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Yelp Is Ruining My Business

Yelp Is Ruining My Business
“Help! Yelp is ruining my business!” This is the tearful phone call I get every week. Another struggling business owner, failing, due to an unfair negative review. Feeling helpless, alone, attacked, the emotion coming through the phone line sounds a lot like the rape victims I counseled in college. The same questions: How did this happen? Why me? And worse, why won’t anyone help me?

Why is it my phone that rings? Because I answer the phone when Yelp won’t. I listen when Yelp won’t. And I know, with the right guidance, they can overcome the attack, can regain their confidence and go back to being a rock star business. But for some, there will always be scars, and fear that it could happen again. The disgruntled customer who just can’t be satisfied, the new competitor moving in down the street… always causing a little catch in the throat and a slight flinch… wondering, is today the day it will happen again?

I know I’m going to get a lot of flack comparing Yelp to a rapist, but really, I’m comparing them to the gun the rapist is holding that allows them to commit the act in the first place.

I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a reality where you can life fear free without the risk of sites like Yelp taking all your business away, and causing the phone to stop ringing.

Using Search Engine Optimization, you can ensure that you are on page 1, and yelp is nowhere to be seen. To do that you need a lot of fresh, relevant content, sharable, social, and directed back to your site. And Media attention!

I’m interviewed by the media at least once a week. Three times this week so far! Yesterday somebody said something about this site. I don’t even know where yet because my news clipping service hasn’t sent it. But they did, and 10,000+ new visitors arrived yesterday and viewed an average of 4.91 pages. They were reading about YOU, and your troubles with Yelp. Imagine if that media coverage was about your business. When those new visitors land on your site, what will they find? How long will they stay? And will you be building relationships with them from the moment they arrive?

There is a new book on this subject you should read, You Stock: Increase Sales Conversions by Branding with Personalized Marketing Photography. It’s on Amazon, and today it’s free. The key is to user your face in your branding, you are uniquely you and your competitors will only ever be able to be a paler lesser version of you. So why not use your most valuable asset to build brand trust with your customers?

And for those of you that want media coverage, please Tell Your Yelp Story! The more thumbs up you get, the higher the story will go in the media meter and more likely it will get mainstream coverage. The media is looking everyday for your story, make it easy to find!

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About the author

Adryenn Ashley

Adryenn Ashley is the mediagenic founder of Wow! Is Me. As an award winning filmmaker and actress she is used to transforming herself and others into riveting onscreen characters. Now she uses her well honed techniques to transform everyday entrepreneurs into wildly successful business celebrities. As a mentor to CEOs worldwide, she is directly responsible for adding significant revenue to her client's bottom line. For information on how you can work with Adryenn Ashley, go to http://wowisme.net.

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47 comments

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  1. jeremy

    just everything goes well for me on yelp …but after a false review from my customer to whom i have not offer any service lead to a issue…Yelp is not allowing to remove that false review and posting that review on the top rest good reviews after that…really the bad review are effecting too much and still no solution of it is found

  2. katts7

    i am a small business owner. a locksmith ,. today i viewed my yelp free ad… ALMOST ALL THE INFORMATION ON IT IS FALSE 99 PERCENT OF THE INFORMATION IS FALSE>>> DONT THEY CHECK

    it gives my companies name but someone elses telephone number.. i called the number on the yelp ad and its another locksmith , so yelp is giving another locksmith my business, plus all the business info posted by owner is false and has not been approved or authorized by me, plus the owners name and information is also false. DONT they have any security

  3. Steve

    I wish I had seen Intelliloan's yelp page before contacting them! Don't worry, Daniel, I'm sure you will continue to find more people to rip off.

  4. Loretta Davis

    I can tell you one thing for certain. In my 7 years of working with small business owners, I have only come across a handful of people that have had a positive experience in working with Yelp. It's crazy to me that a company like Yelp is still allowed to operate.

