207 thoughts on “The Yelp Review Filter – How It Works and How To Get Your Legitimate Reviews Through”

  1. This is a great guide, and very timely! I just left a review for a business and realized that my other reviews had all been filtered. I was in the middle of researching more about the Yelp review filters for a post I’m writing and came across this information. I’ve applied your tips and will definitely give you a mention when I publish! 🙂

      1. I am trying to add a friend or message a yelper who’s review was not recommended. Does yelp not allow you to message the unrecommended reviews because they’ve already been filtered? I can see them but can’t respond or message or do any action. Please help!

      2. Trevor I have a few filtered reviews that yelp is not putting on. I have sent the reviewer a message- public and private. How and where do I add them as a friend? What else do I do so they show up on my Yelp profile?

    1. nevermind… not only do I see what you mean, I left tips and my reviews were UN-FILTERED! I couldnt believe it, good job. I think “cool”-ing and “useful”-ing others reviews helps too. AND I think editing our own reviews helps too (not sure if mis-spelling something on purpose and going back the next day to correct it would help even more)

      1. I think yHELLp just wants to see activity on someones account, to prove they didnt just sign up to trash/rave for one business and/or theyre not a bot. I had 3 filtered reviews and all 3 of them were un-filtered after I followed your advice. I also pretended to be inquiring about advertising, since that appears to be the only way to contact them, but instead wrote, “WHY ARE YOU FILTERING MY LEGITIMATE REVIEWS!??”
        not sure which one of our ideas worked, but something definitely did

    2. On profiles you can leave tips beyond reviews on their mobile app. I’ll clarify on the post for the future. It’s a bit confusing about the difference (probably a response to FourSquare tips and of course they move more to reviews now).

      1. Perhaps everyone should petition Google and let them know that Yelp is violating Google’s terms and use policy and therefore Yelp should be flagged for removal.

  2. Yelp hates Conservatives and Libertarians. Jeremy Stoppleman who likes to dress in drag, donated to Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. If you are a Marxist, you won’t be filtered. Sign your reviews I worship Karl Marx, and it won’t be filtered.

  3. I received a filtered review from somebody who checked into and received the checkin offer. LOL. Thanks YELP! what a joke.

  4. Sorry, but I think you give to much credit to the legitimacy of Yelps review filter. I have received 30 great reviews and Yelp has filtered 25 of them The 25 filtered reviews are from people ranging from one time reviewers to those with plenty of Yelp friends and many reviews. My only negative review is from a crazy person who I never met or worked with and who has no Yelp friends and only 5 reviews, three of which are crazy. Yet Yelp has let that review remain. I used to advertise with Yelp but got so disgusted with their filter that I discontinued my advertising. Coincidentally, every single review I have received since then has been filtered. My competitors on Yelp have either only a few or, in some cases, no filtered reviews even though many of their reviews are from people who have no Yelp friends and are one time reviewers. I am among the growing group of people that believe Yelp’s filter is a way to convince businesses to pay for Yelp listings.

    1. Yes Yelp is a scam 100%. 95% fake reviews to extort money from businesses by getting fake 1 star ratings. People need to stop advertising with Yelp.

  5. Sorry, but I think you give too much credit to the legitimacy of Yelps
    review filter. I have received 30 great reviews and Yelp has filtered
    25 of them The 25 filtered reviews are from people ranging from one
    time reviewers to those with plenty of Yelp friends and many reviews.
    My only negative review is from a crazy person who I never met or worked
    with and who has no Yelp friends and only 5 reviews, three of which are
    crazy. Yet Yelp has let that review remain. I used to advertise with
    Yelp but got so disgusted with their filter that I discontinued my
    advertising. Coincidentally, every single review I have received since
    then has been filtered. My competitors on Yelp have either only a few
    or, in some cases, no filtered reviews even though many of their reviews
    are from people who have no Yelp friends and are one time reviewers. I
    am among the growing group of people that believe Yelp’s filter is a
    way to convince businesses to pay for Yelp listings.

    1. By the way, I am not a Yelp cheater but I am certainly targeted as one. I have literally no respect for Yelp.

      1. I have a bar with similar problems with yelp. We stopped doing the yelp deals once we found out that even after they PAID CASH to yelp, redeemed the voucher, left a review, and it was still getting filtered. I think that was the last straw. Every time they call me soliciting the same business or advertising I remind them how shitty they are.

    2. I understand that. The purpose of the review filter is to prevent gaming of the system. Local businesses would game positive reviews more than tank competitors. I think the filter is focused there, but agree, it’s frustrating.

      1. The major flaw in their logic is: the reviews written by ‘full time reviewers’ are more likely to be bogus than the random reviews written by people who actually have a life away from social media.

        1. Agreed. Yelp Blows bigtime. if someone is going to fabricate reviews, they’ll find a way. I got contacted by some rep at Yelp telling me i qualified for one of their “deals”. 20 minutes in front of the computer they said was all i needed. Forget it. I just had someone post a review for me on yelp and it is already filtered i’m still down the same 2 reviews i’ve had for months (and one for years). Yelp is BS

        2. Very good point. Furthermore, it seems like Yelp’s system is flawed since thousands of one-review members with one-star fake reviews are made visible while detailed, clearly authentic (and usually positive) reviews from people with 10 or 20 legit reviews remain blocked from view as ‘not recommended’. Perhaps because the business didn’t ‘play ball’ properly with Yelp? It’s very hard not to suspect a scam going on when this is clearly more the rule than the exception.

      2. Summer’s response here makes no sense as a reply to these posters’ complaints about Yelp’s review filter logic. i think people are looking for a response to the accuracy of your article’s assertions about how Yelp works. Summer, how do you know what you detail in your article is true? what are your sources? i ask, because almost all of your responders flat out disagree with you. these commenters’ complaints are the same as what we experiences as a company.

        i think Yelp came up with the name of their website from the sound a dog makes when you abuse it…like how they treat businesses that they identify as potential ad listing customers.

        1. We use a lot of different sources. Some of them Yelp’s (like the video), others are articles from around the web (Google avoiding the Yelp filter), some of it is a recent study from Harvard Business School (See http://localvox.com/new-data-on-what-reviews-yelp-is-likely-to-filter/) and a bunch is from our active social media practice where we put these concepts to work. I suggest marketing to people active on Yelp and see how their good reviews do show up.Or look at my profile and see how my reviews (both positive and negative) show up on the profiles and rarely if ever get filtered.

        2. When having people review your site, make sure you have customers check in. This is the absolute best way to ensure that the review gets posted as it proves to yelp without a shadow of a doubt that they were there. I’ve never seen a review with check-ins get filtered.

