Many businesses depend on customer reviews for generating awareness and trust. Reviews inform the decisions potential customers make as to where they’ll spend their money, so the kinds of reviews posted on Yelp is something business owners, including German repair shops, should be aware of. One review could make the difference between making a sale and not.

Recently, however, some business owners have suspected that Yelp has been hiding positive reviews on the site and thus lowering the good reputation of their business. Some of these claims have even made it to court. If you’re concerned about the reviews you’ve been seeing on your shop’s page and have a few questions, read on.

One Business Owner Believed His Ratings Suffered Because He Wouldn’t Pay For Advertising

The way Yelp earns a profit is through third-party advertisers on the site. It doesn’t charge users or businesses to post reviews or put their businesses on there. More often than not, a business’s Yelp page isn’t posted by them on the site and the business owner has zero control over what’s being said about them on the platform. All they can do is respond to comments and try to address concerns.

While this is actually good for helping consumers make informed choices that aren’t influenced by fake reviews and ratings a business has made, some business owners are concerned that Yelp has too much power over businesses in this scenario. For instance, one Dallas coffee-shop owner Bob Sinnott, believes that Yelp dropped his largely positive rating because he wouldn’t pay for advertising on the site. Sinnott thinks Yelp puts many of his 5-star reviews in the “not recommended” review category because he chose not to pay for Yelp’s monthly advertising services – something that he received many phone calls and emails about signing up for from the company.

The Review Filter May Be Hiding Positive Ones

Yelp has something called a “review filter” in place to detect if a fake review or rating is posted. If the site’s algorithm detects a fake review from someone not very active on Yelp, it automatically hides it from the post and puts it in its “not recommended” review category. This is a good thing for many people, since the last thing you want to have happen is a false reputation spreading about your business because of a couple words from a person or a bot that has never been there. However, this review filter may be negatively impacting your business’s Yelp page.

If you’re finding a weird lack of positive reviews on your repair shop’s Yelp page, they may be in the “not recommended” category. To find them, simply scroll to the bottom of the first page of reviews and click the line that says “other reviews not currently recommended.” If there are a bunch of positive ones in there that’s probably where they’re going.

How To Help Unleash Your Satisfied Customer Reviews

Before jumping to conclusions about why your positive reviews are in the “not recommended” category, take these measures to get them out of there and onto your business’s main Yelp page. Simply log onto your Yelp For Business Owner’s account, select a review that you believe is legitimate, comment on it, add the user as a friend, and just generally interact with their profile. Spending a minute to do this shows the Yelp algorithm that this person is an active member of the community and isn’t a bot – so the chances their review will be graduated out of the “not recommended” section and onto your main page increases.

Unleashing Yelp Satisfied Customer Reviews

The best way to stay on top of this is to check in with your business’s yelp reviews every once in a while. Commenting and engaging with the positive ones before they potentially get moved will help them stay on your main page.

Whether or not the rumor is true that Yelp is intentionally hiding reviews to encourage business owners to spend the money to advertise on their platform, or the reviews are being hidden by their overactive spam filter is beside the point. At the end of the day, every business owner should be cognizant of the kinds of reviews being posted daily on their Yelp page. Yelp is often the first thing potential customers consult when choosing where to take their business, so make sure your shop is on top of preventing positive reviews from being filtered out.

If you’re still unsure of how to proceed, the best thing to do is consult an expert. Partnering with a reputable digital marketing agency can benefit your small business’ visibility online. Contact us today to see where your business stands online.