and similar sites allow people to post reviews of user experience of different businesses and
services claiming to help people make informed decisions on their next purchase, restaurant choice or just about anything else that can be bought with
However, there has been controversy regarding these kinds of services, with some business owners claiming a type of extortion where the reviewing
company asks businesses to buy advertising and when it doesn't make a sale, owners claim that negative reviews begin popping up.
Yelp claims to have an automated filtering system that filters out both negative and positive reviews that are deemed "suspicious" by their
algorithms. They have no disclosed how this function works, but swear that reviews are not filtered by any bias.
Yet, yelping the yelp, (so-to-speak) or finding reviews on the review service, will quickly lead people to see that many claim Yelp's ad executives
have threatened or inferred their business would suffer should they not buy ads.
Yelp made headlines this week after a California restaurant made a sign alleging that Yelp representatives told owners that if they wanted a
higher rating on the site, they should buy ads.
Kristen Whisenand, a Yelp spokeswoman, said the company does not favor advertisers over anyone else.
Read more: www.businessinsider.com...
John's restaurant has more than one hundred reviews, and averages a healthy 3.5-star rating. But when John asked Mike what he could do about his
bad reviews, he recalls the sales rep responding: "We can move them. Well, for $299 a month." John couldn't believe what the guy was offering. It
Let's forget for a second there may be truth to some of the allegations. And lets just look at the service for what it is. User generated content,
reviews by the commoner, the people like you and me. (Or so some would like to believe.)
Now, I am sure everyone is aware that there are professions dedicated to reviewing things. There are publications, television shows, not just
professions but entire industries built off this kind of thing.
Why would you take someone's advice over the person who's job it is to do this kind of thing? Well, for one, many might presume bias by the
professional reviewer. Maybe they think the company being reviewed is also an advertiser, so they aren't going to get the full story. Maybe the
professional has more money they have, so they want something from someone who is looking through the glass in the same financial circumstances.
I will explain why you don't always want this kind of advice and why sometimes it is indeed better, to leave it up to the professionals.
► Professionals are professional for a reason, and they didn't just wake up one day and decide to be a critic. They have a number of lists they
check off when reviewing something. If you are going to buy a car, you don't want the superficial golddigger down the street who wears stilettos to
the gym to be reviewing your family sedan. Give her a death trap with shiny objects and a loud speaker system and she might give it ★★★★★
► I find the Yelpers and equivalents have a bit of a complex. They have been given a great power (influence) and are not afraid to wield it. Any
passive aggressive automaton who does their daily grind eating flak from everyone in their company instantly gets super powers and becomes a small
business's greatest super-villian. Absolute power corrupts absolutely as they say.
Transference of anger is considered the most childish emotion that plagues our world, yet it is one of the most prevalent. Take any husband or wife
who takes a beating from their better half without venting, any lowly worker who take abuse from their boss without ever voicing their discontent and
you have someone with a lot of pent up anger.
You don't really want to be taking advice from this person, as their vindictiveness is not actually coming from their experience of the place being
reviewed, but from the problems in their life they are unwilling to address.
Yelper discussion on reviewing
►You are not him, I am not you, he is not I and we are not them.
Some people only care about money. They will ★☆☆☆☆ one star a company simply because it was out of their price range. A review should be
about the quality of service or product provided. Price should only reflect a very small portion of a rating and only reflect the value of what's in
question; if price was the only contributing factor to whether or not something is good, the cheapest things out there would always be ★★★★★
►Opinons are opinions and misinformed opinions are a display of pure ignorance.
I am not a fan of indie rock mosh pit venues, although I've heard of them and I'm sure they are quite appealing to a good number of people in the
segment that makes up their demographics.
This is the reason I would be a terrible review on something of that ilk.
So too are other reviewers reviewing something they are unfamiliar or misinformed on.
I noticed a couple of my favourite places with terrible reviews on Yelp. Some of it is a cultural misunderstanding,
"They didn't give us utensils what kind of place is this?"
*Eat with your hands as it is a traditional ethnic venue, and that's how the cuisine is meant to be consumed.
"The music was terrible."
*K-Pop doesn't appeal to everyone, however, eating Korean BBQ is always better with Super Junior playing in the background.
"OMG it was so expensive, what a waste of money! I'm going to eat at the other Chinese place down the road, they have Chop Sooey for $5 and it's
*Ahh, seems you are one of the dumb Gwai Los that make Chinese people think Westerners are a hopeless cause of ignorance. Chinese food that has been
westernized is not Chinese food anymore than a Tofu duck burger is a Big Mac.
If you go to China, you will find Plum sauce in the ketchup dispensers and they have no idea what a deep fried white-chicken-meat burger is like,
because they only serve dark meat there. North America has the same thing with Chinese food, none of it is eaten in China and most people would there
would call it American food.
Granted, with British rule in Hong Kong for as long as it was, and the borders finally being open in China, you will find a much bigger culture mix
nowadays. However, the crap you eat from Wing-Ding China-Thing, is not real Chinese.
Why does this matter for small business so much? Well, for one, larger brands have millions of dollars on advertising, and even with bad reviews their
brand image can be created and protected simply by blasting ad campaigns over multiple platforms. One or even ten bad Yelp reviews are hardly going to
penetrate the virtual armour of hundreds of billboards telling someone "THIS PLACE IS GOOD!"
"I often talk to other business owners who are going through what I am," Wells said. "People aren't going to look up a review for the big chains,
they're going to look up reviews for smaller places they haven't heard of."
Read more: www.businessinsider.com...
edit on 26-7-2013 by boncho because:
(no reason given)