Avoiding The Yelp Newbie Review Filter

Great Yelp reviews can seem rare – even when you have lots of happy customers.  So it can be incredibly frustrating when that glowing, well-written five-star Yelp review from a valued customer gets filtered into oblivion.  If your business has been on Yelp for awhile, you can recognize one of these reviews right away.  The reviewer has no profile photo, no friends, and this is their first review.

Filtered Yelp Review

Some prompt, proactive steps can increase the chances that this review will stick.  Yelp filters primarily on the strength of the reviewer, not the review.  Yelp also trusts users that seem committed to the tool – they are using the mobile app and have checked into a business or two, they’ve followed multiple Yelpers, and they’ve connected to a few friends.

Unfortunately, a new Yelper won’t even know that their review has been filtered.  Users get no indication.  When they look at their own profile, their glowing filtered review appears no differently to them than one that stuck.  Yelp provides no feedback.

Provide a Little Coaching

Once someone leaves a review, you can respond to them both as a public response and message them privately.  If you act quickly with some friendly pointers in your private message, you might prompt this reviewer to take actions that preserve the review.

Try sending that one-review/no-friend reviewer a personal note – here is a draft of a  private message I recommend:

Thanks for your business and for sharing your positive experience with others on Yelp.   I’m on Yelp myself (http://pbarnhart.yelp.com) and also feature some of our favorite businesses at the bottom of our own business Yelp profile. Check out my personal list of area favorites at https://www.yelp.com/list/cedar-park-lakeline-favorites-cedar-park

In Austin, I follow YelperA, YelperB, and YelperC – I’ve found their quality reviews useful and interesting.

Yelp only keeps quality reviews visible – and this is based in part on how active the reviewer is. To make sure your review of us is available to others, please take time to share your opinion of other businesses, add some photos, complete your profile, and connect with some friends on Yelp. Check in at area businesses. Some of them – including us – have check-in offers you should take advantage of.

Your support and honest feedback on small businesses like ours is valuable, important, and appreciated.

You should customize this message for your own business – and make sure you’ve set up your own profile, created a list with some quality reviews, and endorsed some businesses on your own business profile page.

With a little friendly prompting, you can get more of those great reviews to stick.

Here is Yelp’s official word on the subject: