Birdeye review solicitation and blackmail

Birdeye offers two different services. Service one, they pull in reviews from 3rd party websites and populate them onto their review platform. These reviews are then added to your business listing on their website. There is a fee involved to get the reviews removed. According to complaints with the BBB, consumers allege that they were quoted $2400 in order to help get the negative reviews removed. Birdeye creates listings on their website that you need to pay to get your information updated. I have yet to find an opt-out option.

The second service Birdeye offers is review sonication services. You import your customer’s contact information and your customer is asked to leave a review for your business on the review platform of your choice. Yelp has come out against review solicitation services and has stated that it is in violation of their TOS. This policy has had an impact on other similar service providers. I have been told that Birdeye is very upset with Yelp’s new policy. Why wouldn’t Birdeye, they have VC’s that have backed them and they need Birdeye to make money to protect their investment.

Google also may have taken issue with Birdeye review solicitation services. Back in October, Google removed countless reviews. Several of us that cover SEO reviews were talking about countless reviews disappearing via DM’s and email communication. We were looking for a pattern and to see if the obvious fake review networks were impacted. I do know of another review solicitation service that lost their reviews too. I will cover that at a later time

Craig Mount took the bull by the horns and wrote up his findings and research, ANYONE ELSE USING BIRDEYE & LOSING GOOGLE REVIEWS?

His blog post was shared with the local SEO community. I even quoted it with my coworkers. We I first heard that countless reviews had been removed, I was hopeful that Google was cracking down on review networks. Birdeye released a statement stating it was a manual action and not an algorithm. That should have been the end of the story. However, that is not the case.  Craig received 3 missed calls that he did not answer and then the text message from Pietros Consavari came in. It was conveyed that one of the CEO’s was not happy with the write-up and wanted it removed or the author shot. That is rather a knee-jerk reaction. It was conveyed that Birdeye would seek legal counsel to get the article removed. I was looped in as a source to cover this. After speaking with Craig, it was decided that he was going to republish the article. He took it down to end the problem. The problem with that is, he did nothing wrong with his write up. This is a topic and subject that needs to be discussed.

I don’t know what the motivation is for wanting the post removed. I suspect its vanity. I looked at Birdeye’s Glassdoor reviews and see a clear pattern of several new positive reviews posted right after a negative review is left. The positive reviews usually are posted with a 2 week period with most of them being posted on the same day. If it is vanity that angered Birdeye so much, maybe they would understand how business owners feel and change their policy to allow the removal of their information. Time will tell. I do need to say that I don’t like people throwing around bringing lawyers in a scare tactic.  That is laughable coming reputation company. It does not convey the creating a positive experience that Birdeye touts.

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4 thoughts on “Birdeye review solicitation and blackmail

  1. I signed up with a rep named Peter Stoilov from birdeye at the ADA meeting this year. He told me that birdeye could get us google reviews. It was fine at the start but then over time the reviews just started getting deleted. Turns out birdeye is violating google and yelps policies around reviews and its hurting me more than helping! DO NOT USE THESE GUYS!

    1. It has been widely discussed that Birdeye had their Google reviews deleted last October. They have updated their system to stop soliciting reviews for Yelp after Yelp updated their TOS. I am still awaiting Birdeye to update their platform on how they solicit Google reviews. I have been informed that they are review-gating that when a user only clicks 4-stars and higher, they are directed to post a public review. If the user selects 3-stars or lower, then the user is asked to provide feedback only. A recent case was sent to Google and the location in question was deleted as it never qualified for a GMB listing. I don’t know if the issue was ever turned over to Birdeye so they could make the necessary changes. I recommend Get Five Star as their software is complainant with Google’s new TOS.

    2. Birdeye claims to have an official partnership with Google. It turns out the API is open for anybody to use. The more you know.

  2. Their whole business model is based on extortion. They pull in reviews from other web platforms, including any negative reviews but they do not publish the business owner’s response or allow the business owner to post a reply on Birdeye unless the owner buys their service.

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