Frequently Asked Questions

BUSINESS LISTINGS

A business listing is automatically generated when a consumer visits our site and submits a review for your company. Once a business listing has been generated any subsequent reviews will be posted on the same review page.

Consumers have the right to review their experiences at whatever websites they visit and we do not remove business listings. Instead of trying to remove your listing, we recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to engage with your fans and critics alike, and hear what they have to say.

SiteJabber adheres to Google’s content guidelines. Businesses that are not allowed include sites containing adult, violent, or illegal content; sites selling recreational drugs, weapons, or tobacco-related products; and sites enabling dishonest behavior. To see the full list, read Google’s prohibited content guidelines.

RATINGS

The overall rating of any business is a weighted average, with 50% of the weighting coming from the average rating of all reviews, 25% of the weighting coming from an average of all reviews written in the last 12 months, and 25% of the weighting coming from an average of all reviews written in the last month. Should the 12-month or 1-month weighting periods be without reviews, that period is assigned an “average” rating (e.g., 3 stars) in the weighting.

This rating system was put into place to reflect the principle that more recent reviews are more valuable to consumers than older ones. The system was also created in response to consumer demand that ratings ought to reflect the most recent practices of a business, and business demand that improvements to service should be more accurately reflected in ratings. This system has been successfully rolled out to the over 100,000 businesses reviewed on SiteJabber.

The quickest way to improve your overall rating is to collect as many reviews as possible from your current customers. With 25% of your overall score depending on reviews posted in the last 30 days, it is essential to have reviews coming in regularly. SiteJabber offers a variety of free tools to make review collection simple and effective, including our Automated Review Requests.

“Reputation management” companies often charge a fee and claim to remove negative reviews or boost ratings to manipulate your online reputation – these companies have no influence over what appears on SiteJabber. If you’ve been contacted by someone offering similar “reputation management services” please email us at support@sitejabber.com and let us know so we can prevent them from preying on other website owners.

SiteJabber includes a “Best of” section making it easy for consumers to find the very best businesses at the top of their field. Businesses are ranked based on an internal score that is comprised of a website’s Alexa ranking (50%), the total number of reviews (25%) and the overall average rating (25%).

RESPONDING TO REVIEWS

In our experience it definitely works to your advantage to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Responding to reviews is an excellent way to build goodwill and learn from some of your most engaged customers. SiteJabber offers free tools for responding both publicly and privately to all your reviews on your reviews page.

To successfully engage your customers and compose an effective message, keep in mind that:

  1. Your reviewers are your customers
  2. Your reviewers are people too, complete with feelings and sensitivities that can be unpredictable
  3. Your reviewers are vocal and opinionated and will continue to be so long after their review is published

Responding to positive reviews isn’t as easy as it might at first seem.

In responding to a positive reviewer your primary goal should be to give them a brief, friendly, personal thank you that lets them know that you care about them as a customer. Mistakes we often see include long cut-and-paste form messages, offers of free stuff that can feel like bribes, complaints about minor criticisms, mailing list requests, and requests to "spread the word". All these tactics can turn off your positive reviewers – think about how you would feel as a reviewer – you’d just like a simple thank you too. Don’t forget this customer already likes you, so just say hello and a quick thanks.

To respond to a review, visit your reviews page here.

Admittedly, this is much harder than responding to a positive review but if you can respond directly to the customer’s experience and any changes you may have made as a result, this could go far in earning trust and a second chance.

It’s painful to get a negative review, especially if you run a small business. It can even feel like a personal attack. On the positive side, by engaging your reviewer and establishing a real human connection, you can often help the situation and perhaps even change the customer’s mind. We’ve seen time and again positive outcomes from positive, proactive businesses owners engaging grumpy customers. You’d be surprised how often a polite response to a bad review can result in the reviewer giving your business a second chance.

A note of caution: if a reviewer perceives your response to be condescending, rude or insincere, it’s possible they will get angry and further spread their review all over the internet.

To respond to a review, visit your reviews page here.

Definitely! Public comments are a way for website owners to add a helpful comment to a customer’s review. Perhaps more importantly, responding publicly also shows other potential customers that you value their feedback and that you’re always striving to improve.

Be sure to keep your comments simple and polite. Reviewers appreciate honesty and like to know when changes are made based on their feedback.

Also, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t always make sense to comment. If you’re upset, you might write something that will reflect poorly on your website. Wait until you’ve had some time to think about a review; there may be legitimate concerns brought up in the review that you can address in a constructive way.

Please don’t use public comments to make personal attacks, advertise, or offer incentives to change review. Disclosing any private information about the reviewer is also prohibited (e.g., full name, address, phone number, email address, etc.)

To write a public comment on behalf of your website, visit your reviews page here.

You can, although we’ve found it’s often most effective to attempt to resolve issues through private messaging first. If you feel a public comment is necessary, present your case as simply and politely as possible, and do not attack the reviewer under any circumstances. Remember that other potential customers will be reading your comment and you want to leave them with a positive impression of your business.

REVIEW REMOVAL

Business cannot pay to have reviews removed. SiteJabber has a very strict policy of only removing reviews if they violate SiteJabber’s Review Guidelines or are deemed by our moderation team to be fraudulent. These policies are applied equally to all reviews of all businesses across our platform.

  • Conflicts of Interest or reviews written by an employee or former employee.
  • Second-hand experiences posted by someone who has not had a personal experience with your business.
  • Personal attacks such as hate speech, bigotry, and lewdness. If a review contains an employee’s name or personal contact information you can report the review and we will redact the sensitive information from the review.
  • Reviews in which the content is not relevant to the business or service experience.
  • Reviews that were plagiarized from another source. Please send over a link to where the review first appeared when you report for this reason.

