As a business owner, you’ve probably had countless discussions with peers about the impact of Yelp reviews, which can be incredibly constructive and boosterish, or detrimental to the point of nearly sinking you. One particularly bad spate, and then it’s rough-water sailing for a good while. But you don’t have to just hang on for dear life, or strike your best sitting duck pose, as you wait for the waters to turn amicable. Proactive solutions are within reach. Try Yelp Mediation.

Yelp Mediation is a new service for businesses dealing with negative Yelp reviews. How can Yelp Mediation help you turn back the tide of negativity? By assessing your business’ predicament, and by recommending the best strategies to resolve the issues underlying the negative reviews. There is no blanket way to solve all the problems emerging from negative Yelp reviews, so each issue must be looked at individually. Having knowledgeable guidance, like that provided by Yelp Mediation, can be a game-changer.

Is It Possible to Remove a Negative Review?

Sometimes it is possible to have a negative Yelp review removed, but it takes great effort. Through Yelp Mediation, a conciliatory party can contact an unsatisfied customer on your behalf and attempt to make amends. The ultimate goal, of course, is to get such customers to revise or remove their unfavorable reviews. Yelp Mediation, acting as a go-between, will reassure displeased customers that their Yelp criticisms have been appropriately addressed, or explain how they were incited by misunderstandings or extraordinary circumstances. In some instances, a customer will only remove a negative review if a refund is provided or if other incentives are offered. These last could be complimentary services or products.

A different scenario is one where a Yelp review violates Yelp’s own content guidelines. If such a review is left for your business, it is your right to flag that review and to contact Yelp about it. If a review receives enough flags, Yelp will put it through a review process. The end result may be that the offending review is removed.

But Yelp Mediation’s proactive work does not end here. In fact, Yelp Mediation can also advise you, the business owner, on the things you can do to get satisfied customers to author positive and helpful reviews more frequently. In the end, it’s important to understand that negative Yelp reviews are very difficult to remove, but you can accomplish a lot by taking advantage of the avenues of support you have available.

Why Does Yelp Filter Reviews?

Yelp runs an automated filtering system. This system mostly removes reviews from new users, and it comprises one of Yelp’s biggest tactics for combating spam — likewise for the folks writing fake reviews for their own businesses. Furthermore, Yelp’s filters are also on alert for suspicious surges in review counts. This means that if Yelp notices that a particular business has been getting an inordinate amount of reviews within an unrealistic timeframe, those reviews will come down. Keep in mind that such reviews may remain on the site for 1-2 weeks before they’re taken down.

There’s still no surefire way to know whether a particular Yelp account’s posts will get filtered. Research does show, however, that Yelp accounts with a profile picture, and at least ten reviews and ten friends, are less likely to undergo filtering. Moreover, it seems that factored into the formula that determines whether a posting is filtered is the date the Yelp account it’s coming from was opened. Also, Yelp account activity, like liking others’ reviews or sending comments, may make an account more likely to pass muster. A good rule of thumb is that the more active a Yelp account is, the less likely it is to have its reviews filtered. Find out more about the Yelp’s Review Filter by going to its FAQ page.

Does Paying Yelp for Advertising Help With Removing Negative Reviews?

Don’t waste your money. Advertising on Yelp will not facilitate the removal of unfavorable reviews. However, certain businesses have said that when they opted not to advertise on Yelp, their positive reviews got filtered while their negative ones didn’t. If, years back, such was the practice at Yelp, it has probably ceased being the case because lawsuits have been filed against the company. Details about the class-action lawsuit brought against Yelp — for unfair business practices — can be found at

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