          1. We are an artisan company that is we come to you, so by yelps logic we are not as credible because our customers do not check in because we perform our services in customers homes. Yelp is destroying our reputation by permitting 3 bad reviews to represent our company and filtering 20 good reviews because our demographic of customers does not generally participate in the young person social game. Some of our customers just wanted to communicate their experience with us but that’s bad in yelps bizarre world. , but what people don’t know is that we attend over 300 jobs a month, so they never hear from the 99% of our happy customers, Meanwhile yelp is damaging our reputation.

    3. Hi,
      Your comments echo across the small business landscape.
      I’ve taken it upon myself to provide a solution.
      My team has created an alternative voice for your customers.
      My customers average 18x the number of reviews on Yelp.
      Legitimate reviews from real customers.
      We post the reviews in an ad-free, unfiltered, search engine friendly landing page
      And we provide you with insights and analytics.
      I’d love to help you.
      We’re called Local Viewpoints. Look us up.
      Jason – jason@local.viewpoints.com

    4. I completely agree — same exact experience for one of my clients. It doesn’t matter how thoroughly the profile by the reviewer is filled out, nor how many reviews the poster has made. Yelp’s review filter is faulty to the point of negligence — the costs to small businesses due to a false overall picture of said business’s quality (say the difference between 1 1/2 stars and 4 stars) is real in terms of SEO and lost customers. Let me say it again, YELP’S REVIEW FILTER IS FAULTY AND YELP KNOWS IT.

      1. I totally agree. I think it’s just so rude of Yelp to accept several hundred dollars a month from me, and not post my clients reviews. They all matter…esp. when they take the time and energy to review us!

          1. Several hundred dollars. Yelp charges $350 for 500 impressions per month, which is 28 times Google AdWords PPI rate.

    5. I agree, I had heard horror stories about Yelp, so I did not sign up then one day a client of mine who loved my business posted a great review. I couldn’t tell them to take it down so I was stuck. Several months later Yelp started calling me to sign up to pay $400.00 per month, I had to commit to one year weather it brought me money or not. In my experience any company who demands that you pay has no incentive to make sure they do a good job for you. When I told them I couldn’t afford it, mysteriously my good review was filtered. This client had yelp friends, had written lots of reviews and the good review had been up for almost 6 months, it was filtered the same week I said no. This isn’t an accident of faulty filters, Yelp blackmails businesses.

      1. You’re not the first to describe this behavior. To our knowledge, there is no verified evidence that they are capable of doing this. That said, it still may be true.

        1. I’ve had 4 clients explicitly refuse a Yelp advertising solicitation, and they dropped from an average of 3.8 stars to 1.5 stars a week later. In one case, we had a 5 star from a Yelp elite reviewer get filtered out.

          My standard advice to clients is that if they are contacted by Yelp at all, please take a screenshot of your profile page and be as coy as possible — e.g. “Yeah, I’m thinking about Yelp advertising, but would like to hold off until I have a few more positive reviews. Could you call me back next month?”

      2. This is exactly what happened to us today. We have been open a month. We did a ton of promotion before we opend and we had a fairly nice rush of visitors. We had 11 reviews in a couple days. All good and all showing up. As soon as I told the sales person we would have to wait a bit on spending $375 on their program 12 hours later ALL our reviews are just gone! They were all real people that visited! When I called and asked about why it was because most all the people must not be real because we got 5 stars on all the reviews and we got so many suddenly. We just opened and people come in teams of 2-6 so yes it lots of people suddenly, we just opened! What do they expect! Absolutely absurd!

        1. I’m so sorry to hear that Erick! I know a rush of reviews can seem fake, but what really surprises me is that they were all available and then disappeared. Usually reviews get filtered out immediately, not a few days later. Hopefully the good reviews keep coming in and don’t get filtered out!

          1. Oh Yes, it does happen! Had one up there since 2011 and another for about 3 weeks last month. Then all of a sudden… GONE

    6. Hello and thank you for this wonderful blog

      I am looking in this blog, at where you wrote the following:
      “Add the reviewer as a friend
      Send the reviewer a message
      Respond to the review (which you should do for all Yelp reviews anyway)
      Vote the review as “Useful” or “Funny” or both”

      I tried to do as you suggest, logged in on Yelp as business owner of my own biz. I tried to vote Useful my good reviews and also to go and add my reviewers as friends. But it does not allow me to, unless I view my biz on yelp first and then log in my personal account and vote the reviews from my personal yelp account. Yes I can reply to them but I cannot vote Useful or add them as friends if I am logged in on my biz account, as biz owner. Why is that so? Or am I doing something wrong?

      I am also experiencing a lot of unfairness in yelp, 6 of my real and authentic reviews from good clients, who are established yelpers, have all together ended in the box,
      while a mean and fake review from one of my competitors, has instead destroyed my good 5 Stars trend I had before, to a 4 and half,

      and even if I flagged that fake review and their profile to Yelp, because it was not a personal direct experience review either, they still say it did not violate anything and they want to consider it as a real, authentic review!

      1. Dear Lina,

        My name is Mitu Akter. I’m interested to do work with you. I am working as a reputation management and have done similar project before. I am the best contractor for this job.

        Now i’m working in yelp. Yelp can’t access my country so I’m using IP changer software.


        My Skype Id Mituakterkhan
        Email: Mitulmc@gmail.com

    7. That’s exactly what I have experienced–suddenly, after wonderful reviews from my clients on all other review sites for 5.5 years, I get a bad review on Yelp from some guy that called me up and immediately started harassing me, I eventually explained that I thought someone else in my industry might be a better fit for him. He was horrendous, attacking me personally and professionally. I had another client that has used my services in two different homes, give me good reviews on Yelp, and Yelp hid them, and they hid mine when I tried to respond to the bad reviewer in a very professional manner. Yelp told me that unless I bought their business listing, they would not show my response.

    8. Exact same situation here, actual customers are unrecommended and only negative reviews with only 1-2 review history is recommended. Really hurts the stars.

    9. I totally agree. YELP is a scam to have business pay for services. I have had the same experience where I signed with them for a bit, then cancelled because I realized they were BS. Now only my negative reviews remain while any positive reviews get filtered. This way of manipulating the system should really be investigated. I wonder if there is some way to leave YELP a bad review!

  6. I was surprised to discover recently one of my 5-star reviews had been filtered. I have an account and have posted many reviews on yelp; positive, negative, and in between. Not sure why this particular one was singled out as there were other 5-star reviews that were not filtered, and initially mine was not filtered either.

    Cutesy explanation video notwithstanding, I don’t think this filter is preventing people from gaming the system, which apparently is yelp’s mantra. But no worries; I can always use other review sites more and yelp less.

    1. The honest people who are NOT gaming the system are the ones who get hurt. Anyone who wants to game the system has done their research and knows what to do and what to avoid.

