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Do businesses that advertise on Yelp get special treatment by the recommendation software?

Please note that we currently offer Yelp Advertising for the U.S. and Canada only.

To put it simply, no — our recommendation software treats reviews for advertisers and non-advertisers exactly the same. On Yelp, you'll find plenty of non-advertisers with five-star ratings, as well as advertisers with one-star reviews. 

There’s also no connection between the time a business starts, stops, or declines to advertise, and the placement of reviews in the recommended or not recommended sections for that business. As the software does its job, reviews may become recommended or not recommended in the days, weeks, or even months after they were first posted. Yelp's recommendation software is completely automated, so Yelp employees cannot influence which reviews it recommends or not for a particular business.

Whether a business advertises or not, soliciting reviews — asking customers to write a review on Yelp — is not permitted. Asking for reviews is likely to cause our software to not recommend them and may harm your business’s placement in Yelp’s search results, which can be frustrating. 

Here's a quick video with more details on how our recommendation software works:

We hope to continually improve the recommendation software, and appreciate any feedback you may have.