Why Are My Yelp Reviews Being Filtered?

Today, your online reputation means everything in the world of business. Having good online reviews from places such as Yelp will naturally mean that more business will be coming your way and the reverse is also true. Studies have  shown that more than 80 % of people will be influenced one way or the other by online reviews.  Yelp is one of the most influential review website and receives thousands of visitors per day. So needless to say Yelp holds a tremendous amount of power in a company’s online reputation.

However, Yelp also filters reviews in what they call is an effort to make Yelp an honest and trustworthy site. So, how do you know if your Yelp reviews are being filtered and more importantly why are they being filtered?

Trying to understand the Yelp Review Filter Process

There are no clear definitions on what causes a review to be filtered. In many cases a perfectly legitimate review may be filtered and this is based on the algorithms that Yelp has set in place. So when this happens, it does have an impact on the overall reputation of the business as well as the 5 star rating.

Keep in mind that Yelp review filtering process was put in place to avoid people from creating fake accounts and writing reviews about certain companies. Just imagine if you had one custom who was unhappy with your product or service and they decided to create dozens of fake Yelp accounts under different names and tell the world about how terrible your business is. So, while we may not understand all the rhyme and reason about why certain reviews are flagged and others are not, we do know that it was designed to keep the platform honest.

However, as with every automated system- it does appear to have some flaws.

A few important things to understand about the review filter process

According to Yelp there are a few things that we can aim to understand in order to get the best user experience out of Yelp. Both from a personal experience as well as understanding the reviews from the business owner’s perspective.

  1. Yelp does discourage business owners from incentivising people to write a positive review for them on Yelp. So running a promotion based on a a consumer writing a positive Yelp review is never a good idea. If a business all of sudden gets a bunch of new reviews in, there is a good chance that the algorithm will be triggered and these reviews will be flagged. Instead, aim for the good old word of mouth and provide your customers with outstanding customer service and superior products.
  2. Yelp does acknowledge that both positive and negative reviews can be filtered by the automated system as well as real legitimate reviews. We as the general public do not know the exact details of what causes a review to be filtered and we can only hope that as time goes on, Yelp makes the proper changes it needed to ensure that legitimate posts stay up and fake one’s go away.

So, as a business owner what are you to do? The best thing you can is keep an eye on your online reputation and whenever you see a negative comment or review- respond it with dignity and grace. Since we cannot control or understand why the reviews are being filtered in the first place all we can really do is pro-active. Never buy Yelp reviews or incentivize your customers to write positive reviews. Think organic when it comes to Yelp. Try and implement an online marketing strategy that encompasses monitoring your online reputation as well as using social media platforms to help keep your company in the good standing it should be in.