How does Yelp’s review solicitation penalty work?
Contributor Joy Hawkins provides an overview of how Yelp's review solicitation penalty works and explains why you should not ask for reviews.
Back in November of 2017, Yelp announced it would start issuing penalties for businesses that solicit reviews. Yelp said:
“Now, we are also demoting business pages in Yelp search results that show indicators of organized review solicitation through reputation management companies. We are taking this action because promoting biased reviews, or promoting businesses that have artificially inflated their ratings, is misleading for consumers and unfair to businesses that have honestly earned their great reputations while adhering to Yelp’s policies.”
Unlike Google, Yelp seems to be very serious about the quality and trustworthiness of the reviews on their platform. In my experience, Yelp is fairly diligent about enforcing the guidelines they come up with.
One of the agencies I consult with had a client who was using a reputation management company that included Yelp in a widget on his site. The widget asked people to leave reviews. As a result, they received a solicitation penalty from Yelp, which led me to look into its review solicitation policy and how it works.
Yelp search results penalty
Yelp confirmed to me it always alerts a business via email before any penalty goes into effect, and the business has 90 days to comply with Yelp’s policies and avoid such penalty.
Once the business has stopped soliciting reviews, it can submit a Compliance Verification form through their Yelp for Business Owners account.
Yelp will review the submission, typically within 45 days, and remove any warning or penalty if the business is found to be in compliance with Yelp’s review solicitation policies.
If the business is not found t…