The Yelp Elite Squad is our way of recognizing people who are active in the Yelp community and role models on and off the site. Elite-worthiness is based on a number of things, including well-written reviews, high quality tips, a detailed personal profile, an active voting and complimenting record, and a history of playing well with others.
Members of the Elite Squad are designated by a colorful Elite badge on their account profile. After being Elite for 5 years, they'll receive the Gold Elite Badge, and after 10 years they'll receive the coveted Black Elite Badge.
The Yelp Elite Squad is a yearly program, so badges will only extend until the end of the calendar year (unless the person finds him- or herself nudged out earlier for bad behavior). Towards the end of the year, members will receive a note from their Community Manager to re-nominate themselves so that they can start the next year with a shiny new Elite badge. For users who don't have a community manager or live outside of U.S. or Canada, there is no need to re-nominate themselves, the Elite Council will still review all Elites for consideration for the following year's badge. Badges will be awarded based on Yelp activity over the past year, among other factors. Those who violate our Terms of Service or Content Guidelines, or otherwise besmirch the Elite Squad's reputation may have their membership revoked.
You can nominate yourself for the Yelp Elite Squad at any time. To learn more, you can visit the Yelp Elite Squad page.