Frequently Asked Questions
Some answers to your questions
Yelp publishes business information so that consumers can share their experiences about local businesses, and because the information is typically a matter of public record and public concern. Therefore we don’t remove such information from the site.
While we understand that some business owners might prefer to keep a low profile, it’s important (and a legal right) for consumers to be able to find and share helpful information about great local businesses.
If you need to update or change the information on your business page, please submit any changes by editing your business information on Yelp for Business or on the Yelp for Business app and submitting a detailed note with any supplementary information.
If your business is permanently or temporarily closed, please let us know by reporting it. Please note that closed businesses sometimes still appear in Yelp search results, for example, to inform users that the business is closed.
It’s certainly worth discussing your concerns with a lawyer who specializes in internet law, but any good lawyer will likely tell you that:
- Consumer speech is protected under the law, even when it’s negative
- Yelp isn’t responsible for the opinions of your customers
- Suing Yelp will only draw more attention to the negative review than if you simply ignored it
- Lawsuits are extraordinarily expensive, and you may be responsible for Yelp’s legal bills at the end of the case
While it’s rare for a business to do this, it does occasionally happen. Yelp stands firmly against businesses pressuring customers or paying them to change or remove reviews. Even if the exchange is friendly in nature, consumers shouldn’t accept payment or a refund in exchange for removing or changing a review. Activity like this—whether initiated by businesses or consumers—violates our Terms of Service and deceptively alters a business’s reputation on Yelp. Undisclosed incentives for reviews are also discouraged by the Federal Trade Commission.
We encourage consumers to stand behind their reviews as written or to update them (without expecting payment or other incentives) to reflect any new information that may be useful to other consumers.
We understand businesses can have an off day and may want a consumer to give them another chance after reviewing their feedback. Instead of asking for an updated review, we recommend businesses respond to critical reviews by thanking the customer for the feedback, acknowledging what went wrong and how they are addressing the issue. Many customers will appreciate being heard and will often update their review on their own.
If you’re in a situation in which a business owner is harassing you, pressuring you, or offering you something in exchange for changing or removing a review, please contact our Support team to give us more information so we can help you and other consumers.
Businesses can sometimes share the same trademarked names (which is why, for example, you might legitimately find two different businesses with the same name, like “Bob’s Pizza”). Nevertheless, you should consult your lawyer if you think another business is violating your trademark.
In the meantime, please see our infringement policy.
If you can provide us with the information required under the infringement policy, please contact our Support team.
Please note that trademarking your business name doesn’t prevent consumers from commenting about your business. As a result, we maintain business pages even for trademarked businesses
If you see a review that you believe violates Yelp’s Content Guidelines, please report it and include any information that can help us verify the information. Yelp is a community-driven site, and removing photos, reviews, or other user content is not something we take lightly—we generally allow users to stand behind what they write. It’s also important to keep in mind that Yelp doesn’t take sides in factual disputes.
After a review has been investigated by our moderators, Yelp sends an email notification to the business owner or user who reported the content, notifying them of the results, which may take several days. We’ll typically also notify the reviewer if their content has been removed.
If you received a notification that the reported review was not removed by Yelp moderators—but you have obtained a final order from a court of competent jurisdiction explaining why a review is defamatory—please contact our Support team.
Yelp uses an automated software to determine which reviews to recommend to users. Even if our moderators don’t remove a review, the software may separately determine that it’s not reliable enough to recommend to Yelp’s users.
Business owners can also log into their Yelp for Business account to publicly respond to any inaccuracies in the review, or contact the reviewer through a direct message.
Yelp is committed to providing consumers with trustworthy, reliable and relevant information when deciding where to spend their money, as well as leveling the playing field for hardworking businesses that rightfully earn their great reputations. In 2012, we introduced our Consumer Alerts program to warn consumers when we find evidence of extreme attempts to manipulate a business’s ratings and reviews. Since then, we’ve expanded the program to include other egregious tactics that may harm consumers or unfairly put other businesses at a disadvantage.
When we issue a Consumer Alert, a warning message pops up over the review section of that business’s Yelp Page informing consumers about the violation of our policies with a link to view the evidence we collected when available.
Here are examples of Consumer Alerts we may place on Yelp business pages:
- We place a Compensated Activity Alert on business pages when we receive evidence that someone is purchasing reviews. This alert will generally be removed from the business page after 90 days if the offending behavior stops.
- We place a Suspicious Review Activity Alert on business pages when our recommendation software catches a disproportionate number of reviews coming from the same IP address (a helpful indicator that they may all be coming from a single source and therefore lack authenticity), or if our team discovers a possible connection to a deceptive review ring. This alert will generally be removed from the business page after 90 days if the offending behavior stops.
