Why Are My Yelp Reviews “Not Recommended?”

Reviews are very important. Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers actually reverse their purchase decisions based on negative online reviews?


Well that raises the question as to why are my Yelp reviews “Not Recommended?”


There has been much controversy with the nature of Yelps display algorithm and Review Filter, but don’t allow that to discourage your business from offering excellent services and products, and engaging with your target audience to gain great reviews from your customers and clients, and responding to their online reviews. Understanding what drives reviews from Yelp has become a major issue to online marketing strategies.


If the review isn’t a good one or if it’s a 5 star review regulated by Yelp’s automatic filter, most businesses have found it beneficial when engaging with customers that have left a review. Some business have even gone as far as to file class-action lawsuits against Yelp alleging that the automatic filter is configured to force businesses to pay for Yelp Advertisement. Unfortunately, none of the lawsuits have been successful.


Currently Yelp hasn’t disclosed what’s driving their review filter with much detail, but we’ve concluded a few basic assumptions based on our observations. Knowing what provokes Yelps review filter will give you better insight on what it takes to overcome Yelps domination.


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There are certain behavior types that are likely to force a review into the not recommended status. Whether good or bad, not recommended reviews won’t be taken into account when determining the businesses overall review average.


Yelps FAQ section give the most information about the way they filter reviews. They describe their recommendation process as follows:


“We use automated software developed by our engineers to recommend reviews from the Yelp community. The software looks at dozens of different signals, including various measures of quality, reliability, and activity on Yelp. Most of all, however, it’s looking for people who are intrinsically motivated to share the wide range of rich and detailed experiences they have every day with local businesses. On average, our software recommends about three quarters of the reviews that are submitted to the site.”

Yelp Reviews blog

The Yelp Reviewer Profile Isn’t Complete

One of the most common ways to trigger the filter is first-time Yelp users. Say, for example, someone loved the services that you’ve provided at your local business and wants to give you a review on Yelp. If it’s this person’s first review, he/she will more than likely not be too motivated to complete a profile just to leave a review.


This can trigger the automatic Yelp filter to categorize the review as not recommended. Sadly, this filter unfairly benefits first-time Yelp users that join with the intent of posting a bad review.


The Yelp Reviewer Doesn’t Have Social Media Integration

The absence of social media integration and social engagement is another common reason for filtered reviews. If they’re not using Facebook or Twitter as part of their Yelp interactions, it can raise a red flag. If a reviewer has added he/she social media profile to their Yelp profile, it stands a greater chance of having their reviews posted as recommended.


The Yelp Reviewer Has Positive Reviews Only

If a Yelp user has posted all five-star reviews, there’s a good chance that all of his or her reviews will be automatically filtered out. We aren’t making the suggestion that you should provide less than perfect service, but we’re sharing details to help you better understand what might cause a not recommended status on a great review submitted by one of your customers or clients.


The IP Isn’t Located Near The Business Location When The Review Was Submitted

This potential filter can cause a lots of frustration to those on vacation or have come back from traveling only to get back home and go to submit a review. If a review doesn’t come from an IP in close range to the business, then there’s a good chance of it be pushed into the non-recommended section.


The Reviews Cam From The Same Computer or Device

Yelp uses cookies to track engagement. If a business gets multiple reviews back to back that have come from the same device, they’ll be marked as not recommended. In this situation, the filter is structured in a way so to reduce fraudulent reviews, both positive and negative. This filter is mainly intended to keep everyone honest.


The Reviewer Doesn’t Marke “Useful” or Funny Marks on Their Other Reviews

This is pretty much a hit or miss, but we noticed  Yelp reviewers who have numerous reviews marked as funny or useful hold a better chance of having his or her reviews stay as recommended. As a business owner if you’re engaging with Yelpers, you should time out to mark reviews as funny or helpful. By doing this,  you are not only helping shoppers, but increasing the credibility and engagement power of other Yelpers as well. Don’t hold back on your clicks.


The Yelp Reviewer Does Not Have Yelp Friends

Yelp, in itself, is still a community. Yelp reviewers that have Yelp friends are more likely to have some form of credibility and their reviews will stick. Being socially friendless, won’t stand a chance, either a business or as an individual. Taking more time to engage with other Yelpers at a social level, both online and offline, will be beneficial.


Keep in mind that asking for Yelp reviews is against Yelp’s policies. We recommend you spend time engaging with past reviewers by responding to their reviews to give you the best chance to earn your reviews fair and square.


Yelp is a absolutely huge when it comes to building your online reputation, and it can definitely help you expand your online marketing reach, even without advertising. Don’t overlook the review platform and allow it to go to waste.


Do you need help getting more reviews from your customers or clients? We can help with that! Contact us for more information.


ATX Web Designs is your Online Business Marketing, web development and web design firm in Round Rock & Austin, Texas. We don’t just build websites, we build websites that build business.

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