  7. Shortly after I started reviewing my favorite and no so favorite restaurants on Yelp, I found that all of my reviews were filtered. As a result, I was pissed off at the fact that I had wrote over 15 reviews and none of them were seen on yelp. I was most upset about the positive reviews I wrote about some of my favorite places.

    I don’t understand the exact science of the Yelp filtering, but I have a feeling that because I created my first 8 reviews within hours of opening up my account, it probably worked against me. I was also the initial reviewer on about 4 restaurants and that may of looked suspicious. Additionally, my reviews were scattered all over the US as I travel a lot. Very few of my reviews were for restaurants in or near my hometown which I think also worked against me. So what I did was I picked a few more restaurants to review in my hometown and just kept writing reviews over a couple weeks until I got up to over 25 reviews.

    Low and behold, within a few weeks all my reviews showed up.

    If I had to pin my particular problem on something, I feel that the fact that I wrote so many reviews on my initial day coupled with reviewing quite a few restaurants as the “first time reviewer”.

    I still think the Yelp filter sucks, but at least my experience did not turn into a complete waste of time.

    1. Yes, timing is crucial. Easy to sit down to write down a bunch at a time (or hire someone fake to do it on ODesk). But to do it over the long term is harder.

      1. That is probably why Yelp is declining, customers do businesses a great service by taking the time, post event, to write a review. They shouldn’t have to learn how to properly submit a review in order to get past a filter. That is the downside of the social media frenzy. It is designed and sold by folks who blog,tweet,and otherwise opine 24×7. People who think everyone wants to be permanently connected to every person they encounter, ever so briefly. It has become an “all in or not at all” game. If thw only way I can give a trusted review is to publicly reveal my personal info, my facebook friends, my relatives, my employer, and education, then I’ll just tell the server, driver,concierge,etc. they did a great job, then I’ll go about my regular day.

    2. Sure. You can understand why that would look similar to fraudulent behavior. In the end though, following the advice above, you should be in the clear for the long run.

    3. Thanks for sharing this. Yelp is one of the most ridiculous thing i have ever seen. I will not spend so much effort in leaving or asking for reviews with this kind of “filtering” system so nebulous it defies logic

  8. I just wrote a nice review for Bread and Chocolate Bakery in Alexandria, VA to praise their great customer service and to thank them for giving me a free cake to make up for a lost order, but Yelp filtered out my review. In fact, Yelp has filtered out every single review I have ever written since I joined back in 2011. No joke. Thanks Yelp!

    1. Try changing it to a 3 or 4 star review. See if that helps. 2-4 star reviews are far more likely to make it through the Yelp filter.

      1. If I want to praise a business on Yelp, it seems counter-intuitive to then give them only 3 out of 5 stars, and lower their overall Yelp rating, only to get my review to show up.

  9. Nice article. But the thing that makes their faulty review filter such an impactful problem is that google has started to favor yelp in their search ranking. Google has been supplanting local small business websites and places pages with yelp profiles and reviews for some very important local searches. Has anyone else here seen the same in their market and does anyone know what is going on with that?

    1. This just happen to my wife’s business. until a month or two ago the entire first page of google search for her category was local businesses. Now, two of the top 10 organic results are Yelp listings. BTW Yelp has filtered all 12 of the reviews for her business which are all positive AND she started getting calls from a Yelp sales rep a few weeks ago. Is this a coincidence?????

      1. Sounds consistent with what we are hearing from our customers. Keep at it. Actually, do me a favor, send me her Yelp profile.

  10. I am in the same boat as many of you. I started to follow yelp because I had a person leave a bad and false review. The person who left this review is a person I had to have the police remove from my office as well have the police go to his house and warn him to not call my office any longer or we would have to file criminal harassment charges. He was a treat to my staff and my patients. The very next day after his warning 2 false reviews were created on yelp. I have on a police report that he stated upon removal from my office “I will see you on yelp”. I pleaded with yelp to remove these postings stating I have police reports as to the timing of the reviews and the statements that he said. To top it off both accounts were first time yelpers. Of course my pleads were rejected. To help portray my office more accurately on yelp I put a post on my business facebook and sent an email out to my actual patients to please leave an honest review on yelp. Needless to say all of my positive reviews have been filtered. I don’t see why any of us should bow down to these guys. We as business owners have the right to choose whether or not our business can be listed on yelp. I personally think we should band together and form a class action suit to prevent yelp from extorting business owners any further. It really does seem that their filtering system does bias to the bad review and I have heard accounts of yelp offering to remove bad reviews if you spend money with them. If you agree please post here maybe there is someone out there willing to represent us the small business owner to challenge this bully.

    1. It’s a tough position. They will list you. They have the data. And they have the audience that uses it as a an indication of social reputation. I don’t see how you can not play their game given the importance of Yelp reviews.

      1. Stubbs isnt talking about not playing Yelp’s game, but rather taking them to court; which i think may be valid. I am financially affected by them. i view it as they are taking food out of my family’s mouth.

        Yelp would tell you that they are not actually saying anything negative about companies, but if you provide the platform that allow people to do it AND then manipulate the data to promote the negative info, you are in fact saying negative things yourself. i see character defamation class action cases in their future. i do wish i had the funds to look into it with legal counsel.

      2. As soon as more of the public hears about all the Yelp extortion, they will take Yelp much less seriously. I have had conversations with many people about Yelp and lots of people are no longer taking them seriously as a good review site.

    2. I completely agree. Yelp is a disturbing site. We have found it just a place for haters. and it is bizarre that someone can write anything stye want about a business and there is nothing you can do. Have you ever noticed that the reviews are always negative , and lonnnnnnng stories ? They make me wnat to vomit, and we will never give in to them, We are proud to be hated on yelp.

    3. I doubt we could get them on strong arm tactics.. which while deeply immoral not to terribly illegal…However if the reviewers themselves made a stink about having their valuable input removed their might be a case for liable as Yelp is basically claiming (in print) these people are untrustworthy~ by whatever criteria they want, and effectually besmirching their good image and damaging the reputations of small businesses like ours in the process. BTW yes I experienced exactly the same thing, I had a 5 star rating until I turned down their sales force.

  11. My competitors on Yelp have either only a few
    or, in some cases, no filtered reviews even though many of their reviews
    are from people who have no Yelp friends and are one time reviewers. I
    am among the growing group of people that believe Yelp’s filter is a
    way to convince businesses to pay for Yelp listings.

  12. The only thing I can do to a filtered review is flag it. I can not figure out how to vote on the review or respond to it in any way.

    1. Have you logged in and claimed your Yelp profile? That should work. Or click send a message to the profile of the person who left the review.

      1. We’re in the same boat. Claimed the profile and can’t do anything but flag. Can’t even send a message. And we have 17 positive reviews, every single one filtered. =

      2. Apparently, you must upload your picture (with the face clearly visible and not too many people in it) to your yelp profile before you can respond to reviews.

