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A lot of consumers use review site Yelp in order to find great local businesses. But do you know that the site’s online review monitoring efforts filter about 1 out of every 4 reviews?

(Check out: “YELP HELP: The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Yelp Business Page / Listing”)

manage yelp reviews

In an effort to explain better how its review filter works, Yelp recently posted a video that shows why some reviews are recommended – and why some aren’t. Note the use of the new word “recommended” instead of “filtered”: an appropriate change to demonstrate that Yelp’s “recommendation software” is essentially designed to select the most useful and reliable reviews, while weeding out the biased, unhelpful ones.

It’s important to note that Yelp has collected over 47 million reviews. But only 75 percent of these reviews are recommended. If you’re a Yelp-listed business owner, you may be wondering why not all reviews posted by your customers are showing up on your page. Here’s a quick explanation (from the Yelp blog):

“Why would some not be recommended? In order to keep our content helpful and reliable, we try not to highlight reviews written by users we don’t know much about, or reviews that may be biased because they were solicited from family, friends, or favored customers. We also try to filter out reviews that may have been written or purchased by business owners to help themselves or hurt a competitor. And we try to avoid unhelpful rants and raves, as well….

“Reviews that are not recommended can still be seen via a link on the bottom of each business’s profile page, but they don’t factor into the business’ overall star rating or review count.”

If a review by one of your customers makes it through Yelp’s recommendation software, you can find out about it by using ReviewTrackers, a reputation monitoring and review management tool for smart local business owners. ReviewTrackers monitors, centralizes, and analyzes reviews from Yelp and all major review sites – so that you can listen closely and respond promptly to what your customers are saying about you.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. Help Yelp

    The Yelp recommendation software is seriously FLAWED and has completely turned me off of Yelp all together. The final straw was constantly having my 4 and 5 star reviews unrecommended despite being a regular contributer with over 100 reviews on Yelp with 15 friends. Meanwhile 4 and 5 star reviews from reviewers with only 1 review stick. YELP = ZERO STARS.

  2. Yelp needs Help

    I agree, the software is seriously flawed. There should be a way to contest the reviews that are deemed “not recommended”

  3. Jameyson MacDonald

    The problem with Yelp is that many legitimate reviews are getting hidden while paid reviews (people posting on behalf of businesses for pay) are obtaining “recommended” status simply because the reviewer is a Yelp regular.

    I am not a Yelp regular. I have used Yelp many times in the past to determine if certain businesses were worth using and I originally thought the reviews were a good indicator of quality. However, after my own 2 reviews were hidden because I’m not a “regular” there, I came to realize that Yelp is anything but accurate. When fake regular posters can affect the ratings of businesses one way or the other but genuine posters are suppressed, the results are totally skewed and I for one will never use Yelp again…

  4. Heather

    This software is ridiculous. One business that I reviewed with a 5 star review only has the 1 and 2 star reviews allowed. So, even though there are twenty 4 and 5 star reviews, it looks like this is a 1.5 star business. This is ridiculous. Yelp is definitely not helpful if this is how they use their filter.

  5. May May Gong

    I’m new to Yelp having only recently claimed my Yelp page.

    I completely agree that this “automated recommendation” software is a joke. Three, perfectly fine reviews have been blocked and unrecommended! Only one lonely review was approved.

  6. David

    I am extremely upset about my review being filtered out. What a joke and a scam. I am going to NOT-Recommend YELP to everyone I know (In fact I am in the military and I will ensure everyone knows about it.).

  7. Vick

    If a place has improved or gotten worse, not having chronological order of reviews doesn’t let you know current status

  8. Larry Barron

    This is ridiculous. I am a regular poster on TripAdvisor and I came to Yelp to share some of the places I have stayed as well and all of my reviews were removed. I’ll stick with Tripadvisor from now on.

  9. Andrew greenstein

    So bad. I have had 75% of my company’s reviews filtered this year. Mostly the good ones.

  10. Lawrence H

    This is crap. I no longer see these people as I’ve moved to another city but I gave my experiences as we attended United Studios of Self Defense for years until we moved. I have never spoken to the owner since we moved so I”m hardly a favourite customer or a plant by the people

    In fact my words should mean a lot more than one unhappy customer whose kids barely went and then bitched about it. Those are the people who should be put in this category