5 Myths About Yelp That Could Seriously Hurt Your Online Reputation

There are few things worse for your business’s growth than operating under false assumptions, when it comes to the role Yelp plays.


Surprisingly, there are still people who have some pretty crazy ideas about how Yelp works. And by not knowing the truth about Yelp, they’re only hurting their own bottom line.

What about you? Are you holding on to some crazy Yelp myths that could be seriously hurting your business? Keep reading to find out more.


  1. Yelp is just for restaurants


While Yelp can help you connect with great eats no matter where you are, there’s so much more to Yelp than just dining reviews!


In today’s socially connected world, people want to leave reviews for the places they do business. Of course the idea of reviews used to be primarily focused on personal service-based businesses such as restaurants.


But the truth is – no matter what kind of business you’re in, if you want people to buy your product or service, you’re in a service-based business. And if that’s the case, you need to pay serious attention to what’s being said about your business on review sites like Yelp.


  1. Bad Yelp reviews won’t hurt you as long as you don’t set up a profile


I honestly have no idea why businesses think this is the case.


But if you’re operating under the assumption that you won’t be hurt by bad Yelp reviews (even if they’re unfounded) if you just ignore them and don’t set up a profile on Yelp, you’re seriously mistaken.


And I don’t mean just a little mistake.


I mean the kind of mistake that has your negative Yelp reviews showing up higher than your website in Google search results pages, in many cases.


If you serve customers, you simply cannot afford to pretend Yelp is going to go away if you just ignore it long enough.


  1. If you buy advertising on Yelp, you can remove negative reviews or boost your positive reviews


News flash – Yelp actually wants to be known as a source of factual customer reviews for all of your favorite places to do business.


They can’t be known for that if they let businesses buy their way out of fake reviews through advertising.


While it’s true that advertisers on Yelp can promote one review as a “favorite review,” this is the only way that advertisers’ reviews appear any different than every other business on Yelp.

The main benefit that businesses get from advertising on Yelp is that they appear in paid search results (also called Sponsored Results). They also get some benefits with respect to putting a slide show on their business page.


That’s it. No secret agenda. No pay to play method of hiding negative reviews.


(That’s not to say that if you have negative reviews it’s the end of the road for you. As a Yelp

Help expert, I work with businesses all the time who need to repair their online reputation and who want to learn how to turn negative reviewers into fierce brand evangelists.)


  1. There’s no way for a business owner to control their reputation on Yelp


Of course you can’t control what people say about your business (other than providing the kinds of products and service they naturally want to rave about). But one of the best ways to help contribute to the conversation about your brand in a positive way on Yelp is to create a great looking profile on your Yelp Business Page. Using some of your keywords, create a description of your business, add photos of your business and the people who work there, get analytics about your traffic on your Yelp page, and list your operating hours, for starters.


And if you decide not to set up your page? Well…that just looks bad. And if someone’s already coming over to leave you a critical comment, it’s not the time to look like you don’t even care about your own appearance!


  1. If a review is caught in the filter, it’s because it’s for a business that didn’t pay for advertising


Yelp’s filter wasn’t created to provide a penalty for businesses that don’t advertise on Yelp.

Far from it – the filter is Yelp’s attempt to weed out reviews that are fake or otherwise attempting to game the system.

In fact – Yelp works very hard to keep its advertising department away from the actual review part of Yelp.


If a review is caught in Yelp’s filter, it’s because in some way, Yelp thinks it’s either an anonymous ranter or someone trying to game the system with unnaturally positive reviews.

Which of these Yelp myths do you believe? Are there others that come to mind? Leave a comment below!

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