Do Yelp and Google Reviews Affect the Value of a Business?


Bill Grunau

Best Business Broker Educate Business Owner How Yelp Reviews Affect Business Value

The importance of good Yelp and Google My Business reviews for a business, especially a retail business, is common knowledge; but do reviews affect the value or marketability of a business? Do reviews affect the value and marketability of non-retail businesses such as service businesses, industrial, construction, or manufacturing?

As professional Business Brokers, we are very familiar with the value of good reviews on a business and the impact of negative reviews. While Yelp and Google reviews do not directly add value to a business, negative reviews can certainly hurt the marketability of a business and consequently reduce its value. A buyer considering a particular business will almost certainly at some point do a Google search about the business and check the Yelp and Google My Business reviews for that business. Positive reviews are reassuring that the business has a good reputation and is well run. A few negative reviews, especially those detailing a negative experience with the company can be extremely harmful and even cause a prospective buyer to drop that business from consideration. Learn more about selling your business for maximum value.

How to Get Positive Yelp and Google My Business Reviews for Your Business

  1. Ask customers for a positive review after each sale or project.
  2. Don’t be shy, ask for a 5-star review.
  3. Send them an email with a link directly to your Yelp and Google My Business page. Make it easy for them to give you a review, they won’t search for it on their own.
  4. Follow up in a few days or a week if they haven’t responded, people are busy and while they may intend to give you a review, your email request may get buried in their inbox and they will forget about it.
  5. If your customer is a business, give them a positive review first, they are more likely to reciprocate if you do.

How to Get Rid of Negative Reviews or Reduce the Impact of Negative Reviews

  1. False or fake reviews can be removed, but it is difficult to do. Contact Yelp or Google and let them know why it is a false review, such as wrong business, or not a customer. Even in doing this and providing details it is difficult to get reviews removed.
  2. If the review is untrue you can take them to small claims court or have your attorney send them a letter demanding that the false statement be corrected.
    We had one client who was very proactive about this and when a false review was posted he took them to small claims court for defamation with his evidence of the work provided. He had an excellent track record of winning.
  3. If the negative review is from an actual customer, contact them to see if you can solve the problem and then ask if they will give you a positive review. Some will give you a positive review for taking the time to contact them and fix the problem.
    Often fixing the problem is sufficient, we had one client who offered a token refund or discount and this often worked. His attitude was that it was worth it to preserve his 5 Star rating.
  4. There are angry people that just cannot be satisfied. If you are unfortunate enough to have a customer like this leave a negative review, and they will not likely remove or change it, then you are likely stuck with it. The only option in this situation is to flood your page with more positive reviews. See above – How to Get Positive Reviews.

It is difficult to have a perfect 5 star record so the best approach is to be to proactive, always ask good customers for a review, and obtain as many 5 Star reviews as possible.

Bill Grunau

About the Author

Bill Grunau

Bill has over 20 years of experience as a Business Broker specializing in industries ranging from manufacturing to construction/contractors, technology and software, B2B services, distribution-3PL, and healthcare. His transaction experience includes successfully closed transactions as both stock sales and asset sales including transactions with licensing such as contractors, healthcare, and companies with government contracts in Orange County and other Southern California locations. Bill works closely with a team of financial advisors specializing in tax strategies to minimize taxes on the sale of a business and are available to advise clients on how to minimize the tax liability on the sale of their business. Bill is the author of “Own Your Future, Straight Talk about How to Buy a Business and Build Your Future” Bill has a BS in Electrical & Electronic Engineering studying at Cal Poly Pomona and West Coast University and also studied at Claremont Graduate school EMBA program.