The Yelp Review Filter Explained

The Yelp Review Filter Explained

Yelp is a user driven website that rates and reviews companies based on reviews that are input by Yelp’s users. It is a great website because of its filter feature which allows it to sort and select the reviews that are most likely from an actual person or customer rather than from a machine or a business competitor that may be trying to drive down your rating. It is essentially trying to provide the most accurate information by filtering out reviews or posts that likely are not posted by an actual patron of a business.

discarded yelp reviews

An example of Yelp reviews that were discarded by their filter.

How the Filter Works

So it should be understood now that the Yelp filter is trying to filter out unrealistic results. There are a couple things that Yelp takes into account while doing this.

  • How many reviews has the reviewer written on Yelp?
  • Is the reviewer lacking profile details? (linked to facebook, profile picture, etc…)
  • Is the reviewer extremely slanted one way or another in the review?
  • Is the review short and non-descriptive?
  • Is the reviewer located near the area of the business they are reviewing?

These categories keep the Yelp filter from gathering false information from reviewers that are less than legitimate, or at least who Yelp makes out to be less than legitimate. At the same time, Yelp will sometimes filter out results that are legitimate because the reviewer’s profile doesn’t meet the criteria set by Yelp. In this case, Yelp will discard the review. There are several things a business owner can do to help their Yelp reviewers become considered legitimate by Yelp’s filter. These things are:

  • Add reviewers as friends
  • Vote on the reviews that are posted about their business.
  • Respond to all Yelp reviews.
  • Send reviewers a message either thanking them for their positive feedback, or asking what could be improved next time.

These are things that can be controlled by the business and should be done for every positive Yelp review. It would be a good idea to have someone in the organization to do this. The more interaction a user receives, the more realistic their profile will seem to Yelp, which will make their reviews less likely to be discarded, and will improve your company’s credibility and rating on Yelp.

yelp review profile

An example of a Yelp reviewer’s profile.

How a Yelp User Can Keep Their Reviews From Being Filtered

As you can see by now, Yelp is always trying to reduce spam, so it is important to let customers know how to keep their profiles’ appearances looking good to Yelp’s filter. The key is to keep leaving realistic reviews. Make sure the profile keeps an average distribution of stars, because if it is one sided, the filter will pull it out. Also, a user should be realistic about the service they received at a business, because normally, not every experience is completely amazing or absolutely awful. The user should try to take a third party view of the transaction between themselves and the business, and look at what the business did great on and what they could improve on. Another good idea for a user is to connect their Facebook page to their Yelp account. This makes the user appear much more real to the Yelp filter because it takes work for someone to fake a Facebook page just to leave a bad review on Yelp. Users can also help their cause by connecting their accounts to a mobile phone. Users should download Yelp’s app and check into places using it, because this, like the Facebook page, would require a lot of work to fake. Users that leave tips and advice are also ranked higher because it illustrates that they are not just there to help improve a business’ rating. If a user becomes consistent with the site leaving realistic reviews, they may even be invited to the Yelp Elite Squad. which is reserved for the best Yelp reviewers.

Hopefully this explanation of the Yelp review filter will help you and your business better manage and control your Yelp reviews. Yelp is important because it not only affects your company’s appearance to people who visit Yelp, but Yelp’s reviews also impact your search engine rankings. The worse rating you have on Yelp, the worse your company is going to rank in search engines. So take these tips to heart when managing your company’s Yelp reviews.


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