  13. I only have a couple of reviews on yelp. However, all the five star reviews from legit buyers (they reviewed others, have profile pics, etc) have been filtered. The review that hasn’t been filtered is one star: the guy signed up the day he wrote the review and has had no activity before or since. I am certain it’s a competitor because I have no record of the experience he is talking about. What a joke! I can’t believe Yelp is supporting libelous material like this!

  14. what is a yelp friend. I hate Yelp.. there is one posting on my business site that is totally false, and I responded to it, the response was removed, the good reviews have been filtered. and not when I went to get into my site to edit .. I got this account has been closed.. go figure.. this is the worst site ever!

  15. I had no idea Yelp is so dysfunctional. When I go on vacation, I check restaurant reviews and try a new one for each meal. When I get home, I review all of them to help others as I don’t look at any review more than three months old.
    Now I find my efforts are wasted unless I waste valuable leisure time before I check out. Life is too short!

      1. Or how about promote good reviews only? Especially in light of what is being said in this forum.
        Tell people where its good, let hem decide for themselves if its bad.

  16. Our clients are typically high level executives. They don’t care to join the latest trends to simply leave an attaboy. They don’t want to be ‘friends’, they don’t want to subscribe to newsfeeds of every service provider they use. Several have taken the time to create a login to leave a nice review, and they have been specific enough it is easy to see they are genuine. Yet they are filtered. I will NEVER give a dime to Yelp, nor will I solicit a review on their site.

  17. Yelp finally got spanked a week ago in Hollywood when they finally faced real business in what they thought would be a Yelp pro marketing campaign town hall meeting.
    No one is buying the excuses of your secret filter accuracy. They even brought 2 business owners with them on that campaigned to praise them. Really? Really? talk about cherry picked reviews! If they used their own filter to select those people they would have been kicked out for the glowing review. I guess what’s good for other people is not good for them.
    When 90% of the users experiences their own legitimate reviews filtered, its not an occasional filter flaw, its millions of real reviews going hidden. They keep down playing that fact.
    Lots of older people 50 plus are not on Facebook. Yelp ties your authenticity to this. FAIL! Because more expensive stores, restaurants cater to older customers. You cannot expect that demographic to get with it, that group dose not see the importance of putting your personal life on line for everyone to see. So basically, half of the population is filtered out. The ones that have lived the longest and have the most life experience.
    What Yelp doesn’t get is that their seasoned users are not the best critics. It is like saying professional movie critics are a better judge of a box office hits because that is all they do all day. Well, most of the time those guys have no clue what the real public thinks.
    Every business is different. Filtering out low profile users in favor of certified Yelp trolls sitting in their basement posting all day is a severely flawed foundation to base an algorithm on.

    1. Yeah, it’s a conundrum. How do you let more casual users weigh in? In fact, as pointed out above, maybe people with more reviews are likely to be fake.

    2. “Filtering out low profile users in favor of certified Yelp trolls sitting in their basement posting all day is a severely flawed foundation to base an algorithm on.”

      Well said and so true.

  18. A friend asked what he could do about a vendetta reviewer. This guy has been pursuing a grudge against my friend’s auto repair shop on every review site imaginable. Therefore I told him that he should try to get positive reviews.

    The guy has a lot of satisfied customers, so he now is up to 18 positive reviews. Every single one is filtered. Reading this thread has opened my eyes to the problems with Yelp.

    The crazy thing is that it’s so counter-productive to the whole community process approach. Everyone leads frantic lives, so to write out a review for nothing is going to drive away many legitimate, but overly busy reviewers, and weight their “reviewers” toward the crazies and the professional hacks.

  19. All of this has happened to my company too. The yelp page for my company, (iMobileRescue Inc) has some solidly helpful reviews, all filtered and not shown, while 1 illegit review got published. It’s madness. I’ve emailed them continuously, and they give me the same BS rhetoric on the “filtered review system” working as good as it can, considering the circumstances. Meanwhile, thousands of dollars in business are LOST everyday due to this injustice. Amazing how they get away with this.

  20. I am a small business owner and just last week i lost all my good reviews to that “filter”. I now have one single bad review. All the lost reviews were legitimate but that is not good enough for yelp. Yelp wants “Yelpers” to write the reviews, they do not want people to sign up just to write a single review because they have been asked to do so by the business (i.e. me the contractor).
    This is a no win situation for me as it is impossible for me to avoid that type of filtering, meanwhile when people look me up on Yelp they now see just a bad review. And it causes obvious damage…..my phone rings less, and often times they simply cut-off communication without explanation.
    Yelp will not remove me from their listing, i never asked to be listed nor participated until that bad review.
    So now i am perpetually stuck with a bad listing of which i can neither fill-up with good reviews (as i have already tried), nor can i be removed altogether. This i find very illegal and anxiously await the next class action lawsuit filed against them.
    They are profiting from my listing all the while slandering me as they let a slandering review stay published.
    But what scares me the most is how skeptical non-business owners are about these types of claims despite 100’s of thousands of people across the nation saying the same thing…..

      1. I’d be all over that in a heartbeat. Fortunately for me my nightmare is over. I got on my knees, bent over and pleaded with the author of my one bad review to remove it and she did. I now have ZERO reviews on yelp and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

        The new truism for me is, “no listing is a good listing”

        Yelp can go to HELL!

  21. The Yelp Review Filter the perfect tool for them to make people buy their advertising programs. if you don’t buy any advertising with them ….no reviews will appear plus your business will appear on second page .

  22. I am relatively new to Yelp but began noticing that reviews from long time ad new Yelp customers are being filtered. Some of the reviews came from my repeat customers who left genuine reviews. It is frustrating to build reputation on this website. What I notice is that businesses who have are stand outs and obviously have great service tend to be reflected accurately on yelp. I guess the only reason to build your reputation on yelp is if you are striving to be one of the best businesses in your area.

    1. Shouldn’t one strive to have the best possible business they can? Don’t customers deserve that as well? Forget Yelp or any other review site. If you aren’t striving to be the best as a business what business to you have being in business.

  23. Yelp is a business killer, not business promoter…unless you pay for there service. Quit calling me to pay for your FILTERED service! Am glad to review Yelp…how’ that feel Yelp? ZERO STARS FOR YOU! My customers complain…about Yelp and how their reviews get filtered. How can they think they are the review goods? Thanks for Google…they do much better with real reviews…

  24. I just wrote a legitimate review, and it was filtered. Not good. Let people filter reviews they don’t trust. They probably do a better job of it. Seriously.

  25. Yep is BS I have a merchant that I frequent often and every good review has been filtered but one bad review from a crazy who does not even frequent the merchant often remains. Since their filter is this nameless thing you cannot argue complain or appeal.

