Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Apr 21, 2014
Reaction score
Hi all,

It used to be that Yelp didn't filter reviews with check-ins but that is no longer the case. I've got a dental client who we're trying to build Yelp reviews for, to boost their ranking in the omnipresent "top ten dentists in..." They are giving away an electric toothbrush with check-in. They are getting reviews -- 10 in just a few days, but 80% are getting filtered. This seems to be relatively new, so I wanted to share it with the great local SEO community here.

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Jul 26, 2012
Reaction score
@Rich Owings, the number of reviews is almost always the issue. People with fewer than about 10 Yelp reviews tend to have their reviews filtered often (or always) until they get to roughly 10. The kicker is that reviews in the 1-3 -star range are less likely to get filtered. Even a 4-star is less likely to get filtered than is a 5-star.


LocalU Faculty
Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Ugh. This was actually the suggested action that Luther Lowe from Yelp suggested at an SMX years ago. He said using a check-in offer was a great way to get more Yelp reviews and stay within guidelines. I guess now that strategy is toast.

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Apr 21, 2014
Reaction score
There may still be less of a barrier for reviews with check-ins to clear the filter. After all, I'm seeing success for folks with 1-3 reviews. I suspect there is a lower barrier with dentists than something like restaurants, but there are other factors at play too.


Mar 20, 2019
Reaction score
I can confirm this
I'm still seeing unfiltered reviews with check-ins. Apparently Yelp doesn't target check-in reviews. But maybe the difference is that now Yelp scrutinizes check-in reviews just as much as it's scrutinized non-check-in reviews.

New algorithm removes sudden spikes in no. of reviews per day. if they see no reviewers after few days at that same speed.
Believe me Checking is just a badge and nothing else.
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