    The biggest problem that people fail to realize is people use yelp typically because it's the fastest and easiest way to get information about your business on the go. They have a mobile app as well as a mobile website that is easy to use. They can go on those pages and press a button to call you or to get directions to your page. Right now there is no alternative. Only about 5% of ALL small – medium size business even have a mobile website. So what can you do? If you take the power away from yelp with google reviews and links to FB on your OWN mobile website. There would be no reason for a customer to visit yelp. They would have all the information they need right away without having to view another webpage. Until then Yelp will continue to reign supreme and destroy small business owners.

    I've optimized every one of my clients webpages to mobile, added the same click to call and click for directions features that yelp does to their webpage and they are thriving. They get more reviews on google and Facebook which puts the power back in their hands. Take your power back!

  5. rem

    Yelp operates an extortion racket !

  6. kelly

    my dog business is run under my dba Adry, I have a small business with 50 5 star reviews. One woman is on a mission to destroy me and used my personal info and has 5 friends whom I never sold to or met posting my private infor even though I have a DBA. I have contacted YELP and it is clear in their guidelines about personal attacks and retaliation but they only post things that could actually threaten my safety.Collier Ranch Yorkies//bay area. I have a contract all records disputing all claims and have never had one lawsuit or judgment against me yet one person who competes with me in this business can go online and say I am evil and sell sick animals , did not respond to them, or electroshock train…anything and everything except the kitchen sink to attack. Never does one 5 star person get published and I have over 50!

  7. Dave Dalbey

    I utilized Yelp to offer reviews, but rarely looked to see what others were saying. I was told by a local business owner that she had received a call from Yelp said they would take off the bad reviews for $300 per month. I thought to myself that she was rationalizing the poor reviews her company had. So I looked up a local restaurant that had gotten terrible reviews when it opened a year ago, but is now doing great business and I knew I had left at least three very positive reviews on and found poor reviews and none of my own were listed. I added another review only to find afterwards it had been filtered along with all of the positive reviews.

  8. DaNThEMaN

    I support you Adryenn Ashley. This needs mainstream attention and bless you for trying to bring justice to small business'. My family is suffering from Yelp's bull crap review's and people are believing what they read online. What ever happened to that old saying: Never believe everything your read? And to those people that don't understand that these people who eat off their business', would compare it to rape easily. Its detramental to their family's economic situation and when a company destroy's their image overnight, they would change their minds real fast. its hard to get negative stigma off a business and if it improves it will never be the same as it once it was prior to YELP. What comes around goes around and I hope the worst for the owner's of YELP. Please keep up what you are doing and if you have any information on lawsuits or any other anti Yelp sites please post it online for more people to find and follow. Thx Adryenn and god bless you and your family.

  9. Marco

    Law firm offers to help businesses get money back. Judge describes #YELP as mafia-like. http://bit.ly/13IYkd4

  10. sashicutie

    I would appreciate if there was information on a class action lawsuit. No lawyers will help and a ten year career and personal reputation has been slandered by the dishonesty and fraudulence of Yelp. I wake up with heart palpitations, I have no control of what is happening. Clients who have tried to help get hidden, on purpose. It is personal people at Yelp who control the filters. I am not even a voluntary participant. So, it's okay to ruin someone's life, livelihood, hard work, and they don't even know who you are or care. No one cares as long as it's not happening to them. Your name can be put on there. And being compared to a rape victim — it is rape. Ruining someone's life and livelihood, personal reputation – is rape. With rape you can heal and go into counseling. To even begin to dismiss what has been happening to me, the horrors of Yelp and the injustice of it all, shows how ignorant you are about what Yelp is doing and the effects, or you've never relied on yourself for a salary, health insurance. Yelp is also steering people in totally dishonest directions. People think Yelp is the holy grail, dismissing anything to the contrary. Most of the slanderous nasty reviews on there are fake. People are so concerned about a possible fake good review. It's the fake bad ones that destroy lives. Not everyone on there is a large chain restaurant.

  11. Right

    Just because you get annoying phone calls does not make your suffering even close to that of a rape victim. Throwing out such a comparison shows that you are insensitive, and probably do not know any rape victims (that you know of, at least). What an inappropriate comparison!

