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Why Yelp Doesn’t Condone Review Solicitation

Yelp’s core focus for more than 13 years has been helping consumers find great local businesses. A critical piece of that process is providing people with access to unbiased local feedback to help them make decisions. Yelp’s ability to surface the highest quality content is a cornerstone of our success, and as a result, we cannot condone review solicitation or manipulation.

Part of what makes content high quality is a lack of bias. That’s why Yelp’s automated software does not recommend reviews it believes to have been solicited by businesses, since solicitation leads to bias. We’ve taken a hard line against solicitation for a long time, and while this stance can sometimes be an unpopular one, we have been vocal about our policy and why it’s imperative to maintaining trust and usefulness on Yelp.

Instead of asking for or incentivizing reviews, businesses should let reviews accrue organically. The best way for businesses to earn good reviews is to focus on providing excellent products and customer service and encouraging all customers to check out their Yelp reviews.

As we see an increasing trend toward aggressively soliciting reviews, we are committed to actively working to stop this behavior. There are some reputation management companies out there that offer to solicit reviews on behalf of businesses as a way to manipulate and improve their rating, but we strongly discourage businesses from using these services, as Yelp’s software is designed to weed out such reviews. While we have attempted to work with and educate this industry on the flaws in their approach, we cannot support companies that engage in active review solicitation and we will expose this behavior when necessary to protect our users. For guidance on the best ways to engage on Yelp, see our business owner do’s and don’ts.