Why do my yelp reviews get filtered or deleted?

We have heard that question asked time and time again from business owners who are wondering why their good reviews are getting filtered but the bad ones are ‘sticking’. This short video below will give a quick overview.

What makes a Yelp review get filtered, deleted or deemed spam?

Yelp attempts to filter reviews that it believes are fake – namely reviews generated by someone who hasn’t really gone to the business or are somehow influenced or slanted. Yelp takes a very close look at a variety of criteria, and will generally filter out reviews that:

 

  • Are from someone who has only written 1 review

 

  • Are from someone who has no profile info (profile photo, additional info, link to Facebook, etc.)

 

  • Are strongly slanted both positively and negatively

 

  • Short and lacking details
  • From a location other than where the business is located (very odd considering a customer for a business can be located anywhere)

The Yelp Review Filter Dilemma: Why good Reviews Are Filtered Too

Most business owners are frustrated with the Yelp review filter because it also filters out the positive reviews. We tell our clients to request reviews from customers, their email list, people who tweet at them, etc. We built the ReputationSafe.com module to assist with this as you dont have to tell a patient, client or customer how to find you in yelp, they click the link and its done for them easily.

The problem is that if they don’t have a long history with Yelp, they are likely going to take the minimal path, create a minimal profile and post only one slanted review – which fills all the criteria of filtered review spam as we detailed above.

On one hand, you want to generate positive reviews to help your social reputation management. On the other, you are probably frustrated when so many of them get filtered out.

How to avoid the Yelp Review filter?

There are some easy things you can do to help these positive reviews avoid the dreaded Yelp filter. Interact with the Yelp reviewer or Yelp review in any way possible:

 

  • Add the reviewer as a friend

 

  • Send the reviewer a message

 

  • Respond to the review (which you should do for all Yelp reviews anyway)
  • Vote the review as “Useful” or “Funny” or both

These are things completely under your control and you should do for every positive review. You should also have someone else in your organization do them. The more the merrier. There are also things you can ask your clients or friends to do to create the type of profile that would not get filtered.

How to Help Patients, Clients and Friends Avoid the Yelp Review Filter

If Yelp is trying to filter reviews as spam, help your customers and friends avoid the filter by instructing them to complete their profile and start leaving reviews regularly. Ask them to invest in creating a real Yelp footprint, we know its alot to ask but it is detrimental to avoiding the yelp filter.

“I have left over 50 reviews, have over 50 friends and I have a realistic review distribution between 1 and 5 stars.

As a result, not only do my reviews never get filtered, but even better, my Yelp reviews always appear on the front page. This is because I am real. I have left real, useful reviews to businesses I frequent and look like a real person to Yelp.”

Here are things you can do to help your clients and friends avoid the Yelp Review Filter:

  1. Write a bunch of Yelp reviews. Take 10 local businesses and leave Yelp reviews for them. Your favorite local businesses will thank you and you’ve done good in the world by helping them. But remember, Yelp wants real people giving real reviews. Not every experience is positive and your Yelp reviews should run the spectrum from 1-5 stars.
  2. Connect your account to Facebook. It’s more trouble, and more likely that you are real.
  3. Make friends. Use Facebook or Email to quickly send invites to lots of friends on Yelp. You might be surprised how many friend you back. Then Interact with their reviews by marking them Useful, Funny, etc. Yelp accounts with friends are more likely to be real.
  4. Download the Yelp app and Check In. If you are hooked up to a mobile phone, it’s more likely that you are real.
  5. Leave tips. Show that you are about more than just review scores.
  6. Take time. You don’t go from 0-100 reviews in a weekend. Give it some time to build your reputation before you give that coveted Yelp review that makes a difference.

So that’s a lot and we ordered them by level of effort. Ten minutes twice a week should give you a good profile in 2-3 weeks and then you are off to the races and should be in good standing avoiding the Yelp Review Filter.

If you keep it up for a prolonged period, you might even be invited to join their coveted Yelp Elite Squad.

Should I Solicit Yelp Reviews to Avoid the Filter?

The line here is blurry. Yelp does not want you to solicit good reviews, but it’s fine to generally ask for reviews (note not asking for the “good” part of review.” Confusing right? We believe our ReputationSafe.com module assists with easily asking for honest reviews of your business and rather than asking your client or patient to ‘go to yelp, find our business, login and review a simple click of our reputation safe module does all that for the client easily.

We think you should leverage every social media and customer channel to reach out for both Yelp and Google+ Local reviews. If someone is following you on email, Twitter or Facebook, they probably like what you are doing.

But never, ever pay for positive Yelp reviews because if they catch you, you will feel their wrath. No one wants be labeled a Yelp Review Cheater and this is what they will see:

Yelp Cheater Fake Reviews

Yelp Cheater Fake Reviews

 

If you are feeling lucky, you can use the guidance above to create a team of positive Yelp reviewers that avoid the Yelp filter and can be used for good (and evil). But this requires a lot more effort than it is worth just to get a couple positive reviews. Nothing beats creating a sustainable program to have your customers turn positive experiences into positive Yelp reviews – even if many of them get caught in the Yelp Review Filter.

For example, you might say “Hey, if you like our business, please leave us a review on Yelp” – especially if you are an active Yelper. 😉 Hint. Hint.

Most of all, recognize that positive Yelp reviews come from great experiences. The more you have, the better off you will be, Yelp Review Filter notwithstanding. If you create a positive experience for a person, you might be surprised how many will try to help you as a small business owner.