Understanding the Yelp review filter: An exploratory study

David Kamerer


Reviews on Yelp.com can be an important factor in driving customers to a business. However, many business owners have expressed concern with Yelp’s review filtering system, which was created to flag low–quality or fake reviews. This study performs a content analysis of a subset of Yelp restaurant and religious organization reviews, visible and filtered, exploring signals from the reviews or the reviewers that might explain the filtering process. The study finds that factors intrinsic to the review itself are not related to filtering, but factors related to the reviewer are strong predictors. The Yelp system is much more likely to filter reviews from occasional, isolated reviewers than from prolific, socially connected reviewers.




Online reviews; Yelp; Online marketing;

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v19i9.5436

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