    1. Yes My thought to I think we need to start a Review YELP , Review Face Book, Review Amazon Site.. These Companies make us strive to meet there demographics and metrics yet they are not accountable to anyone.. I will start a Site to review the Unreviewable.. Who wants to help me ?

  26. For me this article doesnt mean much. I say this because of all the reviews Yelp stripped from me a couple months ago 5 or 6 of them do not comply with the reasons stated for filtering them.
    Again, its been 2 months since they did this. Yelp used to call me once a month to solicit me to advertise. It is no coincidence that they have stopped calling. They know very much what they did to me. Perhaps their “filter” program has some auto-features but the problems small businesses are complaining about are caused by Yelp staff pushing buttons and making them happen.
    There is no way to avoid the filter…..

  27. I got the same problem. At first, I did not pay for yelp. I got one good review filtered, but after I paid, I got that good review back. It looks weird to me. Then, after two months, they asked us to do the contract with them. We refused to do it, but still pay monthly. They filtered the new great review which had been there for a long time. The question came up to my mind, why it got filtered after the disagreement to sign the annual contract?.

  28. I love yelp. In the past businesses were arrogant toward unsatisfied customers. Now yelp has leveled the playing field. May not be perfect, but definitely works for me.

  29. Yelp doesn’t care. They did what they intended to do; go public and
    then dump all their useless stock. They have not made a profit in 10
    years and they are not counting on businesses to make them money. Wall
    Street did that for them by selling to stupid investors who have not
    heard your stories about their incompetence.

  30. The other problem with Yelp is that they encourage a small base of their review writers (aka content creators) called “elite” to write 100 reviews a year. The Yelp 100 Challenge. Most of these “elite” are age 21-30. They don’t have huge incomes yet they will visit 100 unique businesses in a year? I don’t think so. Of course they write reviews for 7/11, Taco Bell, and so forth. But you have to wonder in their quest to satisfy the Yelp 100 Challenge, how may of the reviews written by yelp elite are true or well though out when they basically have to create a new review every 3 days? Yelp is a scam. A money losing, secretive, pump and dump stock scheme.

    1. I find it ironic that Yelp says that business owners shouldn’t offer incentives in exchange for reviews but Yelp offers incentives to “Elilte” reviews. lol Hypocrites.

  31. How about this: every single solitary review for a two year period (2012 & 2013) has been filtered. Most all existing Yelpers. Some kind of block on the business and I am told nothing to do be done. The ‘system’ (program, bot, what have you) DOES fail at times, obviously it did this time. This is an existing business that has been on Yelp since almost its inception.

  32. As both a small business employee and a longtime Yelp user, I take issue with a lot of what’s in the comments here. My employer says they’ve seen no evidence of shakedowns or other shady practices. In my 6 years of using yelp (3 of which have been elite) and over 300 reviews, I’ve only had one review filtered and one removed. Some people may have legitimate issues with the site, but some of this sounds like sour grapes. I’d also like to add that your customers can read this, too! Those of us who yelp and read here don’t like being insulted.

  33. I become extremely suspicious of Yelp’s so-called “Review Filter” when every submission of mine was systematically wished to the cornfield of “not recommended” reviews by the same
    touted filter that is supposed to be catching illegitimate voting. I have over 75 reviews on Yelp with 33 useful votes, 13 funny votes, 11 cool votes and 1 compliment. Multiple complaint letters to Yelp customer service were only responded to with a generic, form email reply. My request to speak directly to a Yelp representative went totally ignored.

    I decided to perform a few experiments to see if Yelp’s review filter was really on the up and up. First, I went to a business featured on Yelp, read the published reviews, chose one of them and gave the business a very similar review using different words and phrases. I
    matched the star rating of the other review as well. I submitted the review and waited. Yelp’s alleged filter decided my review didn’t make the grade, even though it essentially contained the same favorable descriptions found in the “recommended” review.

    Then I went a step further. I chose a completely different business, perused the recommended, published Yelp reviews and copied and pasted the content verbatim. Again, I selected the same star rating as the featured reviewer chose. Just like clockwork, my identical review wound up being buried on Yelp’s “Not Recommended” page. Also significant, my entry was the only review that was not recommended.

    I can’t prove malfeasance beyond a shadow of a doubt but I contend this evidence cast a very dark shadow of doubt on the legitimacy of Yelp’s review filter. My findings my also have uncovered reasonable suspicion that Yelp and their software has the ability to automatically
    categorize and censor certain Yelp contributors for no good reason other than finding these people undesirable.

    If there is a current or former Yelp employee who is familiar with the inner workings of Yelp’s review filter, their insightful comments would be highly encouraged and most assistive.

  34. Did you know, Yelp basically means “Scream for help”. “Yelp noun 1.a short sharp cry, esp. of pain or alarm.” From the get-go it is encouraging negative reviews. Red, white, and black are power colors, a fitting choice for the logo of Yelp, assuming a powerful position. The lettering in the Yelp logo word-form is childish and off-balance, giving an unnerving feeling of distortedness.

    The symbol in the Yelp logo is sharply like a target, aimed directly at small but well-meaning business owners across the nation who had the courage to start a business while simultaneously trying their best to serve the publics needs.

    Unfortunately for most small businesses, all it takes for them to fail is a few small but relatively bad experiences when they are growing, while the businesses that are established with who-knows what kind of nefarious means shrug off daily bad reviews or worse yet- apparently just pay Yelp to ‘re-arrange’ them.
    I know a large night club establishment that continues to insult and steal valuable items from their customers but miraculously stays well reviewed on Yelp, it stays open to this day. While mom n’ pop shops that make up the backbone of the economy are fading away, remember this next time you decide to whip out your iPhone and write an unnecessarily bad and hyperbolic review because of some small mistake. “Yes! I hope this place shuts down”, you might be thinking, and it probably will.

  35. I think it’s just so rude of Yelp to accept several hundred dollars a month from me, and not post my client’s reviews. They all matter…esp. when they take the time and energy to review us, and when we work hard to keep our clients happy and coming back!

  36. I have always been frustrated that all the good reviews were
    filtered but recently I learned that ONE bad one was posted. I understand that Yelp claimed to have an algorithm to make good selection but I believe my business is blacklisted
    because I did not buy any Yelp advertisement when they called.

    I recently did a test to prove my suspicion. I created a fake profile at Yelp, I then
    wrote 4 positive reviews on 4 different businesses, one of which is my
    own. I learned that 3 of them were posted successfully and only the one wrote for my own business was filtered. I concluded that Yelp was incapable to detect my fake profile.
    Yelp black listed my business account.

    I tried to be open minded but it is fair to say that I
    uncovered that so-called Yelp’s algorithm is financially motivated. Do you agree?

  37. Great Post!

    In addition to your suggestions here are some other reasons which might cause reviews to be filtered:

    1) The review is clearly solicited. Direct visits to your profile from an email click, followed by a review is an indication that it was solicited.

