The engineers at Yelp had performed a major update to their systems around late October. According to a professional, roughly 90 percent of the phone calls he receives are business owners upset about losing reviews.
About Ghost update
This was likely the most significant Yelp update to have ever occurred on it’s platform. The update received it’s name for three reasons
This started on or around Halloween.
The review of several users are now “ghosted,” disappearing into the “not recommended” section.
The update seemed largely unseen. Barely anyone (besides those affected) noticed the major update occurred.
To get an idea of who was affected by Ghost, a dataset of 696 monitored Yelp business profiles was examined. There were nearly 507 businesses that had not lost any reviews. Out of this sample size, roughly 1 in 4 businesses were affected.
This update was a cross-platform wide update. Everyone was affected. The reviews that were filtered into “Not Recommended” were not all 5-stars. Of the 187 business that lost reviews, two businesses lost enough reviews to lose one full-rating point.
Whether or not a business was an advertiser with Yelp did not matter. Reviews which have been on the platform for several years were filtered.
What can you do to improve your Yelp presence
Have a “Check-In” offer and share positive Yelp reviews on social media from its platform.
Install the Yelp review widget onto your website and log into your profile and respond to reviews.
You may monitor your reviews on Yelp.
What should you avoid?
Directly asking your customers for reviews.
Sending out direct links to your business profile.
Using review solicitation software that allow you to send out solicitations for Yelp reviews.
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