Sep 8, 2016
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One of my clients has 8 total Yelp reviews. However, Yelp is only showing the 3 negative reviews in their list of "Recommended Reviews." All 5 positive reviews are listed under "not recommended reviews." Do you all have any strategies for how to get the positive reviews into the Recommended section?

I understand Yelp's goal to minimize review spam by "not recommending" recommendations by people who may have just registered on Yelp and only have 1 review posted. But it sucks that "serial complainers" can go around and post negative reviews on dozens of sites and Yelp considers those reviews more credible. :(


Jan 25, 2017
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I would start to think about how you can work with your client and their staff to drive more reviews from customers.
  1. Email customers to thank them after their visit and direct them to review on Yelp, Google, FB, etc. it's helpful if you include hyperlinks in your messaging.
  2. Print some flyers out that ask customers "How was your visit? Leave us a review on..."
  3. Talk with staff about mentioning reviews to happy customers at the end of their transaction. Maybe offer incentives for staff members who are mentioned in good reviews.
Yelp is problematic b/c sometimes it will identify reviews left from the same ip address and flag it as spam. I wouldn't recommend paying for Yelp but you can try to get more reviews to see if that will update the listing. Good luck, I've worked with clients that had a similar issue.
Sep 8, 2016
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I would start to think about how you can work with your client and their staff to drive more reviews from customers.

Thanks for your reply. We are doing this. The challenge as mentioned earlier is that for this particular client the customers who have posted reviews have only posted one Yelp review and have been automatically categorized and hidden as "not recommended" reviews by Yelp.
Jul 19, 2012
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One strategy that we've used to help our clients get 'Not Recommended Reviews' filtered back in to the 'Recommended' area is as follows:
  • There is a possibility that those reviews in the 'Not Recommended' area are due to poor review quality, the reviewer having only 1 or two reviews, poor profile quality (no 'friends', lack of reviewer photo, etc.)
  • Identify those reviewers who are returning customers or who the owner/manager knows personally.
  • If the owner/manager has a good relationship with a particular reviewer, use the following approach:
    • "Thanks for leaving us such a great review on Yelp. Unfortunately Yelp is not showing your review. It could be because you only have 1 or 2 reviews and you haven't built out your Yelp profile. It would really help if you could review 1 or 2 other local businesses that may need a boost (especially during this time!). What this may do is show Yelp that you are a serious reviewer and in this way get your review visible while helping other local businesses.
We see this work all the time as a reviewer adds one or two new reviews and maybe updates the current review for the business, this can trigger the algorithm to surface that particular review.
Good luck!


Jul 17, 2013
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Yelp is a tough game. Their platform intentional drives towards advertising vs organic sales. Like mentioned earlier more reviews from people that regularly yelp will make a huge difference. If your client has a customer email list, that can be used to find yelpers that are already supporting his business. Plug the customer email list into a personal yelp find your friends feature. (has to be done a personal, not business yelp account). This could identify yelpers with a high review count. Contact them and encourage them to leave a review, positive or not.

People can be strange. I found a yelper with a hundred reviews, but didn't leave one for me. She was a really good customer that referred others already. Turns out she is a foodie, so she didn't realize that yelpers used it for home services also. Found a total of 10 good yelpers and it made a huge difference for my review profile.
Sep 25, 2018
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We've found that a good response to the negative reviews that show up heals a lot of wounds. Yelp favors serial complainers. This has been a hitting head against the wall issue for one client. But a few good responses to the complainers did resolve the issue with the individual complainant.
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