So if you haven’t already read my other posts from my YELP SUCKS series I suggest you check them out as they go into pretty much everything people complain about on YELP.
This post is about the latest issue I was told about. I just got done checking it out and wow, it is really bad.
SO as most of you know, YELP encourages your business to claim your business listing so you can make sure your information is correct, monitor traffic and respond to reviews.
A client of mine went to change her business address to the new address and decided to change the name to something that didn’t contain similar search term as her competitor. She actually legally changed her business name because of YELP. The reason why is because when you Google her name, her Yelp business listing shows up but so does her competitor, right underneath. And she has 1 less star than her competitor. This started to happen when her competitor starting advertising on YELP. She had hoped that if she changed her business name to remove the similar keywords, this would fix this issue. (incidentally I tested this, and it doesn’t which I will go into later)
After about a week she noticed her info was all changed back and this time she had little LOCKS on the top of the fields and is no longer allowed to edit her own business listing!
SO now she has a listing with the wrong address and business name and they wont let her change it.
So I realized why they are doing this.
Businesses who do not want to be on YELP figured out by changing the name and info, they would no longer be found on YELP. This is YELPs way of forcing you to keep your listing.
Problem is, that much like their auto filter, the good guys get caught in this. And once again, it conveniently lends to benefiting advertising and here is how.
I started to notice that when a competitor advertises, their glowing listing with 5 stars shows in searches right along side their competitors who often don’t have as good as a rating review on YELP. When you advertise, YELP will make it so your competitors no longer show on your YELP page. And they optimize it so google will index the advertisers YELP page (your competitor) right next to you.
YELP benefits from this in 2 ways.
THE Advertiser is happy because they see their 5 star review next to your 4 star in Google and will most likely get the business as those will think they are better.
And you the person who looks bad will be pressured into advertising so your competitor will be removed from your YELP page, and you will hopefully get your positives unfiltered so you get the 5 start pretty Google search result too.
And once again, the benefit comes at your expense. You either lose business from looking bad, or have to pay them to fix it.
Sounds to me like YELP is still in the business of extortion, they are just finding less obvious ways to go about it since they keep getting busted on it.
Once again, you have to speak out about this. HERE is a great page on all the things you need to do.