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What is Yelp’s review solicitation penalty?

Businesses should not ask for or solicit reviews on Yelp, as it leads to deceptively biased content. This includes asking friends, family, or customers to write reviews; offering incentives or freebies in exchange for reviews; or working with companies that send review solicitation emails.

If we find indicators of systematic review solicitation, we will apply a search ranking penalty to affected Yelp business pages. Businesses can avoid this review solicitation penalty by complying with Yelp’s policies.

Extreme attempts to manipulate a business’s reputation and inflate search ranking by soliciting or purchasing reviews on Yelp may lead to a Consumer Alert on the business’s Yelp page.

See our full Guide to Success for business owners for specific ways you should engage on Yelp.

Why is Yelp applying search ranking penalties for soliciting reviews?

Promoting biased reviews or businesses that have artificially inflated their ratings is misleading for consumers and unfair to businesses that have earned their great reputations while adhering to Yelp’s policies.

What exactly is a search ranking penalty?

This means a business will show up lower in search results on Yelp because we have determined that the current search rank may be artificially inflated.

How do I know if I’m receiving a search ranking penalty?

Businesses will receive a notification in their Yelp Business Owners account and a separate email.

Can I avoid this penalty?

Yes! Read more about how to submit a Compliance Verification Form to avoid the search ranking penalty.

How long does this penalty last?

The search demotion will remain in place unless we confirm that a business has stopped soliciting reviews.

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