"Hate us on Yelp" campaign to deal with negative reviews

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Thanks for sharing Kristen! I had not seen those 2.

I posted about this one a couple months ago.

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-reviews/29736-online-reputation-nightmare-clean-up-using-search-engine-optimization-9-tips-chris-silver-smith.html">Bolt Barbers Hate us on Yelp</a>.

Think they may have been the original to do it and they made it go really viral.

But overall not the best marketing campaign idea, right??? :rolleyes:
 
I think it's great - for any business owner that is ok with being "infamous", this is a great marketing strategy. Especially if it turns into more reviews. The more people talk about you, the more visible you are - regardless what they are saying.

This goes to a larger issue though, which is the gamification (and randomness) of 5 star reviews. I've never understood how people can make decisions based on the reviews of random strangers, whose sensibilities may be completely different than your own. But that's a different topic :)
 

Kristen

Forum Member
I agree, you do have a point, but the problem with this strategy is when someone searches for a nearby Italian Restaurant, they would pass right by a 1 star restaurant.

Also, if Google ever adjusted their local algo based on review ratings, all those 1 star reviews might come back to haunt them in the end.
 
I agree with Linda. In a normal situation this campaign would not be a good idea. You better have a mind bending product/service and a serious cult following to make this work. I am a huge fan of making something Absurd in order to point out absurdity, Similar to what Bryan Seely is doing with his ethical hacks of Google Maps. I would love to see a huge movement like this on Yelp. I think it would force yelp to step up. Imagine if every restaurant in one city decided a 1 star campaign. It would completely invalidate yelps authority.

Interview with Brian Seely: Engineer, Marine and Ethical Hacker
 
Re: &quot;Hate us on Yelp&quot; campaign to deal with negative reviews

@kristen, why do you say they would pass right by a 1-star restaurant? I would expect the following are possible:

(1) On Yelp's mobile app, I search by distance first typically. So, if I'm close to one of these businesses, they would show up high

(2) I also tend to search by date, to see who has the most recent comments. In that scenario, these businesses also win because they are generating a lot of comments

(3) For a general Google search, the volume of content on their Yelp page will likely result in their SERP being higher. It's certainly possible that Google could start penalizing people for poor ratings, but I haven't seen that yet, have you?

I'm not disagreeing that they are likely playing with fire a bit. I also applaud their ability/desire to put themselves out there and take this chance. Because they are fighting a good fight. As it is now, if they accept the status quo, then:

(1) They are subject to Yelp arbitrarily filtering reviews. This wouldn't bug me so much if they explained why each review was filtered, but they don't.

(2) They are subject to other (competing) business being profiled on their own page, as well as the order that they are shown, with little they can do about it other than pay for advertising for more "promotion"

(3) They aren't allowed to "ask" for reviews, and in non-urban areas it's hard to build up a critical mass of reviews unless you ask. So it's a catch-22.

So, while you are saying they may suffer penalties down the road, I view these businesses saying they are suffering penalties RIGHT NOW. And for the most part I agree with them. I do think there are "better" ways to address this issue, but I still applaud what they are doing because they are making themselves more visible to their market in a way that *they* think makes sense, not a 3rd party.

---------- Post Merged at 09:12 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:08 AM ----------

@dustybones, I'm a little confused. You say that you think this tactic is a bad idea, but then you say you love it? Which one is it? :)
 

CodyBaird

Top Contributor
Re: &quot;Hate us on Yelp&quot; campaign to deal with negative reviews

People follow those that lead with conviction. The world is starving for originality. Few have the courage to be themselves despite what the herd of sheep say or think.

?ME TOO? business is so awful; ?full-service provider?, ?cost effective solutions?. Blah-Blah-Blah. When you sound like everyone else and act like everyone else, you?re saying, ?Our services are like everyone else?s, too.

Thank God for business owners like these guys. The principle here is much larger than reviews or yelp.
 
Last edited:
Re: &quot;Hate us on Yelp&quot; campaign to deal with negative reviews

@kristen, why do you say they would pass right by a 1-star restaurant? )
People research in different ways. Although they may show up high, some people skim listings and won't bother looking into a business any further if they see a 1 star rating. This is, of course the whole problem with Yelp and their motivation behind the campaign.

It's great to see businesses attempting to "fight back" against Yelp's system, but I question the return on time and effort they put into this, vs focusing those efforts on generating more positive reviews on other properties or looking to improve internal processes to address the concerns mentioned throughout the reviews.

On Yelp, it looks like much of the encouraged reviews for the laser skin care business resulted in "This review has been removed for violating our Content Guidelines or Terms of Services". They also seem to have a good number of negative reviews that share a common theme.

Rather than "playing with fire", they might get a better ROI if they developed a campaign to counteract those negative reviews through an internal follow up system with each client.

Across the board in various industries, I've noticed many people leave negative reviews because they feel like their concern/opinion is not heard. Once you contact them, hear them out and attempt to resolve their concern, they are (often) satisfied. There are of course some people who are difficult to please no matter what, but when so many negative reviews are filtering in with a common theme, some of the negative reviews might be preventable.

I'm a big believer in the idea that for every criticism, there are others who might share that opinion, but haven't voiced their concerns. This is why it's important to listen carefully to customer feedback and constantly make improvements. This might involve improving internal processes and systems, targeting higher quality customers, or even a different segment of customer.

While review quality doesn't result in a penalty at this point, it would make sense and I could see it happening down the road.
 

CodyBaird

Top Contributor
Re: &amp;quot;Hate us on Yelp&amp;quot; campaign to deal with negative reviews

A risky and unorthodox approach no doubt. I leave and read lots of reviews on both yelp and google. I would never consider a 1 or 2 star. I can't think of many 3 star business unless we are talking about national chains.

I would have to see the yelp page on website to visit this business or have an invite from one of my friends that already used his yelp coupon. But at that point I'm probably a customer for life unless the food/service slips.

With that said I love his approach. But I also understand yelps tactics and they act similar to the bbb using negative reviews as a way to collect/exhort fees/advertising from many smbs. If you're a paying customer, I'd bet a doughnut you have a slightly better rating than if you were not a customer. Many of my clients over the years have learned this lesson. I suppose my business will as well with time.

It feels/seems a lot like "the protection" from the old school mobsters in various large US cities before Rico laws.
 

Local Search Forum Info


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe



Google top contributor


Follow Us on Twitter
@LocalSearchLink

local-search-ranking-factors

MyCommBanner250

Top