Over the years I’ve noticed that many plastic surgeons and providers intensely dislike yelp. In fact, it’s difficult to come across many medical practices that like yelp or think that yelp is doing a service for the medical community. What’s more, many doctors have told me that they specifically do not want yelp users. Why? Because they view them similarly to Groupon users. Often, they say, yelp users will almost hold them hostage, saying that they better give them a great outcome at a reduced rate or they’re going to end up looking bad in a future negative review.
Practices with Great Reviews Often Have Poor Yelp Reviews
I’ve seen many practices that have outstanding reputations online. They do very well in sites like real self, health grades, vitals, and more. And I’m talking about practices with well over a thousand reviews on the web. Yet many of these same practices have poor aggregate yelp reviews. Oftentimes, the good reviews seem to be filtered and buried so they can’t be seen by patients, while the bad reviews are front and center and the first thing you see.
Since I speak so often across the globe, and regularly speak about reputation management for physicians, I’m often asked about yelp and how to improve one’s online brand. For years it has been a challenge. There are ways to manage it both within yelp the site itself, and also within Google and the search engine results. Within yelp it’s a little harder, because so many of the reviews will ultimately get filtered.
Improving Your Yelp Aggregate Review Score
First and foremost if you’re going to try to improve your scores within the yelp website itself, you can’t get a whole bunch of your patients to spam the site with positive reviews. That doesn’t look natural and will ultimately result in many reviews getting filtered. It looks inauthentic and yelp has sophisticated algorithms that help prohibit this.
If you’re going to try to get more positive reviews within yelp, I would first ask patients if they actually use the service. Those patients who do use the service and use it frequently and have reviewed other entities and have yelp social history will be most able to write a positive review that will stick.
If you want yelp to impact you less online then you could try to push it down in the search results. You do this by focusing your efforts, through links, citations, and content, on other sites that appear below it when people search for your name. By doing that, you would hope to push up those other sites and in so doing push down the yelp site.
Deindexing Yelp for Google Searches for Your Name
There is however another way. We work with a firm that can deindex yelp from searches for your name. This is the ultimate way to make yelp go away. To envision what I’m talking about, think of a search for your name.
When you search for your name in Google, you’ll get 10 listings. Many of those listings are review sites, some of which are showing aggregate stars next to your name. imagine that yelp is one of those listings and instead of the regular 4/5 you’re getting elsewhere, it’s a 2/5. You recognize that this is doing damage to your brand.
But what can you do about it? Well, by deindexing it entirely, when people search for your name they still see all those good listings but they won’t see that negative yelp listing. While it will technically still exist on yelp itself, it won’t appear within the search results, and won’t damage your brand.
If you’re interested in learning how to mitigate poor yelp reviews or deindex your yelp listing entirely, please contact us for help.