aggiejulie12

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Hi there,

I have a client wanting to put up a sign in their local business asking people to review them on Google. This seems like a direct violation of the guidelines, as Google prohibits mass solicitation, but then I remember receiving a package from Google one day with a "Review Us on Google" sticker. So which one is it?

Thanks in advance!
 

Linda Buquet

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Asking is fine for GMB listings and even encouraged by Google sometimes.

What's against the guidelines is offering any type of incentive.

With Yelp FYI last I heard you are not even supposed to ask.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hey Julie,

Wanted to be sure you know that Google even offers FREE promotional materials so you not only request more reviews but also show off the reviews they already have.

Pre-designed, high quality and VERY cool to play with the different options.
Small Thanks with Google - Just plug in their business and it will show you all the free options.

You'll come out looking like a champ to know about this free resource.
Clients will thank you cuz most have no idea it's available.
It can even be used as a door opener to get new clients.
 

Linda Buquet

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I haven't looked lately they probably have some new designs.

Last time I checked they even had a VIDEO that is auto customized based on your reviews. Pretty cool - have you seen it?
 
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Here's a Google support document that both 1.) encourages businesses to ask for reviews and 2.) states that businesses shouldn't offer incentives.

The following support page explicitly states that "...it’s against Google review policies to solicit reviews from customers by offering incentives or setting up review stations at your place of business." (In the last paragraph.)

The second part of the statement RE: review stations is something not often discussed. Interesting!

The policy page itself doesn't explicitly state that businesses shouldn't offer incentives for reviews (it uses broader language) but this policy is made clear from Google's other documentation.
 

KevinJr

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We recently received our GMB package with "Clings" Stickers, Signs and Table Top Tents asking for customer reviews. Yes, it's OK we do it very often ( we have 125 this year) but do not offer incentives.
 
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I like to find the source. For those who are the same, here are Yelp's Content Guidelines.

At the end of the document, under the heading "Business Owner Guidelines" you'll find the following: "Don’t ask for reviews and don’t offer to pay for them either"
 

Cherie Dickey

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For Google it's ok to ask as long as you are not offering incentives, and you are not selectively asking people based on their positive experience. That's why placing a sign is actually ideal because it lets everyone know they can review - good or bad. Setting up stations to submit reviews (a kiosk, etc) is something different, and is a violation.

Yelp is much more strict in that you shouldn't even ask in any way. I particularly enjoy this review policy as justification for their extremely flawed review filter. </sarcasm>
https://www.yelpblog.com/2017/01/dont-ask-reviews-yelp-not-recommend-solicited-reviews
 
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