In case you didn’t hear, the economy’s bad out there. And I guess when the economy is bad, people will try to make a buck anyway they can. Including trading Yelp reviews, apparently.
Enter the email I received yesterday though our firm’s online contact form. It appears to be from an internet marketing group based in Brooklyn that even has a Facebook and Google+ page. I have never heard of them, and I have no idea how they found me.
Here’s the email — I have mercifully redacted identifying information.
How should we contact you?
Briefly Describe Your Legal Issue.
This is regarding Yelp and your page here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/mulvihill-and-rushie-the-fishtown-lawyers-philadelphia
I represent a home and office cleaning business that’s new to this city and we’re looking to trade reviews with other businesses in an effort to grow each other’s pages. I’m not sure how knowledgeable you are of Yelp, but the more positive reviews you have, the higher chance you have of getting onto the main category page (brings in a significant amount of new clients via Google) and ranking higher in general for searches. It’s not a bad thing to put on your website either; the reviews build a very high level of trust in new clients, even if they didn’t find you through Yelp.
Right now we can match up to 5 reviews (if you have friends or family with accounts), but typically we’ve just done one in the past. I’ve also noticed you have a positive review being filtered–ours won’t get filtered. We expect the same in return. I can provide help on how to make reviews last.
Please let me know if you’d be interested in doing this. I’d be glad to give you a call as well if you’d prefer to do it that way–just give me a # and a time.
P.S. Great looking website!
Sigh. Are people really doing this? Do internet marketing companies really think that this is a good idea? Hell, does any potential attorney client think this is a good idea?
A***:What you suggest is not only a violation of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional conduct (the code of conduct that governs attorneys) but it’s downright misleading, and we won’t be any part of it.Best of luck with the business.
Take heed other sleazy internet marketing companies — we’re not buying or bartering.