Yelp CEO Stoppelman Explains the Site’s Controversial ‘Review Filter’

Yelp logoYelp’s “review filter” is a source of mystery and frustration for some business owners who have seen positive reviews disappear but not understood why. Designed to prevent and remove fake reviews, the filter is biased toward Yelp users who are active on the site (have written many reviews) and Yelp Elites in particular.

Yelp makes periodic attempts to explain the review filter and create greater transparency for business owners around how it works.

To that end, Yelp has created a new video featuring CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, which kicks off a new “Inside Yelp” video series. Stoppelman explains the intention behind the review filter and gives some basic advice on how to respond to negative reviews.

Here’s Stoppelman’s abbreviated advice:

  • Take a deep breath and reflect (don’t react immediately)
  • Remember “the big picture” (an isolated negative review may not matter if SMBs have lots of good reviews)
  • If legitimate, take the negative review to heart and learn from constructive criticism

Below is the video interview, which is part one of two parts:

Yelp is also offering a free webinar on Wednesday, February 27 called “Best Practices for Responding to Reviews.” 

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10 Responses to “Yelp CEO Stoppelman Explains the Site’s Controversial ‘Review Filter’”

  1. Yelp’s Review Filter According to CEO Jeremy Stoppelman says at

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  2. Yelp’s Review Filter According to CEO Jeremy Stoppelman | Michigan Web Design, SEO, Graphic Design, & Social Media Marketing says at

    […] In this video, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman tells Yelps’ side of the story (hat tip to Greg Sterling). Ironically the video is on YouTube which is a Google property which is supposed to be […]

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  4. Yelp Deceives says at

    You speak with forked tongue, Jeremy. I have a years old Yelp account with about 30 reviews. Why do you “filter” (i.e. marked as “fake”) some of my positive reviews and not others?  Furthermore, why is Yelp! so sneaky about the way it’s filtering my reviews. If I’m logged into Yelp!, all my reviews appear to be showing. It’s only when I’m logged out that I can see that some of my reviews are affected by your bogus filtering. Jeremy, you lying scumbag, I will never write another Yelp! review, and I will encourage EVERYONE I KNOW to abandon Yelp.

  5. Review PROXY says at

    While I empathize with Yelp Deceives’ anger, I can’t think of worse advice for merchants:  pro-actively telling customers to not write reviews on Yelp. The people that don’t like you are not going to be persuaded, so all you’re doing is tilting the balance against you. You’re not going to stop consumers from using Yelp. And you’re absolutely wrong (on the website) that Google+ does not filter reviews. You can claim I’m biased because my company helps businesses to get reviews they deserve, and so Yelp is important to us. But do you really want to turn the whole game over to Google and give them a monopoly on reviews like they have in search? If you think Yelp gives you a hard time, wait till you’re at Google’s mercy. 

  6. Anduha says at

    I guess yelp has not figured out the most active people on the web are malcontents, or have they? extortionists.

  7. Yelp sucks says at

    Yes! You have it right!!!
    Boycot Yelp. The only profit model they have is to charge the business owner for ads.
    I tell my customers do not write me good reviews. I tell them I do not support Yelp. I tell them ignore Yelp.
    No one needs Yelp. It is full of anonymous deceivers.
    And I agree too that the only ones who really use Yelp are the discontent in life.
    Happy people in general do not waste time on yelp.
     But when customers look for directions to your place on mobile Yelp is the first thing that comes up so your client is forced to read the reviews.

  8. James M. says at

    Yelp is for yelp. Yelp themselves use (Amazon) Mechanical Turk, which pays less than the minimum wage, to modify their review data. They use Elites to prop up or gang up on businesses. They are deceptive, dishonest and sneaky. You can’t even contact them by telephone and they ignore emails.

  9. Bryan Bloom says at

    I love the concept of Yelp and am a Yelper myself but I hate the review filter. There is no question that legitimate reviews on our business page have been filtered, this frustrates us and it really makes the customer mad. Why should they take the time – sometimes they post many paragrphs, if Yelp is going to filter it?

    The algorithm seems to have different rules for different times and different people and even different business sites. The review filter is the one thing I continually see people complain about.

  10. GMar says at

    The so called “Filter” mentioned seems to be a big disappointment. Jeremy needs to re-evaluate its lack of accuracy. This “Filter” MUST be looked at by other programmers. It could be deeply damaging (hopefully as damaging as it has been to my practice or more) to their image and potentially be detrimental. If they do nothing it leaves me to believe there is something dishonest going on creating an environment of coersion and deception in order to make another buck. It’s funny how the comment written over a year ago by someone hundreds of miles away who was never a patient at our practice has his comments still on there, and none of the twenty plus good comments from our actual patients show up for the public to see. I believe Yelp will be swallowed up by Google’s rating system. They will be avoided by all so that the deception can stop. They will not get any good referrals from us. Their system is the most ineffective I’ve ever seen available.

  11. The Real Deal With Yelp Reviews and the Filter says at

    […] […]

  12. Abdur Freelance yelp worker says at

    Yelp is the new name of terror. They are doing whatever they feel good and playing with peoples business reputation.
    That’s really sad and a crime.

  13. zee chen says at

    I was all into yelp about 7 years ago and then they filtered all my reviews for my web design business, which are all totally legit.
    I just tell people now to make sure they put their business profile in yelps business section and do not bother with it after that. They are very dishonest company. Their sales people make deals on the side with companies who place ads with them and they are just scummy.

  14. Alfred Bell says at

    I don’t trust yelp or the reviews.
    Often you see better reviews for companies with bigger budgets while we hear from all our customers that they were unhappy using the big brand company.

    At the same time we hear of reviews of smaller companies to disappear or just not being approved.

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