There was a time when people used to ask their friends and family when choosing a business. Well, they still do, but another factor has also entered the picture: online reviews. With so many platforms offering a look at people’s opinions about businesses, it’s normal to ask, “Is Yelp trustworthy?”
It’s true that businesses have found ways to generate false reviews and portray themselves as something they’re not. But again, what good thing comes without a bit of bad?
Besides, these platforms use various algorithms for detecting malicious activity. In short, there are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to trusting Yelp reviews. Here, we’ll weigh both sides and help you decide for yourself.
Is Yelp Trustworthy? A Serious Look at the Platform
Yelp is a platform where businesses can list themselves for customers to leave reviews. They can not only share a star rating but can also write their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions.
Moreover, Yelp lets businesses interact with their customers by replying to reviews or in the message box.
We’ll get into the depth of “Is Yelp trustworthy?” later. But first, let’s see why it’s so important.
Firstly, Yelp has over 80 million visitors monthly. Their reviews are the base for listing a business on Apple Maps. So, adding your business to Yelp can be extremely important. The bad news is people will still be able to leave their reviews even if you don’t claim your business.
Secondly, if people are relying on reviews to choose the best business, it’s their right to know whether they’re trustworthy.
Thirdly, people find it easy to use since Yelp doesn’t make them go through long processes when leaving reviews.
This ease of use encourages them to engage more with the businesses they’ve worked with.
Lastly, Yelp is all about local businesses. If you’ve optimized your listing and managed your reputation on Yelp, your page will appear easily to customers.
However, Yelp hides 22% of the reviews by tagging them as “not recommended.” Sometimes, this review filter hides the ones that are genuine positive reviews that can attract customers.
But if Yelp’s algorithm finds them fake, people won’t be able to see them. Plus, fake reviews are quite common on Yelp, especially in the restaurant industry.
Revealing the Truth: Are Yelp Reviews Reliable?
Now that you know why creating a Yelp listing is important, let’s answer, “Are Yelp reviews reliable?”
While review removal services claim they can remove negative reviews from Yelp, things are different than you might expect. They might only flag fake reviews and wait for Yelp to remove them. That’s something you can do yourself, so why pay those companies?
Plus, these companies sometimes use fraudulent techniques. Now, if Yelp catches anything suspicious, the blame will be on you, not on the company.
Moreover, some people believe that Yelp takes money to remove negative reviews. They have claimed that businesses who advertise on Yelp enjoy this perk. But there is no truth in this.
There have also been some cases where businesses have tried to buy positive Yelp reviews. If you’re thinking of doing that, you might want to take a step back. That’s because Yelp has introduced a “Suspicious Review Activity” alert that lets users know you’ve been buying reviews.
This makes Yelp quite trustworthy. However, algorithms aren’t perfect or immune to errors. Besides, deceivers have become smart and know how to bypass an algorithm.
Additionally, people sometimes focus only on the star ratings. If they see five or four stars, you’re on the safe side. But less than three stars, and they aren’t going to read the review to see if you’ve solved the issue. So, while these reviews may be trustworthy, they won’t do you much good.
And lastly, Yelp has a PPC program for businesses. If you pay Yelp, it will make your business appear higher in search results.
But all businesses appearing higher are not the best. It just means they have more money in their pocket to give to Yelp. So, those were the two ends of the Yelp reliability spectrum.
Are Yelp Reviews Fake?
Getting reviews on Yelp is very important to succeed. As mentioned earlier, Yelp has algorithms in place to detect fake reviews and remove them. In fact, if you spot a fake review, you can flag it as inappropriate and ask Yelp to remove it.
But how would you know which review is fake? Well, you must look at the reviewer’s profile and activity for that.
If the reviewer has posted many reviews at the same time, they might be posting fake reviews. Or if the profile information isn’t complete.
Moreover, a review that is either too good or too bad may also be a bad sign. Plus, most of these are vague and don’t provide much information.
However, Yelp won’t remove all reviews. If the review you flagged goes against its Terms of Service (TOS), only then will it remove them.
Moreover, Yelp uses Internal Review software to check every review. It sees how long someone has been using Yelp, their activity, and the information Yelp has gathered about them.
This means it makes an effort to detect and remove fake reviews. So, that was your answer to “Are Yelp reviews fake?”
Now, if you find a fake review and Yelp doesn’t remove it, you must treat it like a normal review. If it is positive, thank the reviewer and encourage them to visit again.
On the other hand, if the fake review is negative, apologize and ask for further details. Try to solve the issue and end on a positive note.
How To Manage Your Reputation on Yelp?
Let’s put reliability aside for a second and talk about Yelp’s reputation management. While you can’t control what people write about your business, you can (and should) manage your reviews. Here’s how.
- Customer satisfaction: If you focus on keeping your customers happy, you’ll never have to worry about fake or negative reviews. This is one of the most legitimate ways to get more positive reviews and improve your image in people’s minds.
- Make reviewing easy: Customers are doing you a favor by leaving positive thoughts. The least you can do is make the process easy with QRcode marketing. Moreover, populate your website and social media platforms with Yelp review links and badges.
- Let people know: Display store signage that lets people know you’re accepting Yelp reviews. The main elements would be the Yelp logo, fun messages, and a QR code link to your Yelp listing.
- Display the positive: When you get positive reviews, display them on social media and your website. Recognition is one way to encourage others to leave reviews.
- Respond to reviews: Reputation management is incomplete without responding to reviews. Whether they’re negative or positive, leave no review without a response. When it’s positive, show gratitude, and when it’s negative, apologize and solve the issue.
- Learn from mistakes: Negative reviews tell you what aspects of your business need improvement. So, treat them as learning points.
- Play your part: Leave reviews on businesses that you like or have worked with. That’s because you can’t expect to have a good reputation without engaging with the community.
Is Yelp Better Than Google?
Each review goes through the Internal Review software, and only the ones Yelp finds trustworthy appear on the listing page. That’s a solid yes to “Is Yelp trustworthy?” Now you might wonder: “Is Yelp better than Google?” The thing is, Google is better when you want to appear in search results.
However, to grow your business, you should not ignore any local review site. The thing is, getting reviews might be tough and time-consuming. That’s why WiFi marketing platforms like Beambox are essential to scale. With Beambox, you can get positive and genuine reviews on autopilot on the main review sites.
Beambox does not require any additional hardware and has no hidden fees. Start your trial now!
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