Resurrecting Customer Reviews From the Seventh Circle of Filter Hell

Some business owners hate Yelp, and it’s no wonder. The review site’s notoriously narcissistic contributors can rain hellfire onto local business owners in the form of self-indulgent, obnoxious and vindictive reviews. And Yelp’s overzealous fight against bias and review fraud (a noble cause, no doubt) condemns too many real and unbiased customer reviews to spend eternity in filtered hell.

But for all of Yelp’s shortcomings, the company is at least transparent about the reviews it filters, giving business owners the opportunity to resurrect filtered reviews and use them to their advantage.

Use Filtered Reviews In Your Own Marketing

We first learned about this little trick from Adam Steele of leanmarketing.ca, who in turn credits David Mihm of Moz.com with the inspiration.

While there’s no way to get filtered reviews into the published section of Yelp (although the fickle filter will sometimes unfilter older reviews), there’s nothing to stop you from collecting any real, positive reviews caught in the filter and turning them into testimonials that you share on a business website, email newsletter, in-store signage or other piece of marketing collateral. Here’s how:

Yelp Filtered Review Link

  1. Go to your profile on Yelp
  2. Find the “### Filtered” link. You will most likely encounter a CAPTCHA challenge to prove you’re human before continuing.
  3. Copy any reviews you may want to use, or take a screenshot
  4. Ask permission from the reviewer to use their review. Reach out and explain how useful it would be to your company to use their testimonial. Most will be happy to learn that the time they spent writing it wasn’t completely in vain.
  5. Publish the review yourself on your own terms

Publishing a review yourself will obviously not help your aggregated rating on Yelp, but it certainly provides a bit of “social proof” and can inspire new customers to also share reviews.

Keep in mind that Yelp’s filtered reviews are not indexed by Google, so you can theoretically use the exact text of the reviews on your website without any negative search engine optimization impact (namely a duplicate content violation). But some experts still suggest using a screenshot of the review, just to be safe.

Posted in Customer Reviews, Filtered Reviews, Testimonials, Yelp | Leave a comment

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