What is review gating?
Review gating is the process of controlling the generation of public reviews so they are mostly positive.
This may be as simple as only asking for reviews from people you know will leave a positive review or controlling the flow of reviews via software so that only people who rate you highly are redirected to leave a public review while anyone with a negative sentiment is directed to leave private feedback.
Some online review services have made Review Gating against their terms of service and your account may be banned or removed if you are found to be using review gating with these services.
Review gating examples
Businesses have been gating reviews since reviews were a thing. It’s only natural to want good reviews over bad reviews.
Some way you might gate your reviews are:
- Asking for a review after first checking if a customer is happy
- Sending review requests via email or text and asking the reviewer to rate you before sending you to leave a public review only when your rating is higher than certain value
Why review gating is prohibited
Review sites such as Google, Facebook and Yelp want their users to feel they can trust the reviews they are reading.
While the reviews that you receive when gating reviews might be genuine, they are overwhelmingly positive.
This leads to a biased view of your business on the review site.
If reviews on a service cannot be trusted users will not return when looking for more businesses.
Which review services prohibit review gating?
Some of the major review sites have started prohibiting review gating in their terms of service.
These include Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), Yelp, Trustpilot and Tripadvisor.
|Google Business Profile||Prohibited||Prohibited and restricted content|
|Yelp||Prohibited||Don't ask for Reviews|
|Trustpilot||Prohibited||Best Practices for creating review invitations|
|Tripadvisor||Prohibited||Content Fraud FAQ|
Will review gating get me in trouble?
If you are found to be using review gating the most likely outcome is your reviews will be removed or suppressed on your profile. However, in some cases your profile may be banned or removed.
Do you need to gate your reviews?
All of your reviews don’t have to be positive. In fact, most people don’t trust profiles with a perfect 5 star rating, they think the is something suspicious and there usually is.
Many people prefer businesses with a good but more natural rating of between 4.2 and 4.6.
People also want to read your negative reviews, to see what was said but also how you responded.
Tools like myPresences allow you to request reviews from your customers and then gate their responses, but you should only use it when generating reviews on sites that do not prohibit its use. We encourage you to leave it off and allow all users to leave a public review.