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Does Yelp recommend more positive or negative reviews?

We publicly disclose the rating breakdown in our Fact Sheet, where you’ll quickly see that Yelp recommends both positive and negative reviews in an effort to show the most helpful and reliable reviews to our users.

For businesses concerned that Yelp’s recommendation software is disproportionately impacting their positive reviews, please consider the following:
  • Contrary to popular belief, Yelpers write more positive reviews than negative reviews, so it isn’t necessarily surprising that Yelp’s recommendation software might impact more positive reviews.
  • Yelp’s recommendation software does not take into account whether your business advertises on Yelp; we treat advertisers and non-advertisers alike.
  • You shouldn’t ask for reviews. Asking your customers to write reviews for your business (particularly if you offer freebies or discounts as an incentive, but even if you don’t) may sound like a good way to improve your reputation, but it’s exactly the sort of behavior that Yelp’s recommendation software is trained to detect. The most helpful reviews are unsolicited, so don’t be surprised if the reviews you solicit aren’t recommended by Yelp.
For a detailed explanation of our recommendation software, take a minute to watch our video on the subject:

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