- We may place a Questionable Legal Threats Alert on a business page when we receive evidence that the business may be making a dubious legal threat against a reviewer or using a contractual gag clause to prevent critical reviews. This alert is removed on a case-by-case basis.
- We place an Unusual Activity Alert when a business receives an influx of Yelp reviews that were motivated by a recent news event rather than actual consumer experiences with the business. This will temporarily disable the ability to post reviews on the page. This alert is removed on a case-by-case basis when activity on the page has dramatically decreased or stopped.
- We place a Public Attention Alert to inform consumers if someone associated with the business was accused of, or the target of, racist behavior. We take a firm stance against racism and will temporarily disable the ability to post as we confirm that all content reflects first-hand consumer experiences. When a business gains public attention for reports of overtly racist conduct, we’ll place a Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert which will include a news article where people can learn more. These alerts are removed on a case-by-case basis when activity on the page has dramatically decreased or stopped.
The best reviews are passionate, personal narratives that are full of details and tips. Yelpers represent a wide range of voices, opinions, and experiences, but we will remove a review if we believe it violates our Content Guidelines. Help us out by reporting questionable reviews, but keep in mind that reporting it doesn’t guarantee it will be removed.
There are three main reasons why we might remove a review
- They appear to be a competitor or former employee
- They appear to be affiliated with the business
- They’re receiving payment or other incentives for the review
- They’re promoting the business or a competitor
- It’s about someone else’s consumer experience
- It describes extraordinary circumstances (e.g. COVID-19, media fueled stories)
- It’s primarily disputing another Yelper’s review
- It’s about a different business
- It appears to be plagiarized from another source
- It contains hate speech, lewd commentary, or threatening language
- It contains private information about employees or patrons
If you aren’t able to find your review, there are a few possible explanations:
- Your review may not currently be recommended
- Your review may still be saved as a draft
- You may still need to confirm your email address
Reviews are only removed if they are found to be in violation of our Content Guidelines or Terms of Service, or if your account has been closed all together. In most cases, if Yelp removes your review, you will be notified via email by our Support team.
Below are some general pointers for updating a business page according to our standards regarding:
- Phone number
- Address / Map Marker
Depending on your program, you’ll be billed on the first of the month or every 30 days from the date your Ads go live. Refer to your Billing section for your specific billing date. If you have a billing threshold, you may also be billed at that time. A billing threshold is an amount of advertising spend that triggers Yelp to charge your debit or credit card.
You can see the billing date on previous statements by visiting the billing section of Yelp for Business. If you haven’t been billed yet, the Ads page will show your billing period.
You can also read through our other Billing & Payment articles to learn more.
When you buy Yelp products (such as Yelp Ads or Page Upgrades), you aren’t charged for the purchase immediately.
Here’s when you can expect to be charged:
• Anytime you reach your billing threshold
A billing threshold is an amount of advertising spend that triggers Yelp to charge your debit or credit card. For example, if you purchase $450 in ads for a month, you may be charged after $100 worth of advertising if that’s the billing threshold that we’ve set for you. In a given month, you may trigger a billing threshold once, multiple times, or no times. The rest of your purchase will then be charged on your monthly billing date. As you make successful payments, your threshold may increase.
To find out if you have a billing threshold and how high it currently is, please visit the Billing page after you complete your purchase. If you have a billing threshold, you will see it next to your upcoming bill date.
If you have additional questions, use our Advertiser Live Chat option on biz.yelp.com, give us a call at 855-380-9357, or submit a ticket through your Yelp for Business account. If you have a dedicated Customer Success Manager for your account you can find their contact information on the Billing page of Yelp for Business.
If you spot activity on your advertising account that you don’t recognize, here are a few steps you can take to learn more about the charges you see:
- Log in to your Yelp for Business Account and select the Billing tab on the left hand side. This will bring up any current programs running, your payment history (monthly statements), and the primary card on file. If you still have additional questions, please contact the Customer Success team by calling 855-380-9357.
- If you’ve checked these sections above and still see purchases that you don’t recognize and/or believe someone has hacked your ad account, please use our Advertiser Live Chat option or call us at 855-380-9357. We also recommend you reset your password from the Account Settings section of your Yelp for Business account as soon as possible.
Yelp accepts all major credits cards and debit cards (but not prepaid cards). We are not able to do direct billing or automatic payments from a bank account.
If you have signed up for advertising with a sales representative, in some circumstances we do accept payment by check. However, there are minimum payment amount requirements that must be met. Please contact your Customer Success Manager directly to learn more – their contact information can be found under the Billing section of Yelp for Business.