Yelp looks at to decide if the review is recommended:
- The reviewer’s profile isn’t complete.
- The reviewer does not have social integration.
- The reviewer has only posted positive reviews.
- The review was posted from an IP address located where your business is not.
- Multiple reviews originate from the same computer.
- The reviewer does not have Yelp friends.
These reviews are labeled as “not recommended” instead of being flat-out removed because if some of the criteria of the reviewer change, the review can become recommended down the road.