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How does Yelp determine its search results?

Please note that some features may not be available outside the US and Canada and that we currently offer Yelp Advertising for the US and Canada only.

We try to show the most useful and relevant results in response to consumer searches. Users can sort their search results in different ways, and Yelp has several filters that users can apply to further narrow their search results.  We typically will show advertisements or sponsored results (which are paid for by our advertisers) before showing you all search results (which are numbered and not paid for) in response to your search query, and may also show such advertisements elsewhere on designated sections of search results pages.

Sorting options on Yelp include:

  • “Recommended”: This default sort option on most platforms orders results based on a number of different factors, including the user’s search terms, and the distance, ratings, user engagement data, and reviews of businesses that are relevant to the query. This sort option also gives more weight to our exclusive data, like information from transactions made through Yelp (such as spa appointments, quote requests, or restaurant reservations). For example, based on this data we'll consider a merchant's likely availability when you are searching for a local business.
  • "For you": This default sort option on iOS platforms in the USA and Canada reorders results by giving more weight to the preferences you may have selected.
  • “Highest rated”:  This sort option reorders results by giving more weight to the overall star rating of businesses that are relevant to the query. 
  • “Most Reviewed”: This sort option reorders results by giving more weight to the overall number of reviews of businesses that are relevant to the query. 
  • “Distance”: This sort option, available on Yelp mobile apps, reorders results by giving more weight to the distance between you and businesses that are relevant to the query.
When it appears from a specific search that a user is looking to book an appointment, order food for delivery, reserve a table, or otherwise transact with a business, we may limit our results to businesses that we believe can immediately fulfill those requests (and we may be compensated for enabling those requests). For example, if you search for “reservations” on Yelp, we will filter search results to display restaurants that you can reserve directly on Yelp, which pay Yelp to use our reservation system.