    2) The review was left from someone using the same IP address as the person who claimed your business profile. If the business owner claims the profile, and someone from the same IP, or on the same computer with the same cookie, goes to the profile to leave a review, it’s a signal that the review is fake – i.e.: created by the business owner or an employee. This is a great feature of the filter to prevent business owners from self-aggrandizing.

    3) Keyword stuffing – Reviews which clearly repeat the same relevant keywords, or group of keywords, may get filtered. A signal that the review was left by an SEO attempting to get a better ranking and not an actual customer.

    4) Inflamatory language: Sucks, crap, damn.
    Excessive capitalization/enthusiasm: THE BEST EVER!
    Excessive punctuation; !!!, @#$%@!, 🙁

    The yelp review filter is far from perfect. It filters many many legit reviews, but it’s also excellent at filtering spam, solicited reviews, self-reviews and SEO attempts – this is good for all businesses on yelp. I think it’s better to make it very difficult to game the system, than to filter a few legit reviews.

    Kudos to Yelp for creating an ecosystem focused on the consumer and not the business owners.

  38. I have 145 reviews on Yelp, 172 friends.
    Ratings are as follows:
    8 5 stars
    50 4 stars
    55 3 stars
    28 2 stars
    4 1star

    I also have 2 fans and uploaded 63 local photos. Here is my delimma … ALL of my reviews are in the not recommended bucket. I don’t know who, how it happened. These are detailed reviews, not one liners, and as you can see from the star ratings they are not biased towards either end of the rating spectrum.
    I have tried all of the suggestions that I found on the web to get out of this review jail but no success so far. It is very frustrating and I am losing all faith in Yelp.

    1. Do you care to share your Yelp profile? I use Yelp a lot and I also like to frequent small, local businesses — several of whom have complained about Yelp removing positive reviews. However, whenever I look at the reviews that are filtered, they’re exactly as the above article describes (i.e. obviously fake). Yelp seems to be doing a pretty good job (maybe even REALLY good job) of filtering out the useless so I’d be curious to see what makes your reviews seem so shady to them.

  39. My business partners and I chose to discount Yelp altogether. Their system is skewed and ALL but one good review was added to our front page, however the ONLY two “one star” reviews (one of which was posted by an ex-employee, and when flagged, Yelp refused to remove it) were posted. I feel that those reviews are not representative of what my guests feel about my business, and furthermore a violation of peoples right to freedom of speech. Yes, filter the idiot loudmouths who are spiteful and sophomoric in their critique of a business, but there are negative AND positive reviews that should be posted if Yelp is concerned about what their perceived intentions are. The criteria listed in this post are NOT at all what is being selected to review my company. I am actually going to be using one response to Yelpers. It is going to be put simply, that we appreciate their input, offer a direct phone number and email to communicate directly with us, and then explain that we do not feel comfortable on a “public forum that violates the publics first amendment rights. They need to get ready because there are going to be endless lawsuits out there one day (if there aren’t already). I personally don’t like being told that I CAN NOT remove my business profile. So, I am just going to re-name my company and just keep on keeping on. I have to play by the rules, but I REFUSE to play that game. No way… Yelp is WRONG. Asking for money to either boost or damage a business’ reputation is nothing short of blackmail/ extortion. Period. That is all.

  40. I wish it was so simple. But this is NOT how the Yelp filter works, at least not in our case. We have 231 reviews and a five star rating until today. Now it’s 4 1/2 because we got a 4 star review today and Yelp filtered yet another 5 star review. Of the 231 reviews Yelp has filtered 32; 27 five star and 5 four star reviews. We work for those review. The filtered ones include some people with 1 review, people from other states (we are in Boston and get a lot of tourists in the summer who fine us, ironically enough, through Yelp. But it also includes people with many reviews and friends. We have five bad reviews, one 1 star from a person who reviewed us in 2013 after we opened. To date it’s his only review and it is NOT filtered. And a 3 star from a woman who initially gave us 1 star and had racist comments about our staff. After being filtered she wised up and softened her tone and upped it to 3 stars which still hurts us. Yelp allowed this new review (of the same visit) to stand. They are INCREDIBLY unfair with their filter. We have 231 reviews. Three of them are 3 stars and one is two stars and NONE of those get filtered. For 20 months we had a five star review. We stopped advertising this month, August, and now we have 4 1/2 stars….just a coincidence I guess.

  41. Why does yelp filter so many reviews from people from another state? It makes no sense. These are the VERY people who are most likely to use Yelp to find a place in a city they are unfamiliar with. We have visitors from all over the country and the world who find us in Boston through Yelp. Then they write about us and get filtered. It makes no sense at all!

  42. yelp removed my negative post for Athenix Institute in Irvine Ca.

    Athenix flagged and yelp removed it asap… why didn’t
    yelp give me an opportunity to explain. there was nothing in appropriate about my review, I posted my bad experience after paying them thousands of dollars.
    Is Yelp being bias? It was a valid true experience.

  43. Yup good stuff over here, I am glad that you shared this information.

    I was wondering why I am getting this message: “You may message 5 more customers today, and your business may make up to 3 more public comments.”
    If I message 5 customers I will receive 3 more public comments or what is with this message?

    Thank you

  44. 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…

  45. “Hi ,

    For a limited time Yelp is
    offering a free 3-month upgrade to select businesses and XXXXXXX has qualified for this offer. When you enroll in an annual Yelp
    Ads program by August 29 you’ll get a 3-month upgrade, absolutely free.
    I’d like to walk you through the program at your earliest convenience.

    talk when you can be in front of a computer for 20 minutes. Feel free
    to call me directly or recommend a time for us to talk.


    LOL “Qualified for this offer”. no thanks!

  46. When asked several months back to spend $400 per month on yelp advertising I declined. It was interesting that suddenly my positive reviews vanished off the screen.Any negative reviews were showcased. When I contacted them regarding this matter they said that their “software” program selects which reviews to leave and which to remove and that they have no control about which reviews are selected in this way. When asked to remove negative reviews that were obviously attacks and unfounded ( I had two written by people I had never met and they were inaccurate) yelp said that those reviews cannot be removed as they are considered “public information” and that there is no legal recourse where they are concerned ,as they are above the law in that regard.

  47. Pingback: Google
  48. I had 1 positive review with Yelp prior to signing up for the paid advertising. After 3 months of NOTHING and I mean NOTHING as far as jobs as a locksmith I decided to cancel my contract. I wasted $1,400 (including the early termination fee) and 3 days after I canceled that ONE AND ONLY positive review THAT HAD BEEN THERE FOR 1 1/2 years mysteriously got filtered. I know this was intentional, it HAS TO BE. 3 days after I cancel contract? Someone overrides that filter algorithm, I don’t care what anyone says.Yelp is very spiteful if you stop giving them money. They run this circus like a criminal enterprise

    Oh and if anyone searched on a mobile phone for a locksmith in my area an already established locksmith with 154 reviews shows up either first or second, but it does not matter. No one is going to call my company with a measly 1 pos. review vs 154 pos reviews. I would never be able to compete with this neighbor locksmith company on Yelp unless I move away.