Please note that SiteJabber does not arbitrate disputes and if you feel that a review is inaccurate you can post a public response and send a private message to the reviewer to clear up any misunderstandings. Reviews will not be removed due to a perceived discrepancy of information provided.

NEGATIVE REVIEWS

You can’t please all of your customers all of the time, no matter how good of a job you do. Negative reviews are an unfortunate but completely normal part of doing business.

While it’s important to look for patterns in your reviews (e.g., your site is hard to navigate or that a particular customer service rep is rude), you shouldn’t read too much into any one review. Most SiteJabber visitors are looking for a consensus among all of the reviews they read rather than to focus on any one review, so you should do the same.

FAKE REVIEWS

SiteJabber takes fake reviews very seriously and does four important things to prevent them:

  1. We run sophisticated software that spots and removes fake reviews. The software identifies characteristics that might indicate a review is fake (e.g., evidence that more than one review has been written by the same person), and then removes those reviews. This software is always improving and gets better as time goes on.
  2. We have a Review Team that manually spot checks reviews for fakes. Unfortunately due to the large number of reviews we get we cannot manually read everything but we try to get to as much as we can.
  3. Our community flags reviews that look suspicious so our Review Team can then look more carefully at the suspicious reviews. Community involvement in fighting fake reviews is critical for us.
  4. We seek to educate companies and consumers about the dangers of fake reviews and how to spot them. Please read 4 things you need to know before reading reviews and What is review fraud?

SiteJabber takes review fraud seriously. Writing or paying for fake reviews is unethical, against SiteJabber’s terms and is illegal in many jurisdictions. New York’s Attorney General recently fined 19 companies $350,000 for violations associated with fake reviews. SiteJabber uses software algorithms, community reporting and other methods to aggressively detect and remove fake reviews. If a company is discovered to be writing or paying for fake reviews they may lose access to their SiteJabber Business Account, have their business publicly flagged as manipulating reviews and be demoted in SiteJabber search.

All SiteJabber review collection tools for businesses must be used to collect reviews from unbiased samples of customers. Businesses may not select customers that might be more likely to write positive reviews and you may not offer incentives to write positive reviews (although it is acceptable for businesses to offer incentives to write reviews if customers receive the incentive irrespective of whether their reviews are positive or negative). Any violation of any of these terms may result in the loss of access to SiteJabber Business Accounts.

We work hard to eliminate fake reviews on SiteJabber and do our best to catch reviews that we believe are fraudulent. Otherwise, we allow consumers to write about their experiences and do not arbitrate disputes between businesses and reviewers nor remove reviews simply because a business claims it to be fake. However, if you believe a review is not from a real customer, there are six things you can do:

  1. Report reviews that clearly violate one of SiteJabber’s Review Guidelines. Content that can be removed this way generally contain personal attacks (hate speech, bigotry, lewdness), conflicts of interest, second hand experiences, reviews placed on the wrong site and personal information of business employees.
  2. If you suspect that a review is fake or fraudulent, you can submit a verification request asking the reviewer for more information to confirm their review. If the reviewer does not respond to the verification request, the review will automatically be removed within 10 business days. Businesses are limited to 5 verification requests a month, so it is important to use this option judiciously and only for reviews where you are sure the reviewer will not respond.
  3. Post a public response to the review detailing why you believe the review is inaccurate. This will help mitigate the impact of that review, as consumers will see your side of the story when reading the review. Also, researching consumers place a higher value on businesses that respond to their reviews and interact publicly with their customer base.
  4. Focus on giving consumers the most accurate overall picture of your business by collecting as many legitimate reviews as possible from actual customers using our free review collection tools. When enough reviews are collected, a few negative reviews won't have much of an impact.
  5. Use our premium review management tools to help decrease the occurrence and impact of fake reviews going forward. These tools include requiring an Order ID on all reviews, which all but ensures reviews are being written by real customers.
  6. If you believe the Review Team missed a review that they would normally consider fraudulent, you can request the review to be examined again with as much supporting documentation as possible. Because these requests are rarely successful in getting a review removed, we recommend exhausting all other options first. Due to the volume of these requests, the Review Team does not typically respond, although each request is always processed within 10 business days.
MISSING REVIEWS

One of three things:

  1. The reviewer may have deleted it. While this doesn’t happen often, this typically occurs when someone changes their mind or closes their SiteJabber account.
  2. The review may have been removed by the SiteJabber staff for violating the Review Guidelines or our Terms of Service.
  3. The review is currently being filtered by SiteJabber’s automated filtering software. This is a routine function of our automated software and affects every business on SiteJabber. You can read more about the Review Filter below.

In an effort to show consumers only the most relevant reviews, in 2010 SiteJabber introduced a Review Filter. The filter uses an algorithm that attempts to display to users only the most relevant content by filtering certain reviews. Reasons reviews might be filtered include: suspected solicited reviews in violation of our terms of service, suspected site-promotion spam (positive reviews), suspected competitor spam (negative reviews), language use, irrelevant content, and other terms of service violations. The same filter and algorithm is applied to every website. The filter isn’t perfect, but it is dynamic and always learning. As a result, you may see reviews move in and out of the filter as the filter learns more about the trustworthiness of the reviews of a particular site. The filter pulls from a wide range of data and is intentionally difficult to decipher to avoid gaming. If your review has been filtered, don’t worry, it hasn’t been deleted. As you continue to demonstrate your trustworthiness and contribute to the community, your reviews will likely no longer be filtered.