Yelp Announces Transparent View of Filtered Reviews to Increase Trust

I received this email from Yelp today announcing increased transparency around filtered reviews, the end of the “Favorite Review” option for advertisers and a SMB advisory council.

Here is the email that was sent:

This Week: About that Review Filter…

A few weeks ago, we directed you to a detailed explanation (
YelpFilter ) of the process Yelp has in place to only display reviews written by the most established users. Known as the Review Filter (or spam algorithm), it’s been a big part of Yelp’s explosive growth over the las=
t 5 years.

But keeping Yelp a trusted resource for 30 million people per month isn’t an easy task, and we’re constantly exploring ways to keep Yelp truly helpful for both business owners and consumers. Today, we announced ( http=:// ) that we’re now providing users with the option to view those filtered reviews.

We’re hoping that giving people the ability to “look under the hood,”so to speak, will offer additional validation and transparency to the mechanisms that keep Yelp useful and relevant to consumers. Have your own thoughts about this? Email us at and tell us what you think!

In addition to be able to view filtered reviews, Yelp is eliminating the “Favorite Review” option for advertisers and creating an SMB advisory council. From their blog post:

Additionally, in an effort to more formally integrate feedback from the business community, we’ve created a Small Business Advisory Council whose members will provide Yelp management with guidance and perspective regarding the concerns of small business owners.

Being able to view all of the information that is being kept about a business is a valuable and useful option. It is something that Google Maps should provide in regards to their cluster. It would help immensely in dealing with niggling problems that algos so often create. A decent interface to this information allows a business to see and understand why a listing is the way it is. It would be better yet, if there would be some sort of review and correction process that would additionally allow the SMB to request that the status of this information be changed. Maybe, just maybe, the algo was in error.

Kudos to Yelp for beginning this process.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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One thought on “Yelp Announces Transparent View of Filtered Reviews to Increase Trust”

  1. I logged into my business owner account to see this new feature (Filtered Reviews). Although I agree with the ‘Kudos to Yelp’ for trying this new feature, I have a feeling that it may in fact cause even more frustration for business owners.

    As I business owner I would be annoyed to say the least if I started seeing lots of reviews from ‘not so established’ users being filter – especially since as Mike pointed out there is no apparent review & correction process. And as yelp mentioned there is no transparency as to who is ‘established’ and who isn’t.

    Other then increase transparency this doesn’t really do much to help the business owner establish a review base.

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