Proactively asking for reviews may hurt your Yelp rating because our automated software may not recommend reviews that seem to be prompted or encouraged by the business. Also, many businesses only ask happy customers for reviews, which leads to biased ratings. Yelp’s software tries to identify any reviews that appear to have been requested, and not recommend them.
This policy is part of Yelp's Content Guidelines, and helps us create a level playing field for all businesses who rightfully earn their great reputations on Yelp. It shouldn't be about who has the time and resources to ask the most people to write reviews. Great Yelp reviews and ratings should come from consumers who had a great experience that they’re inspired to tell others about.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to Yelp’s policies against soliciting reviews:
- Don’t ask anyone to review your business, be it customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, etc.
- Your staff should never compete to collect reviews.
- Don’t ask for reviews after requesting customer feedback in other places like surveys or contact forms. While it can be tempting to ask this of customers, it is against Yelp’s policy and unfair to other businesses.
- Don’t offer freebies, discounts, or payment in exchange for reviews—it will turn off savvy consumers and may also be illegal. For the same reason, you can’t offer incentives for users to remove reviews. Yelp has a Consumer Alerts program that publishes a pop-up alert on business pages to let people know when we learn about this sort of activity.
Your best bet to get positive, unbiased reviews about your business is by providing a high quality, memorable customer experience—without any expectation or encouragement of a review in return.
Read more about why you shouldn't solicit reviews and learn more on the Yelp for Business site.