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  • You make some great points about consumers’ ability to trust reviews posted on Yelp, although it’s worth pointing out that 7 out of 10 internet users trust consumer reviews on any site, more than many other forms of advertising http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2013/the-reviews-are-in–yelp-users-are-four-star-consumers.html.

    We have every right to be skeptical if Yelp indeed rigs which reviews pop-up. But as you point out, we’re even more inclined to believe a recommendation posted by someone we know (the most trusted source of info http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/consumer-trust-in-online-social-and-mobile-advertising-grows.html ) than a stranger who could be trying to fool us.

    Sounds like a simple fix then: just return results from Facebook friends (or friends of friends) at the top of search results. Foursquare does this very well already, building on their own social network, and it’s not hard to imagine Yelp could do the same.

  • You make some great points about consumers’ ability to trust reviews posted on Yelp, although it’s worth pointing out that 7 out of 10 internet users trust consumer reviews on any site, more than many other forms of advertising http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2013/the-reviews-are-in–yelp-users-are-four-star-consumers.html.

    We have every right to be skeptical if Yelp indeed rigs which reviews pop-up. But as you point out, we’re even more inclined to believe a recommendation posted by someone we know (the most trusted source of info http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/consumer-trust-in-online-social-and-mobile-advertising-grows.html ) than a stranger who could be trying to fool us.

    Sounds like a simple fix then: just return results from Facebook friends (or friends of friends) at the top of search results. Foursquare does this very well already, building on their own social network, and it’s not hard to imagine Yelp could do the same.

  • You make some great points about consumers’ ability to trust reviews posted on Yelp, although it’s worth pointing out that 7 out of 10 internet users trust consumer reviews on any site, more than many other forms of advertising http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2013/the-reviews-are-in–yelp-users-are-four-star-consumers.html.

    We have every right to be skeptical if Yelp indeed rigs which reviews pop-up. But as you point out, we’re even more inclined to believe a recommendation posted by someone we know (the most trusted source of info http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/consumer-trust-in-online-social-and-mobile-advertising-grows.html ) than a stranger who could be trying to fool us.

    Sounds like a simple fix then: just return results from Facebook friends (or friends of friends) at the top of search results. Foursquare does this very well already, building on their own social network, and it’s not hard to imagine Yelp could do the same.

  • Douglas Crets says:

    I know one of the guys who made Knod.es, we met once. I still think it’s going to be one of many in a very large ecosystem. I don’t think Yelp fails. I just don’t think it is the winner. There is no winner. We keep building like there is going to be a dominant technology that comes out of every market vertical. I am not sure that is how things go, with tech being so cheap to make these days.

    • David Novich says:

      I agree with you. It is not clear who will be the dominant player, and whoever is can be replaced quite quickly.

  • Douglas Crets says:

    I know one of the guys who made Knod.es, we met once. I still think it’s going to be one of many in a very large ecosystem. I don’t think Yelp fails. I just don’t think it is the winner. There is no winner. We keep building like there is going to be a dominant technology that comes out of every market vertical. I am not sure that is how things go, with tech being so cheap to make these days.

    • David Novich says:

      I agree with you. It is not clear who will be the dominant player, and whoever is can be replaced quite quickly.

  • Douglas Crets says:

    I know one of the guys who made Knod.es, we met once. I still think it’s going to be one of many in a very large ecosystem. I don’t think Yelp fails. I just don’t think it is the winner. There is no winner. We keep building like there is going to be a dominant technology that comes out of every market vertical. I am not sure that is how things go, with tech being so cheap to make these days.

    • David Novich says:

      I agree with you. It is not clear who will be the dominant player, and whoever is can be replaced quite quickly.

  • It’s interesting that TripAdvisor seems to be going toward the “trust economy” model. Every time I search a destination I get a pop-up telling me that a friend or friend-of-a-friend has been there and written a review.

    With all these review sites, though, I read a sampling and do an average in my head, discounting the value of those reviews that seem to have been written by kooks. Not very scientific, I know …

  • It’s interesting that TripAdvisor seems to be going toward the “trust economy” model. Every time I search a destination I get a pop-up telling me that a friend or friend-of-a-friend has been there and written a review.

