Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 10, 2012
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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.”


“…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:





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

What are good alternatives for business reviews?



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


8 Responses to “Yelp?”

  1. Annie Ory says:

    If you have your business listed on Google Maps, their site has reviews.
    These will be presented to people who plug their current location in to google.maps searching for yoga studios and find you because of location.

    I do not have a YELP! story like this, though I'm disappointed because I do use YELP! and I didn't imagine that they were manipulating the results. Bad Internet company! BAD!

  2. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Yelp is still a little better than Citysearch, because Yelp WILL filter reviews from review contributors who (and I am only guessing at what factors they use in their algorithm, using a weighted proportion of attributes, such as): (1) don't have a fleshed-out profile, (2) don't get votes on their reviews, (3) don't have a range of different category reviews (I'm guilty of that–I do a lot of category killers with great health and beauty aids departments), (4) have not reviewed in a long time, (5) the quality of their review [readability and a good length count], (6) complaints by other members, or by the business itself (7) a review's zeitgeist [P.R. push by the business … and reviews show up at similar, suspicious dates], and (8) a whitewash review which is obvious …

  3. Me says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that Yelp is being manipulative and that is wrong. I'm tired of unethical biz practices they should be reviewed! I give them 3 stars for being organized but took two off for stealing comments.

    When I first posted my post was filtered out and I really wanted to say and do something nice for that particular biz. I was hurt and could not believe people loved the site so much. Since then it has ruined my experience with them a bit knowing that they do that. Their filtering system is nothing more than a bunch of mumble jumble algorithms that make no sense.

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