    1. Adryenn Ashley

      I didn't compare myself to a rape victim. I compared my experience answering the phone (and I did not characterize it as annoying) as the same as when I worked a rape crisis line. Same emotion pouring through the phone lines. Same tactics to calm them down. Same reassurances that they are going to be ok. This isn't about ME, this is about the businesses getting ruined.

    2. Jan

      I know that the comparison was between helplines, not between examples of bad experience, but I want to say that I disagree that mention of rape in relation to experiences like those in question is inappropriate.

      I've been raped myself, including as a child, and rape is just one manifestation of the type of behaviour known as "abuse". All abuse is violating, hurtful and aggressive, and deliberately lying about people, deliberately distorting and manipulating others' impression of them in a negative way for your own gain is abuse as well, abuse with potentially lethal consequences. When it comes to mistreatment by malicious people, we can argue about who has had it worse or we can put our collective feet down and say "all of this is wrong". What happened to me wrecked my health and changed my life forever, but that doesn't mean I'm about to give abusers with a different MO a free pass.

  12. Anonymous

    Yelp is disgusting, they get angry if you don't pay them and try to control your information… There is no other way to address them by phone or email, they ignore email if you don't spend money on them!!! This is a job for someone special…..

  13. linda

    They hold back on alot of my reviews (in filter) which most people don't know its even there. I have checked other companies and see they get theirs posted even when its a first time yelp user. Why not post mine also for first time users. Don't understand their policy at all – makes no sense. Of course you can't talk to a live person! Grrrrr!

  14. business owner

    Yelp is allowing false allegations to be posted. Fake profiles with no picture or false pictures to allow these people to put reviews, but forces business owners to put up a real picture of themselves to defend against fake profiles. Yelp has their own policies they don't even follow, unless it is used against business owners.
    Yelp is allowing damages to business to occure with a provoking affect. All business should sue yelp for millions of dollars in damages to their business.
    I could go on and on.

  15. Dia

    Yelp is horrible. i did not purchase advertisement with them and they are only posting all the negative reviews for my business and filtering the positive ones. Yelp needs to be taken down.

  16. OpinicusSoaps

    I am looking for a current class action lawsuit against Yelp. Any information would be helpful as Yelp is damaging business for me. Thanks!

    1. Dan

      sign me up too!

  17. BreakingBadBoy

    This does seem a little bit over dramatic in the word use. But I also feel bad for small business owners in this country, they have been treated like pinatas the last few years. Thanks for joining in the party Yelp!

  18. esperanzaloca

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/restaurant-owner-tw
    That's the article I read that led me here 😉

    1. Adryenn Ashley

      Would have been great if it was a link and not just a mention, but I'll take it!

  19. Daniel - Intelliloan

    I just finished writing an article about this which I posted on hubpages this past week. This relates to the company where I work (Intelliloan) where we lose loans because Yelp has managed to hide all of our good reviews and feature our bads while advertising our competitors on our review page.

    1. Dan

      I am having the same problems with Yelp

  20. shame on you

    it's really not acceptable, on any level, to compare (slightly) disenfranchised business owners with RAPE VICTIMS. come on.

    1. Adryenn Ashley

      I'm not talking about all disenfranchised businesses. I'm talking about the phone calls I get. Have you worked a hotline? I'm the one answering the calls. And I'm telling you, the emotion, the victimization, and the pain feel the same from this end of the phone.

      1. kelly

        Adry, I have a small business with 50 5 star reviews. One woman is on a mission to destroy me and used my personal info and has 5 friends whom I never sold to or met posting my private infor even though I have a DBA. I have contacted YELP and it is clear in their guidelines about personal attacks and retaliation but they only post things that could actually threaten my safety.Collier Ranch Yorkies//bay area. I have a contract all records disputing all claims and have never had one lawsuit or judgment against me yet one person who competes with me in this business can go online and say I am evil and sell sick animals , did not respond to them, or electroshock train…anything and everything except the kitchen sink to attack. Never does one 5 star person get published and I have over 50!

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