    With all these review sites, though, I read a sampling and do an average in my head, discounting the value of those reviews that seem to have been written by kooks. Not very scientific, I know …

  • It’s interesting that TripAdvisor seems to be going toward the “trust economy” model. Every time I search a destination I get a pop-up telling me that a friend or friend-of-a-friend has been there and written a review.

    With all these review sites, though, I read a sampling and do an average in my head, discounting the value of those reviews that seem to have been written by kooks. Not very scientific, I know …

  • Jessica A says:

    I really like the Goodreads.com model. When I go to a specific book, I can see the aggregate ratings and surf through hundreds of reviews if I want to. But more importantly, the ratings and reviews given by my friends are at the top of the page. I like having the best of both worlds, because there are occasions when I want to check out a book that none of my friends have read/shared. I think something similar could work for Yelp (or it’s competitors), if they can manage to stop manipulating the system in the pay-for-play manner that they seem to be doing right now.

  • Jessica A says:

    I really like the Goodreads.com model. When I go to a specific book, I can see the aggregate ratings and surf through hundreds of reviews if I want to. But more importantly, the ratings and reviews given by my friends are at the top of the page. I like having the best of both worlds, because there are occasions when I want to check out a book that none of my friends have read/shared. I think something similar could work for Yelp (or it’s competitors), if they can manage to stop manipulating the system in the pay-for-play manner that they seem to be doing right now.

  • Jessica A says:

    I really like the Goodreads.com model. When I go to a specific book, I can see the aggregate ratings and surf through hundreds of reviews if I want to. But more importantly, the ratings and reviews given by my friends are at the top of the page. I like having the best of both worlds, because there are occasions when I want to check out a book that none of my friends have read/shared. I think something similar could work for Yelp (or it’s competitors), if they can manage to stop manipulating the system in the pay-for-play manner that they seem to be doing right now.

  • Courtney Cox says:

    I won’t be surprised if Yelp gets slapped with racketeering suit when they treat a law firm with the, “Advertise or lose your positive reviews,” tactic.

  • Courtney Cox says:

    I won’t be surprised if Yelp gets slapped with racketeering suit when they treat a law firm with the, “Advertise or lose your positive reviews,” tactic.

  • Courtney Cox says:

    I won’t be surprised if Yelp gets slapped with racketeering suit when they treat a law firm with the, “Advertise or lose your positive reviews,” tactic.

  • Ike Pigott says:

    You left out Foursquare.

    I still think Foursquare has to make a couple of tweaks to nudge more real reviews and tips, but it is already built out with relevance, and it has one thing Yelp doesn’t: Mayors.

    Mayors are usually stupid gamification, but they have the potential to indicate exactly who has enough experience at that location to share a helpful opinion.

    Foursquare would be better served to show more than “The Mayor”, and list out a few more people who frequent that business. It could open up more ways to shop for information.

    • Yelp did try building their own check-in mechanism to indicate that reviews had been there already, including this same idea of an extended list of a business’ regulars, giving them titles like “King” and “Duke”. In the end, repeat patronage of a business seems like a tacit endorsement, rather than an objective review process.

      • Ike Pigott says:

        I’m actually envisioning something a little beyond just a review — creating the sort of network where you could see “This guy is a regular, let me ask HIM if the sirloin is the best thing on the menu.”

  • Ike Pigott says:

    You left out Foursquare.

    I still think Foursquare has to make a couple of tweaks to nudge more real reviews and tips, but it is already built out with relevance, and it has one thing Yelp doesn’t: Mayors.

    Mayors are usually stupid gamification, but they have the potential to indicate exactly who has enough experience at that location to share a helpful opinion.

    Foursquare would be better served to show more than “The Mayor”, and list out a few more people who frequent that business. It could open up more ways to shop for information.

    • Yelp did try building their own check-in mechanism to indicate that reviews had been there already, including this same idea of an extended list of a business’ regulars, giving them titles like “King” and “Duke”. In the end, repeat patronage of a business seems like a tacit endorsement, rather than an objective review process.

