It’s no secret, I love Yelp, and have been an active Yelper since April of 2008. I was reading a discussion on my local Yelp thread today about about a business going in and creating 9 different profiles, and submitting the same company (a computer repair service company – my guess was his) a 5 star review on each one. I get it, you want to try and game the system, figure out how to push the boundaries … but cmon’ that’s just damn stupid!
Not only did the accounts all get removed and banned from Yelp, but the business then proceeded to get real reviews, (for doing so) from real – active Yelpers – and trust me … they are not good. In less then a day, this idiot business owner has created himself a reputation management nightmare that will be very hard to overcome. Yelp ranks well, as he obviously knew, but what he failed to understand is why it ranks so well (much trust), and how the community works. These negative nasty reviews on his business listing (the real one finally – haha) will probably rank above his website, or close to it, and guess what? It’s always going to be there!
Check out the sad screen-shot of this dudes Yelp Listing as of today: It is not my intent to call any one out in this post, I am simply using this as a teaching opportunity. (I just didn’t feel right putting their contact info all our in the open, or the Yelpers slamming them, so that is why I blacked it out. I am sure if you really want to find out, you can!) So far, they have 3 reviews, and are all one star and negative because of how they tried to spam Yelp, and guess what? This page is going to rank well on Google FOR THEIR BUSINESS NAME, and forever haunt them!
The moral of the story ladies and gentlemen? When it comes to reviews, reputation management and Yelp? – Don’t be an idiot like this spammer! The community does a really good job of weeding this stuff out (and policing – as you can see), and an even better job when you make it as obvious as this user did. The Yelp community does not make it a point to go and leave negative reviews for a person who just doesn’t know better, but when someone is as blatant as this spammer was – they will react, and you will end up with a reputation nightmare on Yelp, AND Google!
If you have a business and you want it on Yelp, go fill out the Yelp for business and let the reviews come naturally. They will, and if you focus on running a good ethical business and taking care of people, then you need not worry about what people will say. They will take care of you in communities like this, trust me!