1. Nice list, Phil.

    Something critical about FB reviews. They don’t show on a reviewer’s time line. Deliberate by FB, b/c if they did that would be the best source of reviews: Reviews to your friends and family from a trusted source. FB doesn’t want that info to be free to the smb’s, to whom they are looking for ever increasing ad income.

    If one is managing reviews and asking for them, If a customer is writing a review on FB I’d tell them the review won’t be seen by FB friends and ask if they’d put the reviews on one’s personal timeline.

    One astonishing thing about yelp is that its ranking strength is so danged great…even in cities where it hasn’t made a major marketing effort. If one is getting reviews on yelp there is a nice likelihood it shows in the google and bing serps. (bing of course highlights it). The difficult thing abt yelp is that freaking filter that is often applied against new reviewers.

    That is where one would want to use the strategy suggested here:


  2. Great resource Phil. Question – have you seen any research suggesting people may not want to login w/Facebook to new or rarely used sites due to perceived security or trust issues? In other words, a mindset along the lines of “I don’t want (site name here) having access to my Fb account?”

    • Great question, Josh. I haven’t seen any research on that. I can imagine that would be a roadblock for some people, but probably only a small sliver. If you log into one of these sites with your FB login you do get a message that says the site won’t post anything on your Facebook page. That’s a legitimate concern, but it’s addressed. If people have broader concerns about privacy I’d wonder why they’re using Facebook in the first place, with its track record.

  3. We like TripAdvisor best. High Google placement helps. But the main reason is that TripAdvisor seems to use real humans to decide which reviews are legitimate, rather than an automated filter.

    When a customer likes us enough to create a userid and password on a review site to write his first review, it is frustrating that yelp filters away his effort as “not recommended.”

    One surprising experience we had is when we tried TripAdvisor’s Review Express. It is a system where TripAdvisor sends two emails to the customer asking him for a review. We have seldom used it, but when we tried, it resulted in one of our very rare four-star reviews instead of the five-stars we usually receive. So if the customer is begged, rather than doing it of his own volition, that might affect the resulting review.

  4. Phil,

    Houzz also allows clients to mail in a form with a review. You can see it here:

  5. avatar kaycie smith says

    Great list that will save hours of leg work when setting up a roadmap for a review strategy! Interesting point provided by David as well “So if the customer is begged, rather than doing it of his own volition, that might affect the resulting review.” Something to consider and pay attention to! I guess the key is to ask for reviews in a way that doesn’t feel like overkill. After good customer service, I suppose its all in the wording of the action desired.

    Would definitely like to hear more about Yelp and Google filters. What are others seeing besides: first time or low amt of reviews by the reviewer, reviews from same ip, too many reviews for same business at the same time. I love the zig-zag approach because it will help to avoid those pitfalls, but wondering how many additional experiences can be added to the filter list?

    Thank Phil for the amazing post!

    • Hey Kaycie,

      Google isn’t really filtering reviews these days. Maybe 1 out of 15, in my experience. They let a LOT of junk through, like business owners’ reviews of their own businesses.

      Yelp seems somewhat less likely to filter reviews less than 5 stars. Also, a reviewer who writes a bunch of reviews in a short period of time and then goes dormant will often have his/her reviews filtered post facto. You’ve got to keep at it over a sustained period of months.


  1. Which Local Review Sites Are on Your Side? by Phil Rozek

    I agree with Phil, Google and Yelp are 2 of the toughest review sites to get reviews published on. And most experts agree you should give your customers/patients a choice of 3 review sites anyway. …

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