What Yelp’s crackdown on review collection means for your business (and why we stopped collecting Yelp reviews over a year ago)

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Yesterday Yelp announced that they are cracking down on companies who collect reviews on their platform.

This is no surprise to us, and fortunately, not a concern for our customers. Last year we decided to stop collecting reviews on Yelp to align with their product and company policies. For a period of time it was challenging because while we were telling our customers that we didn’t collect Yelp reviews, other companies continued to take shortcuts with the major review platforms and solicit Yelp reviews.

That meant, in some cases, we lost current or prospective customers to other tools that falsely claimed this was an acceptable practice for their business. For us, it was difficult to see this happen, but crucial for us and our customers to maintain alignment with major review platforms.

Today, that decision is proving to be extremely beneficial for our customers. Many local businesses have received email communication from Yelp warning of being demoted in Yelp search results and having their page display a very prominent “Consumer Alert”. While these businesses are scrambling to stop their Yelp collection initiatives and avoid being penalized, our customers can remain confident in our decision and commitment to do the best thing for their business.

This isn’t the only difficult decision we’ve made in the best interest of our customers. We’ve made commitments to not participate in the practice of gating or filtering negative reviews. We’ve pushed for integration into a business’ system of record to verify each review is from an actual customer. We’ve designed our product to ask every customer for a review to ensure the most authentic representation of the business. Finally, we’ve evolved our platform beyond simply collecting reviews to powering convenient interactions throughout the entire customer experience.

When this is done right, everyone wins. The business and its employees get rewarded for providing excellent experiences, the review platforms get fresh and authentic content, and the consumer can make better purchase decisions.

Change is always difficult, but hopefully, it is clear that we always have the best interest of our customers in mind. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Podium is a partner that local businesses can depend on.

Thanks,

Eric

Comments (11)

  • Tiffany G
    12:58 pm, November 9, 2017

    Very well written, and we 100% couldn’t’ agree more! Our reviews are based on the good and the bad, and Podium allows us to hear the voice of our customers, and we appreciate every single star & written review we receive!

  • Chet Sadowski
    6:54 pm, November 9, 2017

    Thank you,
    So far the only legitimate way for us to be reviewed or judged by our our customers honestly and openly with online reviews. We have always strived to be head and shoulders above everyone else in our market and what we have found is every other platform can be bought and manipulated. So for a company that takes pride in being the absolute best we appreciate the foresight and intestinal fortitude that you have demonstrated to insure the integrity of online reviews.
    Thank you,
    Chet Sadowski

  • Chris H.
    5:56 am, November 10, 2017

    Thank you for the info. Very enlightening. We love using podium. Great tool!

  • Earl Boyll
    9:02 am, November 10, 2017

    I want to thank you for running your business in an honest manner. It is very commendable. Thank you.

  • larry
    9:12 am, November 10, 2017

    What were the copanies that were collecting reviews on Yelp’s platform doing with those reviews? Why is this a problem

    • Jon Eyre
      11:01 am, November 10, 2017

      Larry, it is against Yelp’s terms of service to proactively solicit reviews. To ensure that all of our customers were in compliance with Yelp, we made the decision to not use our platform to ask for Yelp reviews.

  • Bob Silvester
    10:26 am, November 10, 2017

    Great explanation of this decision in regard to Yelp and I think it’s the best direction to go.

  • Angelica
    7:57 am, November 13, 2017

    Thank you Eric!!

  • Glen Harris
    10:15 am, November 13, 2017

    Thanks for staying on top of the business at hand. My company and I appreciate all of your efforts in continued success.

  • Glen Harris
    10:20 am, November 13, 2017

    Thanks for your attention to running a prominent business and focusing on the future growth of all businesses. Your attention to detail is a plus and is a great tool for future success. Thank you!

  • Scott Gordon
    3:09 pm, November 13, 2017

    Thanks, Eric! The right decisions for a business are seldom the easiest. But thanks to your making these decisions, Podium clients aren’t being caught flatfooted in the Yelp crackdown. Thanks for staying ahead of the curve!

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