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Yelp Makes Changes To Address Criticism

     
5:02 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yelp Makes Changes To Address Criticism [bits.blogs.nytimes.com]
Small business owners have been loud and vocal in their criticism of Yelp and its reader reviews. On Tuesday, Yelp will make two significant changes to its pages to address those complaints.

On Yelp, where users rank and review local businesses, readers will now be able to click on a link to see reviews that Yelp filtered out, and advertisers on Yelp will no longer be able to post their favorite review at the top of the page.

“I hope that these changes will debunk some of the myths and conspiracy theories out there about Yelp and its advertising and whether those are linked,” said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s co-founder and chief executive.



Earlier story

Yelp Sued for Burying Bad Reviews for Advertisers [webmasterworld.com]
5:09 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ooh. nice spin on that one. They're going to have to work hard to regain the public's trust... I applaud this first step
5:10 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ahh this is great. Watching them back peddle and clean up yet claim they are doing nothing wrong... ;-)

Never understood how such a large brand got away with what they were doing. It just didn't seem right (how they let companies control the reviews if they bought in to advertising).

Wonder how many companies are going to want a refund for retracking a service they are no longer offering... Get out the checkbook.
6:13 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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advertiserson Yelp will no longer be able to post their favorite review at the top of the page....I hope that these changes will debunk some of the myths and conspiracy theories


Myths, eh?
6:23 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Paid reviewers" polluted the data early on. They seeded the listings and then allowed their sales people to tell business owners they could clean up the page if they paid for it, (e.g.- bury the bad reviews).

This was a planned strategy. They had them write mostly NEGATIVE reviews as there would be no incentive for a business to pay if it was all or mostly positive already.

Basically sales by extortion in my book -- nice money maker... if you have no ethics and want no credibility.

To me the name says; "We'll make business [pay or] Yelp!"

I question all their reviews, (good or bad), which makes the "service" useless.
6:43 pm on Apr 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I question all their reviews, (good or bad), which makes the "service" useless


Not exactly, the service in general feels unserious and fickle. Like an immature child, or just people that want to vent or bicker. Some what like a twitter of business gripes.

Sites like this are very popular, so the reviews may even be a secondary consideration, giving something for people to gather around if you will.
8:53 pm on Apr 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Letting advertisers control review visibility is an amazingly bad idea. Sounds like an approach dreamed up in a college dorm room, not in a serious VC-funded review site.
6:52 am on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If the critics run the show Yelp is doomed.
1:02 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Letting advertisers control review visibility is an amazingly bad idea.


Although I agree, the opposite is even worse: Not letting businesses have any control over the validity of complaints or bad reviews (as Google Local Business Center or Maps encourages) is worse for everybody as it supports malicious tit-for-tat spam.
2:08 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Not letting businesses have any control over the validity of complaints or bad reviews is worse for everybody


Visibility and validity are two very different horses. I believe Yelp has always had a process in place for disputing validity of reviews, if not then they should.