4 Things That Tend To Trigger Yelp’s Review Filter

Filed in Reputation Mgmt., Word of Mouth by Matt McGee on July 31, 2013 9 Comments

yelp-logoYesterday on Marketing Land, I wrote about a recent study of Yelp’s review filter and the things that tend to impact whether a review gets filtered or not.

The results, I think, tend to confirm — or at least support — some of the conventional wisdom that Yelp users/observers have talked about already. There were four primary takeaways I found in the study, four things that tend to trigger Yelp’s review filter:

  1. 1-star and 5-star reviews (obviously not all are filtered, but these are filtered more often than 2-, 3- and 4-star reviews)
  2. Shorter reviews tend to be filtered more often
  3. Reviews from infrequent reviewers
  4. Reviews from accounts without a profile image

The study looked at more than 316,000 Yelp reviews covering 3,600+ restaurants in Boston, Mass. The authors also drew some interesting conclusions about when and why restaurants might be compelled to resort to fake reviews.

You can read about that on Marketing Land, and get links to check out the full study on your own.

Comments (9)

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  1. Suzanne says:

    Thanks Matt. This is really helpful. I have a few clients perplexed about why their reviews didn’t get through. Not sure I would have made it to Marketing Land today.

    Are you working on a post about Google’s new Keyword Planner and how it replaced the Keyword Tool yet? I’m so aggravated, but I guess I have to learn the new way of doing things. It reminds me of WordTracker set up. What say ye?

    • Matt McGee says:

      Hey Suzanne – not planning anything along those lines, sorry to say. I don’t do much PPC at all, and even the “SEO” work I’ve been doing is more PR and content related, so haven’t done much keyword research at all lately.

  2. Frank Strong says:

    I have reviews that are filtered. I hit two of those four listed (#1 and #3). But these are real reviews. I have photos, check-ins, wrote detailed reviews. Makes me so mad that they’ve filtered it. I’ve written the company several times to no avail. That’s what is so maddening — there’s no adjudication process. My other reviews aren’t filtered, why is this one?

  3. Dustin Heap says:

    Interesting study. Thanks for sharing here/@ ML Matt. Seems like they are trying to weed out the competitors hurting rivals (fake accounts leaving 1 star reviews) and companies hyping themselves (fake accounts leaving 5 star reviews). Reminded me of this older article on efforts to curb review fraud:


  4. Alan Smith says:

    I got lots of business through yelp, i can say it is after Google local place.

  5. I am a small biz owner that encourages review from my clients, positive or negative. My Yelp reviews have been getting filtered. I thought it might be that since I have been asking for reviews I did get 4-5 over a period of 2 weeks, which is a higher frequency than I normally would get. Anyway it’s hard to get people to write reviews for certain types of businesses if you are not asking for them, but if you ask you get penalized it seems. Yelp has been the most frustrating of them all.

  6. Abhay Hendre says:

    Just read your post on Mktg Land. That was really helpful. I personally don’t trust short reviews with no profile pictures. Cuz some of them are generally fake.

  7. I have the same problem with Yelp. I have 3 legit reviews of actual clients that were filtered. I tried to communicate with them but got nowhere. I have given up on them. I have clients just post favorable reviews at other sights.

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