Ah, the ever-frustrating Yelp filter. You write a glowing review for a business and find that it doesn’t show up on the business page, but in a sea of other “filtered reviews” accessed only by entering a CAPTCHA. How do you get past this?
While getting past Yelp’s review filter is not an exact science, here are some tips to help keep your review from being filtered:
1) Make sure you have a profile photo. This makes your profile look less suspicious to the review filter. It also helps to have more identifying information, such as a link to your Facebook or Twitter profile on your page, etc.
2) Make sure you have written at least more than one review or have more than one friend. Again, this helps with the authenticity of your profile. Pick a handful of local businesses that you frequent and leave some reviews for them before leaving the review that you really want to count. (Keeping in mind number 4 below.)
3) Make sure that your review is at least more than one sentence long. If your review is very short and lacking in detail, this can cause the filter to flag it.
4) Even if you feel that the business did an excellent job (and deserving of 5 stars) or extremely poorly (and deserving of 1 star), unfortunately if you rate a business skewing on either extreme end, the filter will flag it. So if you feel really strongly about having your review showing up on the business’s Yelp page, it might help if you rate it either 2 or 4 stars instead of 1 or 5 stars. Another thing to keep in mind regarding this is: if your account has solely 5-star reviews or solely 1-star reviews (or even if your account has a mix of 1-star reviews and 5-star reviews), the fact that all of them are on opposite sides of the spectrum can cause Yelp to believe you’re not a real person.
5) If you leave a review for a business that you have visited that is in a city other than the city that you live in, this tends to activate the Yelp filter as well. This is unfortunate in instances where you’ve either visited a nice restaurant (or alternately, a terrible restaurant) while vacationing somewhere or even if you’re reviewing a business that is located in the city if you live in the suburbs.
6) Download the Yelp app, Check In, and leave Tips. This authenticates your profile to Yelp because if you have a mobile phone connected to your account, you’re more likely to be a real person.
As a business owner, the Yelp filter can be especially frustrating when it filters out some glowing reviews from some of your actual clientele. Interacting with your reviewers is key. Some tips to avoid this are:
1) Add the reviewer to your list of friends.
2) Privately message the reviewer thanking them for their review.
3) Respond to the review publicly (which is recommended that you do anyway).
4) Vote the review as “Useful” or “Funny” or both.
While there is no sure way to guarantee that all of these tips will keep your review from being filtered, at least they’re a starting point. If you find that your reviews (or your client’s reviews, in the case of a business owner) keep getting filtered by Yelp, you may consider reviewing on other review sites such as Google+ instead. Good luck and happy reviewing!