Siri is using Yelp for its reviews on local small businesses. But is Yelp OK?
First let me quickly declare an interest here. I was looking at the feedback for another website we run. (I don’t want to give the name – and you might understand why if you read on… Let’s just say it sells stuff over the internet and gets good customer testimonials).
One of the customers mentioned that they had recommended us on Yelp. So I took a look. But I was puzzled that out of 10 reviews – all with 5 stars – only 2 showed in the main section. The rest were “filtered” out. You could still see them. But they were hard to find.
It didn’t make sense, as all the reviews are definitely genuine. We certainly hadn’t written them ourselves. But I assumed they had been filtered out because Yelp thought they weren’t real.
But that seemed unlikely. You can somehow tell when a testimonial or review is fake. But all these Yelp reviews read as if different people have written them. They don’t sound over enthusiastic etc.
So why were they filtered out?
I looked at Yelp’s own FAQs to check out how their filter works. But despite some guff about how cool it’s filtering system is it didn’t give much solid information.
So, as you do, I turned to Google.
And that’s when I became totally gobsmacked. It turns out there have been some very serious accusations against Yelp. Things that I, as a small business owner – scratch that, as a HUMAN BEING – was absolutely outraged by.
It’s a little unclear because a lawsuit based on some of these accusations was dismissed “with prejudice” ie firmly – in October 2011.
However serious allegations continue to be made on various anti-Yelp blogs
Checkout the following:
Here’s the article about the dismissed lawsuit http://www.pcworld.com/article/242708/lawsuit_accusing_yelp_of_extorting_businesses_is_dismissed.html