The Place of Review Filters in Local Search

Posted: March 3, 2013 in Blog

By Amit Rawat

By Why review filters exist

As local search usage among the general public has exploded over the last several years, more and more directories have (rightly) seen reviews as a way to:

  • Gauge the offline popularity of a business in their algorithms
  • Provide better insight to searchers into the experience at that business
  • Increase the “stickiness” of their sites by increasing the sense of community
  • Get out of Google’s Panda/Farmer purgatory by adding unique user content

In many ways, Yelp was ahead of its time on all four of these bullet points, and as a result, it had to tackle the inevitable review spam that accompanied its popularity.

Its answer was arguably the first widespread local review filter: an algorithm for detecting and removing spam or suspicious-looking content.  In Yelp’s own words:

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