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Why Are My Yelp Reviews Disappearing?

By Jose G.
Digital Marketing Guide
Magnified Media

Wondering why your Yelp reviews suddenly have disappeared? Have you noticed a bunch of your Yelp reviews have suddenly been shuffled into Yelp’s “Not Recommended” section in the last few months? This article will give you our take on why this is happening, why online reviews are still important, and what you can do to get those reviews back into Yelp’s “Recommended Reviews” section - without having to sit through a phone call with a Yelp rep whose only answer is “well, it’s an algorithm that we can’t control - but you should still pay us for Yelp ads.”

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Did more than half of your Yelp reviews suddenly disappear? Wondering why all those hard-earned reviews were filtered?

Why Your Yelp Reviews Have Disappeared


Much of this is speculation on our part as Yelp is notoriously tight-lipped about what goes on behind the curtain. Yelp announced their earnings report recently and their stock tanked 26%. Filtering reviews allows the most trustworthy reviews to appear and be the most relevant towards a business’s overall rating. Through Yelp’s “Automated Recommendation Software” that was rolled out back in 2005, it has impacted nearly 25% of reviews written on Yelp’s website. According to Yelp, 75% of the reviews written are never affected, but it does acknowledge that the algorithm makes some reviews disappear due to it being more conservative.  This explanation rings untrue in light of recent events: in the past month we’ve seen clients’ recommended reviews cut in half - without any seeming reason.

“Does legitimate review content sometimes get lost as a result? Yes. Our software takes a conservative approach and errs on the side of protecting the consumer, when necessary. It’s unfortunate, but this is what is required to maximize trustworthy content and provide value to consumers and businesses alike.”

More often than not, the hassle of having to call Yelp to figure out why your reviews are disappearing gives Yelp a chance to upsell their services.  This is the true reason yours reviews are disappearing: “Yelp's core advertising business fell below expectations [due in part to] a lower success rate in reaching key decision makers in outbound sales calls.”  Guess who that key decision maker is?


Why Your Online Reviews Still Matter


Online reviews are important because they bring in qualified leads to your business.  If your business provides services that range in the $1000 and up category, you can bet your customers are checking your reputation out online before calling you. Having a five star reputation on other sites like Google, Facebook, Nextdoor, Avvo, Houzz, etc. and not just Yelp, is vital for the success of every business and company.  Online reviews are not going away. People trust them.


The good news is Yelpers appreciate the benefits of reviews as well. In a recent user survey, a whopping 94% of respondents said they turn to Yelp first to make a purchasing decision. Indeed, 80% noted it’s because Yelp emphasizes reviews from trusted members of the community.


How You Can Get Your Yelp Reviews into the Recommended Reviews Section


Did you know that when a reviewer is signed into their Yelp account they can’t even tell if their reviews have been filtered? That’s right, all of their reviews look visible to them.  So the first thing you should do is contact them (offline or through Yelp’s private messaging system) and let them know Yelp doesn’t consider their review worthy of consideration. (They can confirm by logging out of their account and checking out the reviews for your business.)  Send them a private message and recommend they take the following actions to have the review moved back to the Recommended Section:


  1. Update the review, adding photos if possible.

  2. Complete your Yelp profile (with a photo!)

  3. Start reviewing other businesses on Yelp, uploading photos as well as inviting and connecting with friends on the app.  Yelp just needs to know they are a real person in order for their reviews to count.

  4. Apply to be a part of the Yelp Elite Squad.


Need a Digital Marketing Agency You Can Trust?

Magnified Media is an online marketing agency specializing in social media marketing for businesses and small companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.  Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, we are their trusted outsourced marketing solution, focused on doing three things: getting them more online reviews, getting their website seen and creating content for their social media platforms.  Focusing on these key areas for our clients means they can run their business without worrying about when - or where - the next customer is coming. We help build their business through reputation. Interested in seeing what we can do for your business? Schedule your free Online Presence Audit now.



  1. The Motley Fool - Why Yelp Stock Dropped 21.4% in November

  2. Yelp - Forum

  3. Experts Exchange - All My Yelp Reviews are filtered

  4. Yelp - Why Yelp Has A Review Filter

  5. Yelp - Yelp Review Filtered Explained


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