There are a few rules that I encourage people to follow when Yelping. Yelp moderators have an iron fist ready to squelch any reviews they judge as potentially fraudulent or solicitous. Following these rules will help make your reviews count.
Don’t review just one business – Users who only review a single business are often removed and their testimonials count for nothing. The more complete your profile is and the more businesses you review, the better you prove that you’re a good user, and the more valuable your review will be judged to be by Yelp moderators.
Don’t review someone who’s reviewed you – (even if your personal and business accounts are separate). This is a surefire way to attract the attention of Yelp moderators. Businesses who are giving each other good reviews are often conspiring and Yelp knows this. Whenever I’ve seen this done, one review or sometimes both end up removed.
Write short reviews – Long-winded, well-written reviews aren’t what yelp is about. People usually dash off their testimonials in between bites of a sandwich or on the bus with their iPhone. They frequently include slang and spelling errors. This is normal and totally OK. In fact, writing something too professional will stand out and could make people think you’re a shill. Resist the temptation to write a beautiful review. Your review doesn’t need a thesis, just say something nice.
Don’t “Shill” – It’s no secret that businesses review themselves and try to get all their friends and family to do the same thing. That’s why I always remind people that no matter how much they love the person or business they’re reviewing, try not to sound like you’re their mother or best friend. Basically, don’t over-endorse someone; it discredits your review and potentially the business. Reviews like that will set off alarm bells in the heads of Yelp moderators and before you know it your fanatical review has been removed.
How to Yelp
- Open your browser and go to http://www.yelp.com
- Click Sign Up. The button is on the top right, it looks like this:
- Fill out your account details and then click the red sign up button.
- If you typed everything correctly, a screen should appear with the text: Are your friends already on Yelp? You probably don’t want to do this, just click “skip this step” on the bottom left.
- Now yelp will send you a confirmation email. So go to your email and open the new email from Yelp. If it’s not there yet, go get a snack and come back, it should come in 1-10 minutes. Open the confirmation email and confirm your email address by clicking the link in the email. The confirmation email should take you back to yelp.com.
- Now that you’re signed up and logged in, let’s search for a member’s business. On yelp.com you should see a big search bar like this, make sure the city is right, and search for the member’s personal or business name.
- Now you should see a list of search results. If the member is not in the list, they may not have a Yelp.com entry yet, but try searching for them again or emailing them to see if they have one. If they don’t, anyone can create one for them, but that’s a little more complicated so I won’t go into it. Your search results should look like this:
- Click on the correct entry and it should bring you to their review page.
9. Click on Write a Review. A review page should come up where you can rate the business and write a few sentences about your experience with them. Remember to observe the guidelines in the beginning of this document!
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