I definitely have a “love/dislike” relationship with Yelp and as time goes by, I’m leaning more on the side of “dislike”. Though this post may not be at all about foam roofing, I think it’s helpful regarding the reality of Yelp and how they operate. My biggest issue with Yelp is their sales staff and Yelp’s philosophy on how they treat potential clients who might like to advertise on Yelp. Secondly, I dislike very much that Yelp assume’s a business is faking reviews or is somehow trying to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes before contacting the business owner to get their point of view. As a consumer, you probably don’t know this, but when all is said and done Google will throw businesses out on the street if the business does not remain relevant or update their business content on the web. Believe it or not, artificial intelligence has taken over and Google is the master.
Once a business owner creates a Yelp page, that’s it. The business owner cannot erase or delete the Yelp page, only keep it or say the business is closed. That said, as soon as a business owner creates a Yelp page, their sales people are like used car sales creatures of the past. They use the strong arm and love to argue until they make you believe they are the only advertiser going and you’re an idiot if you don’t advertise with Yelp.
Again, I think this post is relevant even if you’re not a business owner, so you don’t miss out on what might be a potentially respectful business owner (contractor), simply because you use Yelp as a measuring stick for your business choices. Yelp will erase legitimate reviews, because they deem them fraudulent or requested. This happens even if the reviews are legitimate and there is no way to get Yelp to put the review back. It’s my opinion that the only way to get those reviews back is to call Yelp advertising, tell them of the issue and then if you advertise with them, you can have your review back. They will deny this, but I’m here to tell you… If you don’t pay the Yelp mafia, Yelp is of no service to you. I am also of the opinion that if you advertise on Yelp, the will delete the bad reviews (to give a higher star rating) or drop them to the bottom. Yelp says they don’t, but I don’ t believe it for one minute. In a galaxy far far away and a different time, I used Yelp advertising. That’s all I’m going to say. Feel free to read this article if you don’t believe me.
I believe as a consumer, you should know this. Why? Because, I work with many different types of contractors, not just spray foam and I would hate to think that if Yelp is the only game in town as far as marketing is concerned, these contractors are getting a fair shake and don’t lose business simply because our online society and Yelp have convinced us that they are the be all and end all. What if a contractor builds a Yelp site, get’s one two-star review and decides they don’t want Yelp anymore? Now for the rest of time, they have one, two-star review on Yelp and it shows up every time a consumer is looking for their kind of service. They can’t delete their Yelp site, can’t contact Yelp (or get strong armed into advertising) and can only say that the business is closed. Which is worse? One two-star review or a Yelp site that says they are no longer in business. You see where I’m going here?
The best possible way to reward a business owner for their fine work is to let them know that you are willing to allow them to use you as a reference. As well, Google has a much larger impact on the business’s positive or negative impact than Yelp. When it comes to online benefits for business owners, Yelp is like a fly on the ass of an elephant. Yes that’s right, in case you haven’t noticed, Google runs the show where business and consumer meet in this digital world.