2.5
September 10, 2012

Yelp?

Boycott Yelp? Maybe. Or maybe just realize their attempts to monetize Yelp are directly conflicting with the integrity of their reviews, and take it all with a grain of salt.

“Yelp would be an amazing service if it was honest and transparent.”

Accusation:

“…from what I’ve read before [they] will call up businesses and demand money, if [you] don’t sign up for premium…then [you] can’t get rid of some reviews, and (speculative) they may remove positive/put up negative [reviews] to encourage you to pay”

Here’s a little story via Reddit:

“This has happened to my wife. She’s run her own one-person petcare service for about 5 years now. She has a listing on Yelp and about 20 reviews that are all 5 star reviews from various customers.

A couple years ago a sales rep from Yelp contacted her and tried to talk her into paying for advertising. The sales rep said it would generate more business for her. But she was doing fine enough without any paid advertising, so she said no thanks. Within a few days the vast majority of her 5 star reviews had disappeared from her listing. And after being the #1 listing for pet care in the area she was suddenly dropped far down on the listings.

After Yelp got a huge round of bad publicity they made a small change to their site. Hidden down near the bottom of some pages you can now see an option that lets you view “filtered reviews”. Go to my wifes page and you’ll see 3 5-star reviews. Click on the link to view the filtered reviews and you’ll see 23 5-star reviews. So exactly what are they filtering?”

Here’s some bad news re: Yelp:

[1] http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2012/05/the-yelp-extortion-scam.html

[2] http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2012/01/the-yelp-scam

[3] http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/24/yelp-is-sued-after-dispute-over-a-review/

~

Do you disagree? Is Yelp a good guy, just misunderstood? Share your story, below, either way.

What are good alternatives for business reviews?

 

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