Did You Know That Yelp Will Hide Some Listings? – Whitespark Local Insider

Getting a listing removed from Yelp is near impossible, except for a select few businesses. In this episode of the Whitespark Local Insider (formerly the Weekly), Darren reviews a few cases where listings have been removed from Yelp (hint they are not local small businesses).

Video Transcript

Hello again, local search friends. Welcome to another Whitespark Weekly. Today, I wanna talk to you about getting your listing removed from Yelp. There is like a specific case where it can happen, so I’m gonna discuss that case and it’s good to start with an example. Let me show you a listing that got removed.

Actually, Yext had a listing on Yelp. Well, they do, check it out. They have a listing. And it’s not looking so good for Yext here.

  • They have one guy update his review, he originally went with five stars. “Total scam.”
  • “This company is unethical and will not give you straight answers.”
  • “What a waste of money.”

Sorry, Yext, these are not very good reviews. So they’ve got a really bad Yelp listing, with lots of negative reviews. Obviously, some good ones because it balances out. But you know, if you run a search for Yext on Yelp, “Yext near New York,” nothing. Interesting.

And if I do Google search for yelp.com, let’s do a site:yelp.com yext, anything? Just in forums. Oh, the “Best Yext in New York.” So anyway, you can’t find the listing.

Well, okay, before you get all excited about this, there is a reason, and it is a valid reason.

It Is Very Unlikely That Small Business Listings Can Be Removed From Yelp (Sorry Friends)

So I’ll get to that in a minute. Before I get into that, also, I want to speak to all the small business owners out there that have a Yelp listing, that hate Yelp because Yelp is only publishing their negative listings and not their positive listings. Unfortunately for you, it’s very unlikely you’re gonna be able to get your listing removed from Yelp. Yelp simply doesn’t’ do it.

If you’re like a local restaurant or a plumber or a roofer or appliance repair or a lawyer or a dentist and you don’t like your Yelp listing, you wanna get it taken down because it doesn’t look good, it doesn’t reflect your business, you’re losing business, unfortunately, you’re mostly out of luck.

Yelp talks about this in their guidelines. Let’s take a look at that. “Can I remove my business page from Yelp?

“Yelp publishes business listing information so that consumers can share their experiences about local businesses, and because that information is typically a matter of public record and public concern. Therefore we don’t remove such information from the site.”

Yelp will refer you to this and say, “We don’t remove listings. If people want to complain about your business, Yelp is the platform for them to do that. You don’t really have grounds to ask us to remove your listing.” It’s a matter of public record and concern, according to Yelp. If you are a small local business, you’re not very likely to get your listing removed.

So, Why Did Yext’s Listing Get Removed?

Let’s go back to Yext. How did they do this? Why is it that Yext has their listing removed? And I’ll show you another example. Joy Hawkins pointed out another interesting example. Here’s a company, Yodle.

Yodle has a listing, 104 reviews, they’re all one-star. It’s even worse than Yext. Just lots of people complaining.

  • “If I can give this company ZERO STARS…”
  • “Bad organization. Be careful.”

Basically, people aren’t too happy with Yodle and they have expressed such concerns on Yelp. But look at this, take a look at the source, and again, there it is, they no-indexed the listing.

How? Why? Why did these two businesses manage to get their listings removed from Yelp? I keep mixing up Yext and Yelp.

It Comes Down to Good Ol’ Fashion Rules (“Guidelines”)

Okay, so “What are the guidelines for adding a business to Yelp?” This is why these businesses have been removed. It really comes out of this eligibility.

Originally, my thought was, “Oh, my God, Yext, Yodle, some of these other companies, they’re paying off Yelp to get the listing removed.” I no longer think that. Fortunately, I have a group of critical thinkers around me that I can bounce things off of, and we had a little chat about this, Joy and other local search people, and Joel Headley was smart enough to point this out. Joel Headley pointed out that some businesses simply aren’t eligible for a listing on Yelp. And so they’re “less interested in showing online-only, business-to-business, and direct-seller businesses.”

Yelp doesn’t actually want these type of business on the Yelp platform. They’re looking to list local businesses. It says right up here,

“We try to list every service or business in which there is some kind of local experience or interaction.”

Yext doesn’t really have that. They’re just like online, in the cloud business. They don’t really fall under Yelp’s eligibility rules, and it’s the same thing with Yodle. It’s the same thing with many of these e-commerce, you know, software as a service type companies. You know, you can probably create a listing on Yelp and leave reviews, but Yelp doesn’t really want those. They’re really trying to look for businesses with some kind of local experience or interaction.

This is what’s happened. Yext and Yodle probably have a direct relationship with Yelp, because they manage listings, and this probably came up in their partner review. “Oh, hey, you’ve got these listings on Yelp, they’re not really eligible, they should be removed.”

If you are a eCommerce only, B2B only, or software as a business type business, you probably have grounds to get your listing removed. You can have people report it. But if you are a local business, the chances are pretty slim that you’re gonna get your listing removed. That’s pretty unlikely.

More Examples

Here’s another example, FindLaw. FindLaw has some listings. Google, here’s another great example, Google has a listing on Yelp, but it has been removed as well. You can always just check if it’s been removed by doing a ctrl+f for “noindex,” there it is. This Google listing’s been removed to, and that makes sense. Google’s not like a real local interaction-type company.

>I should also show you, how do you find these? Well, basically, you can kind of guess at it, because of Yelp’s general URL structure. So it’s “yelp.ca/biz” then it’s usually the business name, dash, city name. And then oftentimes they have a 2. Does Yext have a second listing? No, that one just redirects back. Let’s try a “-3”. No, redirects back. But sometimes they have multiple ones. So “yodle-austin-2,” no, redirects. But basically, it’s business name and then city. And you can sometimes guess to see if a business happens to have a Yelp listing that has been no indexed. So that’s the way you find them, you just kinda guess at the URL.

Search: Yelp.com/biz/BUSINESSNAME-CITY


All right, so that’s it. If you’re a local business, you’re probably out of luck because of this information here, “Can I remove my business?” Nope, you really can’t but if you are a online business, you could maybe get your listing removed from Yelp, and that’s how. So that’s all I got for you this week. I hope you have yourself an excellent rest of the week. I’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.


Darren Shaw

Darren Shaw founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren's passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.

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