      • Ike Pigott says:

        I’m actually envisioning something a little beyond just a review — creating the sort of network where you could see “This guy is a regular, let me ask HIM if the sirloin is the best thing on the menu.”

  • Ike Pigott says:

    You left out Foursquare.

    I still think Foursquare has to make a couple of tweaks to nudge more real reviews and tips, but it is already built out with relevance, and it has one thing Yelp doesn’t: Mayors.

    Mayors are usually stupid gamification, but they have the potential to indicate exactly who has enough experience at that location to share a helpful opinion.

    Foursquare would be better served to show more than “The Mayor”, and list out a few more people who frequent that business. It could open up more ways to shop for information.

    • Yelp did try building their own check-in mechanism to indicate that reviews had been there already, including this same idea of an extended list of a business’ regulars, giving them titles like “King” and “Duke”. In the end, repeat patronage of a business seems like a tacit endorsement, rather than an objective review process.

      • Ike Pigott says:

        I’m actually envisioning something a little beyond just a review — creating the sort of network where you could see “This guy is a regular, let me ask HIM if the sirloin is the best thing on the menu.”

  • Ron J says:

    Great read! I couldn’t agree more with your central idea: it is inevitable (cue Architect monologue from Matrix Reloaded) that they will become largely irrelevant if they continue to treat positive reviews as media to be purchased . However, as Matthew Hurst rightly pointed out, tons of people are still pretty trusting of “stranger” reviews (and I’d guess particularly so on sites they have affinity for). Why? Could be the perception of authenticity or the volume of reviews but in many cases there is a certain comfort in seeing hundreds of people tell me that a place is 4-star worthy. When this is further bolstered by tons of self-generated photos, I feel reassured that a group of passionate people patronized and documented their time there I’m sold…ish. Turns out it depends on the context. If it’s not that important a decision (coffee for a quick catchup) Yelp is good enough. If something is important enough for me to ask a friend (special dinner with my wife, celebratory drinks with my team), I ALWAYS want to ask a friend. This is where I believe Douglas Crets might be incorrect. IMHO this is not a question of technology which I agree is getting cheap enough that everyone can hack on the same stuff (like the social data Knodes builds off of for instance), it’s a question of winning paradigms for user and vendor experience; and whether companies can be nimble enough to establish a lead in the dominant paradigm if they didn’t start that paradigm. I think Yelp is going to struggle not for lack of smart people or ability to build tech but because at its core it isn’t in the business of fairly and neutrally helping people build customer relationships. There is simply too much information on the web for consumers not to need new (and more) filters every day. Making your network work better as you navigate the web is not a feature. It’s the future. And Yelp won’t be able to adapt.

  • Ron J says:

    Great read! I couldn’t agree more with your central idea: it is inevitable (cue Architect monologue from Matrix Reloaded) that they will become largely irrelevant if they continue to treat positive reviews as media to be purchased . However, as Matthew Hurst rightly pointed out, tons of people are still pretty trusting of “stranger” reviews (and I’d guess particularly so on sites they have affinity for). Why? Could be the perception of authenticity or the volume of reviews but in many cases there is a certain comfort in seeing hundreds of people tell me that a place is 4-star worthy. When this is further bolstered by tons of self-generated photos, I feel reassured that a group of passionate people patronized and documented their time there I’m sold…ish. Turns out it depends on the context. If it’s not that important a decision (coffee for a quick catchup) Yelp is good enough. If something is important enough for me to ask a friend (special dinner with my wife, celebratory drinks with my team), I ALWAYS want to ask a friend. This is where I believe Douglas Crets might be incorrect. IMHO this is not a question of technology which I agree is getting cheap enough that everyone can hack on the same stuff (like the social data Knodes builds off of for instance), it’s a question of winning paradigms for user and vendor experience; and whether companies can be nimble enough to establish a lead in the dominant paradigm if they didn’t start that paradigm. I think Yelp is going to struggle not for lack of smart people or ability to build tech but because at its core it isn’t in the business of fairly and neutrally helping people build customer relationships. There is simply too much information on the web for consumers not to need new (and more) filters every day. Making your network work better as you navigate the web is not a feature. It’s the future. And Yelp won’t be able to adapt.

