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Is Yelp really being honest with their reviews?

writing-yelp-review

As a business owner it’s important to know which customers are regular reviewers on Yelp. In a previous article we explored some reasons why real customer yelp reviews are hidden.

Essentially Yelp has 2 types of reviewers:

  1. A Real Reviewer (AKA Yelper) and is free to write useful reviews. Depending how active they are throughout the year they could earn badges to show they are a highly trusted reviewer.
  2. A flagged reviewer which means they have done something that appears they aren’t a legitimate reviewer and their reviews are filtered and hidden.

Sounds simple right?

What if a Yelper (Real Reviewer) had some live reviews and other reviews were hidden?

That sounds confusing, and it’s probably confusing on purpose.

Let’s take a look.

  • Here is Mark A. who has 13 reviews and appears to be a Yelper in good standing
  • His last review details his experience at Crystal Brite Cleaners in Stone Ridge VA.

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If you go to Crystal Brite Cleaners Yelp page you can see Mark’s review .

crystal-brite-cleaners-yelp-review

Everything looks on the up and up so far.

Moving to Mark’s second page of reviews we see he wrote a 5 star review for Loudoun Smile Center.

mark-loudoun-smile-center-yelp-review

When we go to Loudoun Smile Center’s Yelp profile we see they have 6 (5 star) reviews, but Mark’s review isn’t there.

When we go into their “reviews that are not currently recommended” area at the bottom of their page we find Mark’s review is hidden.

hidden-loudoun-smile-center-yelp-review

Mark appears to be an active Yelper providing his insight for customers searching for local businesses.

  1. From Marks perspective he probably believes all his reviews are live and useful when consumer search for local businesses.
  2. From the Loudoun Smile Center’s perspective they probably believe Mark’s review was flagged for some reason and can’t do anything about the hidden review.

As we dig a little deeper we took a look at Loudoun Smile Center’s Google Reviews and discovered that Mark wrote the same exact review word for word on both Yelp and Google and could be the reason why Yelp flagged his review.

loudoun-smile-center-google-review

It is very well documented that Yelp has operated in the gray in the past and this appears like another case of operating in the gray. In one of our previous articles Is Yelp really in the review business we explored how Yelp purposely keeps reviews low on business profiles to maximize the value of each review.

Although Mark didn’t do anything wrong by writing duplicate reviews on multiple sites and he was probably just trying to help to increase their review numbers, this strategy could hurt the businesses reputation with potential customers as they check different sites to read different customer experiences not the same experiences.

From our perspective Mark’s Yelp profile should either be flagged and all his reviews should be hidden or he should be a trusted reviewer and all his reviews should show up on businesses profiles.

Considering this isn’t the case we believe Yelp has some explaining to do on whether writing a review matters or not. If you find yourself in a similar situation with Yelp we recommend contacting them to fix it ASAP.

As a business owner you can’t ignore online reviews to help grow your business and Yelp is still a major player in this industry. For the most part Yelpers reviews are live and their valuable insights help businesses and consumers tremendously. As a business owner if you focus on providing a great customer experience, real reviews will follow from multiple sites.

If your a business owner looking to convert up to 80% of your customers to write an online review before they leave your business we recommend checking out the RealiReviews App.