Yelp, an online review site that ‘doesn’t allow businesses to pay to remove reviews’, and has turned into RipOff Report, a site used as a weapon to harm consumers. Yelp is a review site in the same way McDonalds is healthy for using fresh ingredients.
I don’t know how it all started, but as anyone with a brain would know, a review site that doesn’t remove fake reviews, is not a review site, it’s just a place to go to see local businesses, at best. To make a review site, you need a moderator, and some type of (at least verbal) arbitration process designed to help businesses promote themselves on Yelp, not lose customers over it.
It seems that Yelp does not understand this basic give and take strategy, and as a result, phony sites that promote Reputation Management leave fake reviews to sell you the ability to remove them. Ex-employees complain they got fired, and overall the level of libel and defamation is much higher than that of the well known Google reviews.
Honestly, Google was in the same boat, until Google started actually looking at the reviews where only ONE was left in 3 years by the inactive account, and started removing them. They also do not block 5 star reviews in an effort to harm the business as Yelp does.
Thankfully, due to people like me, bigger and smaller blogs, Yelp is losing traction. Trusting Yelp is trusting the opposite of gut instinct. Many a time you’ll be surprised to see a negatively rated business, and possibly reach out to this business, and find it’s perfectly fine.
I found myself in this predicament numerous times. As someone who is paid to remove Yelp from the homepage of Google searches, I decided to look into the reviews to see if I was helping bad businesses look good, or good businesses retain their true image. I found the latter, and that’s unfortunate, as people are paying me to just hold onto their customers, much less gain new ones like they used to. They have 4.7, 4.8 ratings on 3 different websites. 1 star on Yelp with 23 reviews (20 were ‘not recommended?’) which goes to show they have no credibility.
What can we do about Yelp? For one, we can bring attention to the fake accounts. If you see an account with one review, no picture, and it contradicts other reviews, you’re probably looking at a fake Yelp review. Not to mention if the person doesn’t even describe the situation reasonably (leaving a review about a burger they ate, when the establishment is a Chinese food place) it still gets posted as if it has credibility.
Yelp has to go. One day at a time, we have to take them down.