    Yelp was so agonizingly frustrating for me.

  49. So, wait, I refuse to help destroy anyone’s business on Yelp. So I only leave a review if I can rate it 4 or 5. Is that cause for filtering? I have to be a bad guy to be taken seriously?

    1. I commend Yelp for wanting to deliver a fair review service, but it does not seem to functioning as a benefit to anyone.

  50. Do you work for Yelp or just are naive? I left Yelp yesterday and when asked why here was my answer:

    I have been an avid contributor to your site, many, if not most of my reviews are positive. EVEN when I have been the first reviewer you no longer show ONE of my reviews. You CLEARLY do not use an algorithm but punish your participants because we write something negative about one of your premium members. HOW DO I KNOW YOU DO THIS? I wrote a review on Forward Van Lines–a legitimate review, yes you will post the odd 3 star on them to keep up appearances, but I was FRIENDS with their marketing manager and as soon as I started writing the review, before I posted it, he was informed by you that a negative review was being written by me. Since that day ALL MY REVIEWS have been relegated to “NOT CURRENTLY RECOMMENDED” I am also a business owner and will NOT partake in anything with your site and if you use my name and trademark or try and list my site I will sue you for illegal use of trademark-my business name is trademarked. You are liars and scam artists who simply take bribes to allocate reviews as you see fit.

    I am considering a class action lawsuit because when I read all the NOT CURRENTLY RECOMMEND REVIEWS on the company, I NEVER would have used them. You cost me money and you waste my time. I actually reviewed a lawyer and told him–WATCH–MY REVIEW WILL STAY UP 24 HOURS THEN BE RELEGATED TO THE NOT CURRENTLY RECOMMENDED AREA AS HAVE ALL MY REVIEWS SINCE ONE NEGATIVE ABOUT A PREMIUM PAYING CUSTOMER.


  51. Yelp is nothing but a monopolizing racketeering scam in plain clothes. I long await the day when we as business owners can join together and take them down with a class action lawsuit. I’ve experienced the same issues that you all describe.

  52. We love WordPress SEO by Yoast for WordPress blogs. It is really simple to use and helps you make sure your articles are truly optimized.

    1. Thanks, Tom! Glad they were helpful to you! Yelp is definitely an important asset in a small business’s arsenal and it’s a great way to build relationships with your customers (and increase your local SEO).

  53. Timely information for us. We had ~8 legitimate and positive reviews filtered out. We will take the advice to heart and improve.

    In our Yelp review, there is one review that is long, detailed, and negative and yet turns a little more positive near the end. Has been quite a while, no longer comes to our office. Because this is one of about 7 accepted reviews (rest are all excellent), this stands out. We made a mistake of ignoring the bad review, not contacting and trying to correct ASAP. Any suggestions on how to improve? Still worthwhile to contact this person and ask to re-evaluate?

    1. This is a tough situation. If you still have their contact information, try giving them a call and asking if they would like to try your office again. It could be worth bringing up past experiences and how you have improved them.

  54. Heck with Yelp, I don’t have time to do all that to make a quick review. A booger-eater who has time can follow the above rules and post bogus reviews. People who work and have little time are less likely to spend ANY time on Yelp.

  55. For me, even though reviews might be, not recommended, I still read them and take them into account. A lot of the time, you can tell a real review from a fake one.

    1. You can, but sometimes it’s difficult to know how legitimate a review is (like was “this person being unfair in their assessment,” not “did this person even patron this business”). That’s why it’s incredibly important to respond to every review publicly, so whether the review is legitimate or not, your businesses customer service can still be seen.

    1. That’s exactly what Yelp is trying to fight against with this review filter, fake reviews that don’t accurately reflect a business

  56. I no longer use Yelp because of all the unfair filtering they do. I have had legitimate reviews for my business that they filtered out. I also had a fire at my business which I had to relocate and they made me start a whole new Yelp page, so all my previous great reviews no longer show up on my new page. Totally unfair. I use trip advisor now to search restaurant ect. Much better site!!

  57. I have had two of my reviews deemed by Yelp as “not recommended” even though both of them are legitimate, both clients, and neither of them are bogus reviews or otherwise somehow trumped up. The Yelp filter is misfiring and should be scrapped.

  58. I have 18 reviews for my business – 16 unfiltered and 5-star, 1 5-start that’s still filtered, and 1 1-star that’s filtered and from an absolutely crazy past client. Any advice/projection you can give about the possibility of her horrible (and completely false info) 1-star review being unfiltered and showing on my page/affecting my overall rating? It’s been great seeing more 5-star reviews move from filtered to unfiltered, but I’m starting to worry that hers is going to show at some point, too. I’m not sure what I would do because responding in this case would only make matters worse (she’s truly nuts), but she was technically a client.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      There’s nothing you can do to keep her review from never becoming unfiltered, but you can work to grow your reviews so if it becomes unfiltered it won’t influence your star-rating.

  59. Hey thanks for your post.
    I have a five star rating with 19 good reviews but one really bad.
    I’m frustrated not because of the bad review as I know you can’t please everyone and it may not even look believable to some having all 5 stars.
    I’m upset because this person has been emailing me for months beforehand trying to get money from me in exchange for not putting up a bad review and bad mouthing me on other social sites. It clearly goes against Yelp guidelines and I called and told yelp I was being threatened before it went up. They assured me they would remove it if I have proof of this.
    I got the review and flagged it like they said but Yelp keeps rejecting to remove it and says the review does not go against Yelp guidelines. They don’t even ask to see the emails.
    The review itself does not go against the guidelines but I have a ton of emails to prove I have been threatened. It’s very frustrating because I don’t deserve this. I go above and beyond for all my customers and I’m the only one working at my business.

  60. CLEARLY the Yelp system is BROKEN…!!! I have 6 reviews of my business they Yelp decided are fake, I guess. Oh, 1 was let through but when I decided not to partake in their “Advertising and promotion packages”… it all of a sudden was removed from my business… after being “Recommended” for the past 5 months. It just feels like a scam to me. 6 people took their time to review my services, just to be filtered out and discounted. People should be able to decide for themselves whether a review is fake or not. Just wanted to vent. Have a great day.

  61. It was great information about review writing. Thanks for sharing this important post. Now it should be easy to write any note in social sites.

  62. By your recommendation, you say to have “ask” friends and customers to create an account and fully complete their profiles. My customers are a group of computer illiterate people who have trouble remembering their password let alone creating a yelp account and completing a profile page, then friending everyone. After expecting people that do not understand how to use the Yelp feature, thank you for confirming how USELESS Yelp is to businesses. None of my customers support the Yelp concept so I guess our small 5 star business must live in a 1 star world no thanks to Yelp.

