This month, the online review site Yelp started sending out warning emails to reputation management companies and local businesses warning them that they are endangering their Yelp account by soliciting reviews.
To be clear, these businesses are not asking for only good reviews, reviewing themselves, or offering to pay for reviews; Yelp is warning about asking for any type of review at all. Violating one of these guidelines below can get your business penalized on the site, warns Yelp.
- Don’t ask customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, or anyone else to review your business.
- Don’t ask your staff to compete to collect reviews.
- Don’t run surveys that ask for reviews from customers reporting positive experiences.
- Don’t ever offer freebies, discounts, or payment in exchange for reviews — it will turn off savvy consumers, and may also be illegal. Yelp has a Consumer Alertsprogram to let people know about businesses that engage in this sort of activity.
Why Reviews Matter
Online reviews serve as both a local ranking factor – especially in Google’s search algorithm – and also as a way to build your online reputation and possibly attract new customers. There are also many other websites, besides Yelp, where your appliance repair business can be reviewed such as Google My Business, Facebook, YP, Angie’s List, Manta and many more.
However, if Yelp is important to you, Phil Rozek has some Yelp-friendly policy suggestions on how you can still get reviews on his blog.