Welcome back. What we’re going to be talking about today is, why don’t reviews stick? We’re going to be talking particularly about Yelp, simply because they have the most advanced algorithm in terms of evaluating the reviews that are being posted for your business. If you can keep the Yelp algorithm happy, chances are you’re going to be able to keep the other ones like Google, Facebook, you name it – there’s tons of review sites out there – but by keeping the Yelp one happy, you will pretty much cover your bases for all others.
Now, there’s the obvious ones, like it’s an ex employee, an ex business partner – somebody that’s trying to get retribution on the business. Those typically get flagged by the algorithm just because of their strong tone of the review itself, and those are in direct disagreement with their terms of service. But let’s talk about the more obtuse ones, the ones that you go, “I don’t understand, that was a legitimate customer, patient or client that came in and reviewed us. Why isn’t that review sticking?” For small businesses, if you go to your Yelp page and you scroll all the way to the bottom, where you’ll see the page number – typically it’ll say page 1 of 2 or something like that if you’ve got multiple reviews – but you’ll see another grayed out link that says … In this case I’m looking at a small business here and it says, “5 other reviews that are not currently recommended.”
If you click on that, what you’re going to see is you’re going to see Yelp’s little video of, why does Yelp recommend reviews? And they talk a little bit about their recommendation software. You can go down further and you can read all of your current reviews, but what you’re going to see in those couple of reviews that they show you is, typically there is an overall theme. Most is that they don’t have a profile picture on Yelp for their profile, they have 0 to only a handful of friends, they’ve got fewer than about 5 reviews, and usually those 3 things will be a very obvious theme in anybody that’s not recommended for their review in your business. If you get somebody that actually has a couple of reviews and a couple of friends, what you’ll also see is if somebody’s using too many exclamation marks, if somebody’s using too many capitalized letters, that is also an indicator to the Yelp filter that these are over the top reviews, or maybe they’re not an actual customer.
So what Yelp will do is they’ll not recommend it, and they put it over on the side so it’s not calculated into your overall score. But the big thing here to realize is that, just because that review is not recommended right now doesn’t mean that it won’t be recommended next week or next month or in 2 months, when that person or individual becomes more active on the platform. Sometimes you’ll also see somebody who does have plenty of friends and does have plenty of reviews go to that not recommended side – well, that’s because they’re not engaging with the platform at the moment. So the key thing here is making sure that you’re getting as many people as you can to review you, and watching that oscillate back and forth is just going to be par for the course.