I was talking with a client lately about Yelp reviews. We were discussing why one of the reviews that did not pass muster with Yelp. It made me think about how many other small business owners were maybe not using Yelp properly. So, in this post I want to discuss a few tips. First, however, take a look at a short video done by Yelp that explains in their own words how they deem reviews to be quality.
Yelp Reviews Explained
So, what exactly are good reviews on Yelp? Well that is something only the Yelp team can full explain (which they will not). Here is my interpretation of an interpretation of a wild guess that is based on educated facts and experience. Huh? What does that mean? What I tell you is valid, and may change at any time. (Ma always said I should have become a lawyer!)
1. Yelp reviewers must have an account. Yelp actually positions themselves as a valid site, because anyone who reviews the site must have a name and therefore be a real person. Yelp is constantly fighting to remove fraudulent accounts.
2.Are you established on Yelp. While that definition is part of the ethereal mysteries of the universe, what it means is that you are sufficiently qualified to list reviews on Yelp. This also means that someone who gets a review from an established Yelper means more than from a newbie on the site with no reviews. Think of this similar to Google saying backlinks from PR 10 sites are worth more than PR 2 sites. There is a value in everybody’s review.
3. Yelp discourages business owners from actually asking for reviews. Part of the way that Yelp looks to encourage honest reviews is to remove the business owner. The old, “hey, can you give me a positive review on Yelp” discussion is waylaid. This stops the fake 25 reviews from clients coming in saying that Bobo’s Bottleneck Plant was awesome campaign is no longer in effect.
With Bobo’s campaign gone then how do you actually get reviews. Well, one technique is to just keep talking about Yelp the entire time. While you are not supposed to ask about reviews on Yelp, there is nothing wrong with subliminal messages about the greatness of Yelp in your business and for other businesses around you. This goes double if the client found you off Yelp.
Finally, provide quality service and have your Yelp profile on your business card, so when you ask people if they could refer you they also see your Yelp profile page as well.
In the end, Yelp reviews are a bit of an art to get correctly. Use this art long enough and you will profit from this art tremendously.
Andy, this is an interesting concept: putting your Yelp and Google Places profiles on a business card. I had not thought about that before, and I’ve been somewhat mystified as to how to get positive reviews on the site. In the end, probably the most powerful strategy is the hybrid approach: having those profiles visible and providing outstanding service.
Thanks! The two services can sometimes be a little bit of a troublemaker for getting good reviews.
From Burbank Kawasaki Inc.
Yelp has been removing Burbank Kawasaki Inc. and American business positive reviews from respectful citizen in their community and all over America. Yelp has been thriving on the negative reviews to extort American business owners to pay Yelp to get good reviews.
If Yelp does not remove all the negative reviews and restore all the positive, Burbank Kawasaki Inc has no choice. and all of the business owners victims, to file a law suit. Yelp is the worst type of terrorist destroying America’s freedom and free enterprise. Yelp is attacking American citizens and forcing American business to lay off workers because of your “Mafia” tactics. Restore the truth or face the consequences like Obama to Bin Laden.
1329 Hollywood Way
I am not associated or paid by Yelp in any way. You might want to talk to them directly, because this would not be the right forum for this type of post. Please realize also that this is not legal advice or should be construed as legal advice.
Interesting that I happened upon this post today, as I just read another post somewhere about Yelp “filtering” (that was the way it presented, and was a car dealer, hmmm…) positive reviews.
I had no idea that any of the reviews were suppressed, but I suppose after reading your post, it does make perfectly good sense that they ensure only “real” reviews get posted. I have a Yelp account and post every now and then…all of my posts seem to make it online.
The problem is that the filters at Yelp are broken. They are not just denying the good posts, but not allowing them to get up, because they believe real people are bots. That is a systematized problem at Yelp.
Hi Andy, we have a business on yelp, and that’s how many people find us. These people come to us for various jewelry services or to sell their gold. 19 Real People were motivated to write 5-star reviews about our store, and maybe they are not elite or avid helpers… So they got filtered. But their advice to future customers would have been very helpful!
I have to tell clients now to review more places if they want to have their reviews seen.
What I don’t get is: yelp says “we want to make sure you’re not a bot” so they make it really hard for people to get in to see those filtered reviews, with those scrambled captcha words. Why don’t they care if you’re a bot when you look at the regular reviews & pages??
Help keeps changing their reasoning regarding filters & algorithms.
I find it hard to believe, also, that a tattoo parlor that has hundreds of reviews showing has not asked for any of those reviews. We tell our clients that if they found us on yelp & want to share their experience with others, then they should write a review there. At least we got 13 showing out of 32.
Do you think it would help if we paid for advertising? Yelp “says” it wouldn’t …..
Unfortunately that is partly a loaded question with Yelp! They continuously tell people that they want quality, and then continuously do not show the vast majority of reviews. Especially, positive reviews until you advertise. You might want to consider Google+ Local as well. Feel free to contact me at 847-710-7093 with any questions you might have on this topic. I probably need to know more about your business particulars before I give you to much advice here on my blog.
I have worked with many clients on their yelp reputation management. Yelp is evil and greedy. They make you work hard to even see the filtered reviews. They pull off authentic good reviews and highlight bogus bad reviews. They do not respond to requests to remove false reviews (they have in a few rare situations). They state that they have the right to remove reviews, but seldom actually do. Even in cases of direct violation of their TOS.
They are a shady company. No doubt about that!
Just how do they expect small business owners to encourage reviews? I guess the point is that they don’t. Its true. I agree they think that real legit people are bots. The filter system is indeed broken. They allowed a very unspecific bad review from a new account with only one review for a business stick but they filtered out a good review from an established legit account. Makes no sense.
That is why I am encouraging more people to start using the Google system, because Yelp is horrible for filtering out real from fake.