  • Ron J says:

    Great read! I couldn’t agree more with your central idea: it is inevitable (cue Architect monologue from Matrix Reloaded) that they will become largely irrelevant if they continue to treat positive reviews as media to be purchased . However, as Matthew Hurst rightly pointed out, tons of people are still pretty trusting of “stranger” reviews (and I’d guess particularly so on sites they have affinity for). Why? Could be the perception of authenticity or the volume of reviews but in many cases there is a certain comfort in seeing hundreds of people tell me that a place is 4-star worthy. When this is further bolstered by tons of self-generated photos, I feel reassured that a group of passionate people patronized and documented their time there I’m sold…ish. Turns out it depends on the context. If it’s not that important a decision (coffee for a quick catchup) Yelp is good enough. If something is important enough for me to ask a friend (special dinner with my wife, celebratory drinks with my team), I ALWAYS want to ask a friend. This is where I believe Douglas Crets might be incorrect. IMHO this is not a question of technology which I agree is getting cheap enough that everyone can hack on the same stuff (like the social data Knodes builds off of for instance), it’s a question of winning paradigms for user and vendor experience; and whether companies can be nimble enough to establish a lead in the dominant paradigm if they didn’t start that paradigm. I think Yelp is going to struggle not for lack of smart people or ability to build tech but because at its core it isn’t in the business of fairly and neutrally helping people build customer relationships. There is simply too much information on the web for consumers not to need new (and more) filters every day. Making your network work better as you navigate the web is not a feature. It’s the future. And Yelp won’t be able to adapt.

  • Don Y says:

    Peter, you make several excellent points. Additionally, the majority of reviews for services at Yelp are for a company. Since the service is performed by an individual service professional, think Realtor in an office of 100+ agents, having a company review is worthless. Or as valuable as a Doctor knowing the average blood pressure of her patients.

  • Don Y says:

    Peter, you make several excellent points. Additionally, the majority of reviews for services at Yelp are for a company. Since the service is performed by an individual service professional, think Realtor in an office of 100+ agents, having a company review is worthless. Or as valuable as a Doctor knowing the average blood pressure of her patients.

  • Don Y says:

    Peter, you make several excellent points. Additionally, the majority of reviews for services at Yelp are for a company. Since the service is performed by an individual service professional, think Realtor in an office of 100+ agents, having a company review is worthless. Or as valuable as a Doctor knowing the average blood pressure of her patients.

  • Michael Goodheim says:

    Matthew Hurst makes a number of good points. As a small business owner, I’ve suffered with the Yelp screening algorithm (they swear that it is an algorithm that is screening out my actual customer reviews – how dare they be delighted with my service!). I just direct customers to another site to sing my praises. But I’ve never been hit up by Yelp following a review disappearance. And the algorithm appears to largely favor regular reviewers (new reviewers are going to get screened out). Even after all of this hullabaloo about their review screener, they still have grown. As has Angie’s List (strangers paying to review and view other stranger’s reviews about contractors). Ultimately I believe that there is a market for this company’s product and even as the known-party reviewing increases, there will still be a use for Yelp’s scatter plot of reviews from the street. Just as Open Table scores bring their restaurants diners, the Yelp system fills the gaps the friends and family can’t fill.

  • Michael Goodheim says:

    Matthew Hurst makes a number of good points. As a small business owner, I’ve suffered with the Yelp screening algorithm (they swear that it is an algorithm that is screening out my actual customer reviews – how dare they be delighted with my service!). I just direct customers to another site to sing my praises. But I’ve never been hit up by Yelp following a review disappearance. And the algorithm appears to largely favor regular reviewers (new reviewers are going to get screened out). Even after all of this hullabaloo about their review screener, they still have grown. As has Angie’s List (strangers paying to review and view other stranger’s reviews about contractors). Ultimately I believe that there is a market for this company’s product and even as the known-party reviewing increases, there will still be a use for Yelp’s scatter plot of reviews from the street. Just as Open Table scores bring their restaurants diners, the Yelp system fills the gaps the friends and family can’t fill.

