How Yelp Filters your Reviews

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PURPOSE: This site is intended to balance the defamatory attacks levelled against businesses through fake, malicious reviews on, and for which Yelp often refuses to remove unless the victim pays for premium services. Yelp also “filters” genuine positive reviews from view, resulting in the appearance of lower ratings.

How your Positive Yelp Reviews end up in the ‘not recommended’ section

An understanding of how the Yelp Filter works

Many businesses injured by Yelp have claimed negative reviews receive undue prominence and genuine positive reviews are hidden from view as “not recommended”.

Although it doesn’t impact the overall Yelp rating, it can be extremely discouraging if only negative reviews are displayed for possible customers.

Yelp’s criteria for filtering reviews

To learn how Yelp filters reviews, it is important to study the patterns. 

Social media activity

If Yelp believes a reviewer has concealed his or her Yelp activity on social media, it might raise suspicion. Yelp maybe concerned that the reviewer’s profile is being used to create bulk reviews, in exchange for payments for example.

The individuality of the content

Fake customers sometimes use templates to create many reviews in a short time. Legitimate reviews with unique content will stand a better chance of being displayed. It seems the Yelp system filters reviews, bumping them up or down, depending on how several factors. The more original and naturally worded reviews seem to be taken more seriously.

IP monitoring

To avoid that all the business owner’s friends and family submit reviews to increase a rating, the Yelp Filter bumps reviews based on location. This works the same way for competitors trying to decrease a competitor’s Yelp ranking. If the filter suspects that too many people from the same area post negative reviews for a number of competitors, it is likely to flag the reviews or suppress them in ranking. 

The variables of the Yelp Filter 

The Yelp filter examines reviews based on Quality, Integrity and Activity. These variables hold the same amount of weight when the system decides which reviews to bump and which reviews to be moved to the ‘non recommended’ area. 

Now, there may be some variables that the analysis is missing out on. Even though Yelp claims the Yelp Filter to protect people from fake reviews, it has many faults and also suppresses genuine positive reviews. The filtering system damages many business by hiding legit positive reviews. 

Fake, negative and false reviews might not be detected by the filtering system and rank high on your profile. If you believe the review to be false, you can flag the review and ask Yelp to remove the review.

If you have any more insights in the Yelp Filter that were not covered in this article, let us know in the comments!