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How to prevent Yelp from hiding your reviews

Yelp has an automated recommendation software in place which is engineered to highlight the most useful and reliable content to users who visit the site. The algorithm has a very high influence over which reviews are publicly displayed on profiles and subsequently which count towards the general ratings. Reviews are filtered based upon the following criteria: quality, reliability and user activity. So how do you get your reviews passed the Yelp review filter? Here are a few practices that can help you leverage Yelp to strengthen your business and increase your rankings online.

Understanding the Yelp Review Filter

The first step is understanding the Yelp review filter and its purpose to filter out fake reviews. Here is Yelp’s own video on how it works.

Algorithms can only find and detect certain patterns – They do not replace human rationale.

The automated recommendations software tries to filter reviews that it thinks are likely to be fake. Reviews are excluded for a variety of reasons. For example, it monitors IP addresses to make sure several reviews are not coming from the same user. It also screens out what it sees as biased reviews. Most important of all, Yelp wants active participants, so if you have no friends and only one or two reviews, then the reviews are going to get filtered.

Why Are All My Reviews Filter?

Location – Is the user’s location the same as the location of the business? Did they check-in while leaving a review? If the answer is no to both of these questions, the review is more likely to be filtered.

Number of Reviews – Often, reviewers with one, two, or three reviews are likely to have their reviews filtered. This is because they don’t show an active presence on the site and Yelp by default prefers individuals who review several different types of businesses and do so on a consistent basis.

Review Ratings – If a reviewer gives only one or five-star reviews, their reviews are going to be filtered more regularly due to their extremity. Individuals who leave a range of reviews from one- to five-stars and everything in-between are much more likely to have their reviews displayed publicly.

Social Syncing – Active Yelpers also tend to connect with their friends on Yelp by linking their Facebook profile to their Yelp profile. By doing this, reviews are more likely to be considered legitimate as well.

Photos – Adding photos enhances a review, meaning that it is less likely to get filtered as well. Of course, this doesn’t override all other important factors, it is simply another important component that must be considered.

What You Can Do As Business to Help Reviews Go Through the Yelp Filter?

There are some easy things you can do to help reviews go through the dreaded Yelp filter. Interact with the reviewer or 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

Love it or hate it, Yelp is a Necessary Evil. We are stuck with them until the next big review site takes the throne, so do all you can to get on their good side.

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