  • Michael Goodheim says:

    Matthew Hurst makes a number of good points. As a small business owner, I’ve suffered with the Yelp screening algorithm (they swear that it is an algorithm that is screening out my actual customer reviews – how dare they be delighted with my service!). I just direct customers to another site to sing my praises. But I’ve never been hit up by Yelp following a review disappearance. And the algorithm appears to largely favor regular reviewers (new reviewers are going to get screened out). Even after all of this hullabaloo about their review screener, they still have grown. As has Angie’s List (strangers paying to review and view other stranger’s reviews about contractors). Ultimately I believe that there is a market for this company’s product and even as the known-party reviewing increases, there will still be a use for Yelp’s scatter plot of reviews from the street. Just as Open Table scores bring their restaurants diners, the Yelp system fills the gaps the friends and family can’t fill.

  • Chuck Kennedy says:

    Quick check of the math: 100 friends with 100 friends of each friend is not 100,000. It’s 10,100, and many of them will overlap as circles of friends naturally do. Still it’s an impressively sized extended network.

  • Chuck Kennedy says:

    Quick check of the math: 100 friends with 100 friends of each friend is not 100,000. It’s 10,100, and many of them will overlap as circles of friends naturally do. Still it’s an impressively sized extended network.

  • Chuck Kennedy says:

    Quick check of the math: 100 friends with 100 friends of each friend is not 100,000. It’s 10,100, and many of them will overlap as circles of friends naturally do. Still it’s an impressively sized extended network.

  • Bottomline people need to get out the house, explore the world and stop letting critics decide your adventures in life!

  • Bottomline people need to get out the house, explore the world and stop letting critics decide your adventures in life!

  • Bottomline people need to get out the house, explore the world and stop letting critics decide your adventures in life!

  • angie says:

    Great article – I’m a bar owner. It’s a small business. Imagine people who have been drinking cocktails for a few hours sitting at your bar on their phone writing a “review” – not on the service or the decor, or the actual product we sell but instead slamming your business because they don’t like the crowd , or what the bartender was wearing or because they forgot their ID and we wouldn’t let them in because its against the law for us to do so. These aren’t reviews – but Yelp lets these comments or reviews live out there forever and the sad thing for us as a business is that there are a lot of people out there (sometimes younger but not always) that actually use Yelp as a serious resource in order to determine where they will take there business. I’ve also personally been bullied by Yelp in order to advertise with them. Ruthless, they are and yes, I can say that we have a ton of positive, legitimate reviews sitting in their filter.

  • angie says:

    Great article – I’m a bar owner. It’s a small business. Imagine people who have been drinking cocktails for a few hours sitting at your bar on their phone writing a “review” – not on the service or the decor, or the actual product we sell but instead slamming your business because they don’t like the crowd , or what the bartender was wearing or because they forgot their ID and we wouldn’t let them in because its against the law for us to do so. These aren’t reviews – but Yelp lets these comments or reviews live out there forever and the sad thing for us as a business is that there are a lot of people out there (sometimes younger but not always) that actually use Yelp as a serious resource in order to determine where they will take there business. I’ve also personally been bullied by Yelp in order to advertise with them. Ruthless, they are and yes, I can say that we have a ton of positive, legitimate reviews sitting in their filter.

  • angie says:

    Great article – I’m a bar owner. It’s a small business. Imagine people who have been drinking cocktails for a few hours sitting at your bar on their phone writing a “review” – not on the service or the decor, or the actual product we sell but instead slamming your business because they don’t like the crowd , or what the bartender was wearing or because they forgot their ID and we wouldn’t let them in because its against the law for us to do so. These aren’t reviews – but Yelp lets these comments or reviews live out there forever and the sad thing for us as a business is that there are a lot of people out there (sometimes younger but not always) that actually use Yelp as a serious resource in order to determine where they will take there business. I’ve also personally been bullied by Yelp in order to advertise with them. Ruthless, they are and yes, I can say that we have a ton of positive, legitimate reviews sitting in their filter.