  63. Hey thank for the great post. I have a question for you that many other business owners are asking: How can we remove all those fake yelp reviews, posted from competitors that are trying to ruin our businesses? Thanks in advance.

  64. What BS! First this whole article is unethical and second claiming Yelp filters out reviews from people who live somewhere else is nonsense. Pretty much everybody staying at a hotel does not live in that town so I guess the hotels get most of their reviews filtered out if you believe this BS. I have followed at least two major scandals one was a BS racial discrimination allegation and the other was an allegation that the owners of a restaurant instructed an employee to kill an opossum with bleach. Well as you can imagine a lot of people from other cities and states assumed the people making allegations were telling the truth or just didn’t care so they made up fake reviews, one star reviews for a pizza restaurant and a wine train. I get very angry at liars that try to destroy small businesses based on rumors they have heard so I personally challenged over 100 reviews for each of these companies without being paid one penny and they were removed. naturally I noticed where the people live Deborah writing these phony reviews That had not been filtered out and only got removed because I am a human who can actually read and understand words unlike their filter and I could see that these people basically and either admitted that they are being an activist are they worded it in such a way that it was clear that they had not visited these businesses some people get clever after they get their reviews taken off and learned that they need to write it so that it looks like they actually ate at that restaurant are they actually rode on that train. So Yep’s filter is a joke. I was looking at the 13 reviews for the San Francisco film Festival and I noticed that two of the five star reviews were written by people who admitted that they were on the Board of Directors. I reported those two reviews for that reason then I noticed that some of the other reviews because I did not meet the guidelines because they did not relate a personal experience or merely marketing gibberish. Wait a minute all of a sudden there’s no way for me to report any more reviews so apparently yelp has put in a new two report limit. I probably would’ve been able to get 5 if the 5 star reviews removed for this company that I only has 13 reviews. I had given the company a two star review for discriminating against non-Jewish film makers which is not only against their policy but it is a violation of state law federal law and more importantly their contractual agreement with the grants for the arts for the city of San Francisco that gives them $50,000 a year.

  65. Yelp has filtered more than half of my reviews when I canceled my ads. They claim to not have control of filters but I have screenshots of my decline from the first day that I canceled until now! If you do not pay for ads they filter you and also lower your ranking!

  66. This should be illegal: steal the limelight because of their sheer SEO power.
    They take the money from small businesses and use part of it for them to be on top. Sounds like a controlling site/people!

    Also my site was before Yelp started doing business with Google, my site was on top, now few years after Yelp shows uses three lines on top of businesses, their excuse is called with titles as:
    1. Best ……. in San Diego, CA
    2. Best Learn …. in San Diego, CA
    3. Best …. Classes … in San Diego, CA

    What are we waiting for? For Yelp to use 10 lines or the whole page of organic on Google?
    Where is this going?
    Total manipulation and it not fair for all the businesses in the country. Not company should be able to manipulate this way.

    Shouldn’t this be illegal as well?
    Why a company that just receives reviews is on top using with several lines before Any Other Business in the USA?

    The owner of Yelp is a son of lawyers, all they care is about money, power, lies.
    I want Google to break the contract with Yelp.
    This is enough! This company is controlling all the businesses in the country, and doesn’t allow any company to show before them. Finding any line title to go ahead and if your site is down, Yelp will take your rank!
    Yelp has helped for many businesses to go out of business. Unscrupulous company. Will manipulate to get your money. Will delete your reviews so can get more money from you. You can get a lawyer ….. All this is getting out of hand!!!

    Is this what we want for the future of the businesses in the USA?
    We need to change this!!!

  67. What Yelp forgets to remind the consumers is many of these business owners have to pay monthly subscription to maintain the page properly, including all the exclusive perks offered. If you want to be on the top listings, you pay more a month. Fair competition right? If you are a business owner and has paid for Yelp, do this experiment. Reduce your monthly subscription to Yelp, and give it 3 to 6 months, and see what happens to your positive reviews.

  68. What I do is I focus on improving customer experience. I go extra mile to keep my customers happy by delivering more than they ask for. This makes them always happy and praise my service to others. I almost don’t have to ask for a true review but they gladly leave positive review every time.

    Just like what they say, keep your customers happy, they will grow your business.

  69. Do you realize the referral link you have in your article is a great way for Yelp to not recommend the reviews solicited from there, as they track referrals?

    1. Are you referring to the direct link they have above in the article to their Yelp page? Have you confirmed that Yelp does in fact move everything to Not Recommended that has come in directly or that doesn’t go through the normal process such as entering via Google Search or to Yelp.com first as potentially suspicious or at a minimum in violation of their no review solicitation rule?

      1. Yes. It is impossible to use the word “everything” in relation to Yelp’s algorithm, but pretty close. Any referral links are seen exactly as how you describe.

  70. This article, while helpful to some, is a manual on how to better play poker with the devil. Yelp is a billion dollar bully. They are extortionists, and cannot be trusted AT ALL. Rather than gaming your reviews on yelp, STOP USING YELP, and never, ever give them money for advertising!! Look up “billion dollar bully” on youtube, and join the YELP SUCKS group on facebook if you’ve been wronged by yelp, as thousands of businesses have.

    1. I totally agree with you. YELP does SUCK. We started up our business and have asked people to review us and since we have started business they have taken down every review. They have only left ones that are several years old from a previous business of a similar name. They solicit the heck out of your to advertise and when you do they penalize you when you get a good review. I will NEVER use YELP.

  71. Last June my business was cyber attacked by an online group supporting a Bar that went out of business next to mine. After repeated requests to Yelp, they finally removed, all but one of the fake reviews. Kyle K., supposedly conducted business with me and I, allegedly, provided him a horrible customer experience. Anyone who knows me can see right through this, but those who are looking for my services are seeing a 3.8 rating with issues in customer service. This person has a fake account, no picture and has only 1 review, that just happens to be a review for my Company. Yelp has hidden all of my legitimate reviews and left only one positive and one FAKE. Now to top it off Yelp keeps blocking new reviews by new clients. This is something they are known for. There are several petitions out there and many complaints to the BBB and the Federal Trade Commission. Yelp is trying to force me to pay them to remove this FAKE. Please join me in complaining to the BBB and the Commission. Stop Yelp’s Extortion of small business. If you question my intent just google “Fake Yelp Reviews” and you will see what I am talking about.

  72. YELP does SUCK. We started up our business and have asked people to review us and since we have started business they have taken down every review. They have only left ones that are several years old from a previous business of a similar name. They solicit the heck out of you to advertise and when you do they penalize you when you get a good review. I will NEVER use YELP.

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