Every small business owner has had the experience of going to their Yelp page and seeing a review that’s not only negative, but also fake. It’s one thing if someone legitimately had a bad experience, it’s an entirely different thing if a competing business is leaving you bad reviews in order to boost their own reputation. This is a prime example of when disputing a negative review is in order. Read on to learn how to dispute a negative online review on Yelp, Facebook, and Google.
Disputing a Negative Review on Yelp
There is a straightforward process for reporting a questionable review on Yelp. This option is built into the web and mobile applications for Yelp, and it’s relatively straightforward to report a review. That being said, the harder part can be determining (and arguing) whether the review has violated any of Yelp’s policies. These include an apparent conflict of interest (like a competitor or former employee), a review focusing on someone else’s experience instead of their own, or the review including inappropriate material.
Yelp has published clear guidelines about when you should report a review.
Disputing a Negative Review on Facebook
You can report any Facebook review that does not follow the Facebook Community Standards, which include things like threats and hate speech, fraud and spam. One main difference here is that these standards apply to content across all of Facebook, and so they’re less specific to businesses and reviews.
Similarly to other posts on Facebook, you can report a review on Facebook from within the options of that post itself. One main difference between Facebook and Yelp is that on Facebook you are able to disable reviews entirely, although we don’t recommend this because potential customers may view it as questionable behavior by your business. It’s always best to seek out positive reviews than to try to hide from reviews altogether.
Disputing a Negative Review on Google
Just like Facebook and Yelp, Google My Business has a policy on what content is not allowed. It is important to understand whether a review fits their criteria, which includes spam and fake content, offensive content, or conflicts of interest. Google allows businesses to report Google reviews as inappropriate from within their Google My Business dashboard or mobile app and also from within Google Maps.