  • Robyn Davis Sekula says:

    Here’s why I think they’re doomed to fail: they have pissed off the very people who they need to write checks. They have treated businesses very, very poorly, expecting the businesses to spend money with them anyway, believing they are essential. They are not. They’re acting like a monopoly – when they’re not. It reminds me of the behavior of newspapers: our ad staff will treat you like you’re completely expendable and get your ads wrong but you’ll still buy because it’s the only way to get customers. That was true, for a long time. But now it’s not.

  • Robyn Davis Sekula says:

    Here’s why I think they’re doomed to fail: they have pissed off the very people who they need to write checks. They have treated businesses very, very poorly, expecting the businesses to spend money with them anyway, believing they are essential. They are not. They’re acting like a monopoly – when they’re not. It reminds me of the behavior of newspapers: our ad staff will treat you like you’re completely expendable and get your ads wrong but you’ll still buy because it’s the only way to get customers. That was true, for a long time. But now it’s not.

  • Robyn Davis Sekula says:

    Here’s why I think they’re doomed to fail: they have pissed off the very people who they need to write checks. They have treated businesses very, very poorly, expecting the businesses to spend money with them anyway, believing they are essential. They are not. They’re acting like a monopoly – when they’re not. It reminds me of the behavior of newspapers: our ad staff will treat you like you’re completely expendable and get your ads wrong but you’ll still buy because it’s the only way to get customers. That was true, for a long time. But now it’s not.

  • MrDZYN says:

    Hi Peter – I thought you might be interested in these articles regarding how people are feeling about Yelp:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-yelp-town-hall-reviews-20130820,0,501302.story
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-yelp-town-hall-20130822,0,4360994.story
    —–
    Personally, I like Yelp and have used it often. I have posted 18 reviews, none have been held back by the review filter for an extended period (some were held temporarily but later released). Even so – they might want to become more transparent. None of this goes to your central point – that we’re moving (or have moved) to a more network, trust based economy. But I dunno if we’ll be there as soon as you think. To misquote, “reports of the old economy’s death are often exaggerated.”

  • MrDZYN says:

    Hi Peter – I thought you might be interested in these articles regarding how people are feeling about Yelp:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-yelp-town-hall-reviews-20130820,0,501302.story
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-yelp-town-hall-20130822,0,4360994.story
    —–
    Personally, I like Yelp and have used it often. I have posted 18 reviews, none have been held back by the review filter for an extended period (some were held temporarily but later released). Even so – they might want to become more transparent. None of this goes to your central point – that we’re moving (or have moved) to a more network, trust based economy. But I dunno if we’ll be there as soon as you think. To misquote, “reports of the old economy’s death are often exaggerated.”

  • MrDZYN says:

    Hi Peter – I thought you might be interested in these articles regarding how people are feeling about Yelp:
    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-yelp-town-hall-reviews-20130820,0,501302.story
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-yelp-town-hall-20130822,0,4360994.story
    —–
    Personally, I like Yelp and have used it often. I have posted 18 reviews, none have been held back by the review filter for an extended period (some were held temporarily but later released). Even so – they might want to become more transparent. None of this goes to your central point – that we’re moving (or have moved) to a more network, trust based economy. But I dunno if we’ll be there as soon as you think. To misquote, “reports of the old economy’s death are often exaggerated.”

  • Rebecca Hamilton Taylor says:

    Same reason I will never trust Angie’s List. I thought it was a good concept and reliable until my brother-in-law who is in the granite business said he got a call from Angie’s List asking him if he would be interested in advertising (paying for “recommendations”). So much for trusted recommendations. Nice, Angie!

  • Rebecca Hamilton Taylor says:

    Same reason I will never trust Angie’s List. I thought it was a good concept and reliable until my brother-in-law who is in the granite business said he got a call from Angie’s List asking him if he would be interested in advertising (paying for “recommendations”). So much for trusted recommendations. Nice, Angie!

