Marie Haynes

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I have a business I'm helping rank locally and I've been pushing them to get more reviews. They recently had someone leave them a review on Yelp. However, the review got filtered as untrustworthy. I'm guessing that it's because they signed up for Yelp and then left a review.

Does it make sense to only ask for a review on Yelp if someone is a regular Yelp user?

Do we know what the criteria are to make it the most likely that a Yelp review is successful?

TBH...we're not really that concerned about getting Yelp reviews, but knowing that Google uses third party reviews as a ranking factor, we thought it would help. Would it be better to ask people to leave Google reviews?
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Mary, it depends on the strategy, but I would focus on Google as the primary place to get reviews but still be putting some effort into Yelp. Yelp is just to prominent and authoritative to ignore. New Yelp reviewers still make it through the filter, just not as often.

I'm curious if Google factors in filtered Yelp reviews into it's ranking algorithm.
 

Marie Haynes

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Thanks Colan.

Here's something interesting. When you search for this client by brand name, the number 4 listing is their yelp page and the snippet is the "hidden" review, marked up with 5 stars.
 

JoyHawkins

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Yeah I would avoid asking for Yelp reviews unless the person is an active member on Yelp. Mike Blumenthal did a presentation at LocalU last year showing how the content of Yelp reviews actually changed the local results on Google so I would say that they definitely do impact ranking.
 

JoshuaMackens

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If they're brand new to Yelp then their review is likely to get filtered (from what I have seen documented, not an abundance of 1st hand experience). However, if they start to use Yelp, that review will make it live eventually as they leave more reviews and increase their trust factor.

Trust factors (not limited to, with just educating guessing): location, IP address, age of account, pictures, interactions on Yelp's social platform, number of reviews, quality/length of reviews, pictures uploaded with review. Just a few off the top of my head that may play a part.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Thanks Colan.

Here's something interesting. When you search for this client by brand name, the number 4 listing is their yelp page and the snippet is the "hidden" review, marked up with 5 stars.

That's VERY interesting Marie. There is a case to be made that even filtered Yelp reviews have value. This is a good example of that.
 

JoyHawkins

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Thanks Colan.

Here's something interesting. When you search for this client by brand name, the number 4 listing is their yelp page and the snippet is the "hidden" review, marked up with 5 stars.

Was it possible that Google still had the listing indexed before the review got filtered? I wasn't sure if you checked the text-only cached version to confirm?
 

Marie Haynes

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Oh drat. I think you are right. The cached version of the page is a week old and does not have the review filtered. So, this will probably drop out of the index soon. I'll keep you updated.
 
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If you are soliciting reviews for Yelp, you can prequalify a potential reviewer's email address by using Yelp's friend finder. Just type it in and you'll find out if they have an active Yelp profile. If not, send them to Google.
 

heckler

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I think the fact Yelp has it's hooks into other places (like mapquest and Bing) makes it hard to ignore for some businesses.

I echo other's sentiment that Google is a better place to focus on, but on occasion we have seen some reviews come out of the filter once a 'new' Yelper has become more active (or just added friends).
 

Marie Haynes

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Scott, that's a great idea. Thank you.

Just as an update, Google has not recached this yelp page since January 22, so it is still showing the revoked review with a markup of 5 stars in the SERPS. I'll keep you updated.
 
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