Why does Yelp filter my reviews?

find those reviews

Congratulations – your business received a glowing review on Yelp! Just as you feel the waves of validation tingling through your bod, though, that positive review disappears…

What happened?

Most likely, your positive review was filtered out by Yelp’s automated recommendation software.  (You can see filtered reviews by clicking on the link below the first page of reviews that says “… other reviews that are not currently recommended”).

Yelp recommends certain reviews based on a number of factors. Yelp’s software looks at quality, reliability and activity – if a user is new, not active or does not post consistently useful reviews, their reviews may not be recommended.

Although your positive review came from an authentic customer, the reviewer probably isn’t a user who is established on the Yelp community. Yelp software will also filter reviews if it detects anomalies in the language. Specifically, Yelp will not recommend a review if it is written like a rant or rave because that type of language can be an indicator of a biased opinion, whether it’s coming from your mom or a disgruntled former employee.

Believe it or not, Yelp’s ability to detect fake reviews is 98% accurate… Just kidding. You shouldn’t believe that. We have no idea.

Yelp’s software also updates on a daily basis, as it collects new information. What was a relevant review last month may be considered a stale review tomorrow and no longer be front and center.

Your positive review may have disappeared because your happy customer deleted her Yelp account. This is rare, but there is a chance that she decided to clean house and slim down her internet presence. This probably has nothing to do with your business, but there is a better chance that your positive review was filtered out.

Appealing to Yelp to bring back a positive review back is probably not going to be fruitful because their software (though not perfect) is still the best way for them to systematically recommend or not recommend reviews without making a human judgement call. So if you find that a positive review on your business’s Yelp page is missing, your best course of action is to keep doing good work.


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