We recently heard reports from business owners about a company called YelpBooster (aka YelpMotion) purporting to sell five-star Yelp reviews and first-page placement in search engine results. The company’s solicitations were extremely misleading. Even worse, they suggested falsely they were affiliated with — or even calling from — Yelp. We took aggressive action to shut down these review scammers and were successful.
However, there are still plenty of third-party companies offering to remove bad reviews, recommend certain reviews, or boost your ratings for a fee. If you’re wondering how these companies can possibly make good on this offer, the answer is simple: they can’t. Consumer trust in Yelp reviews is what keeps people coming back to the site and mobile app to find great businesses like yours. Which is why people have never been able to pay Yelp or any third party to alter or remove their reviews from the site. Beyond that, brazen attempts to manipulate ratings on Yelp could result in a Consumer Alert being placed on a business page. Businesses should not work with review solicitation companies.
Do your fellow business owners a favor: if you’ve been contacted by someone offering something along these lines, report it. We’d love to get the details so we can prevent them from preying on others. Please use this form to loop us in. Finally, the best way to address consumers on Yelp is to use the free tools on biz.yelp.com and via the mobile app to respond to your reviews. If you’re looking for tips to getting more Yelp reviews organically, check out this webinar presented by a fellow business owner.