Imagine that your business is receiving phone calls from Yelp, unsolicited, trying to sell advertising space. How many times do you have to say “no thank you” until you finally reach the end of your patience? One business wants “no” to mean “no” in every aspect.

In a recent interview with Search Engine Journal, Pierre Zarokian broke down some of the aspects of a particular case that is puzzling business owners with Yelp accounts. Botto Italian Bistro in the Bay Area has chosen an intriguing way to say it has had enough, and the result is having an interesting effect on the world of reputation management.

Botto: The Italian Bistro

Botto is offering customers a discount on its food for leaving negative reviews on its Yelp page, a kind of “Hate Us on Yelp” campaign. It’s caught on. People from foreign countries are writing in to express dissatisfaction with Botto’s inability to deliver to them. Others are complaining the restaurant is too clean, the service too efficient. It’s possible some complaints are authentic, but how would the casual observer know the difference?

It’s garnered a lot of press for the tiny restaurant, and brought attention to a glaring problem about the trustworthiness of a Yelp review.

The food may be good, but the real story is how they’ve dealt with negative PR. Rather than cave to the immense pressure that drives so much of Yelp’s business, they have chosen to ignore and circumvent the model in the strangest possible way. This is the kind of campaign anyone can get behind and it’s been interesting to watch Yelp react to it.

Submit Express has launched a new service called RepEngage that helps increase reviews on Yelp and Google+. VisitRepEngage if you need this service for your business.

You may also read the full article Pierre Zarokian wrote for Search Engine Journal at:

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