  • Rebecca Hamilton Taylor says:

    Same reason I will never trust Angie’s List. I thought it was a good concept and reliable until my brother-in-law who is in the granite business said he got a call from Angie’s List asking him if he would be interested in advertising (paying for “recommendations”). So much for trusted recommendations. Nice, Angie!

  • We Hchoo says:

    @rebeccahamiltontaylor:disqus I had the same experience with the BBB…They wanted me to BUY the A+ rating…You just never know…I have also had some bad Yelp experiences, not worth going into. #hchoo with me at hchoo.com

  • We Hchoo says:

    @rebeccahamiltontaylor:disqus I had the same experience with the BBB…They wanted me to BUY the A+ rating…You just never know…I have also had some bad Yelp experiences, not worth going into. #hchoo with me at hchoo.com

  • We Hchoo says:

    @rebeccahamiltontaylor:disqus I had the same experience with the BBB…They wanted me to BUY the A+ rating…You just never know…I have also had some bad Yelp experiences, not worth going into. #hchoo with me at hchoo.com

  • Cher Cirelli says:

    I agree 100% Yelp is about threatening/bullying small businesses into PAYING to remove bogus remarks by people who are either competitors, or having a different taste bud than another person. MOST people are smart enough to try things for themselves….YELP will be history very soon! If you look on YELP’s own reviews, no one likes them!

  • Cher Cirelli says:

    I agree 100% Yelp is about threatening/bullying small businesses into PAYING to remove bogus remarks by people who are either competitors, or having a different taste bud than another person. MOST people are smart enough to try things for themselves….YELP will be history very soon! If you look on YELP’s own reviews, no one likes them!

  • Cher Cirelli says:

    I agree 100% Yelp is about threatening/bullying small businesses into PAYING to remove bogus remarks by people who are either competitors, or having a different taste bud than another person. MOST people are smart enough to try things for themselves….YELP will be history very soon! If you look on YELP’s own reviews, no one likes them!

  • Matthew Sullivan says:

    The stories emerging about Yelp are a real problem. As a marketing consultant for restaurants, I encourage restaurants to engage with online reviews, positive or negative, but I’ve started advising that they ignore Yelp almost entirely — partly because I think it falls short of being a trusted resource, and partly because I don’t want to do anything that might bring the attention of Yelp’s mercenary sales force and lead to disappearing positive reviews.

    But there’s a clear cycle here among all these sites with questionable ethics:

    1. Start a legitimate business based on peer-to-peer reviews.
    2. Gain notoriety, fame, member lists, which cost money to maintain.
    3. Oops, need to make a profit!
    4. Sell ads.
    5. Realize that’s not really cutting it.
    6. Start to do things that cut into your original business ethos, whether that’s inflating the visibility of advertisers, or something more nefarious.

    Whether or not step 6 kills your business probably depends on how far you go and how cheap it would be for others to enter the market all the way back at step 1.

    Newspapers traditionally were a trusted voice in restaurant criticism because their critics weren’t funded by restaurants, but by classified ads. (Ahh, those were the days.) Even OpenTable, which feels like a trusted source (with reviews written by more savvy people) is operated by people with vested interests in the restaurant business.

    Is there an economic model for a review/ratings site that produces revenue from sources other than the businesses being reviewed? I think maybe. But it would be subscription-based for the user and very niche. Like Zagat circa 1985.

  • Matthew Sullivan says:

    The stories emerging about Yelp are a real problem. As a marketing consultant for restaurants, I encourage restaurants to engage with online reviews, positive or negative, but I’ve started advising that they ignore Yelp almost entirely — partly because I think it falls short of being a trusted resource, and partly because I don’t want to do anything that might bring the attention of Yelp’s mercenary sales force and lead to disappearing positive reviews.

    But there’s a clear cycle here among all these sites with questionable ethics:

    1. Start a legitimate business based on peer-to-peer reviews.
    2. Gain notoriety, fame, member lists, which cost money to maintain.
    3. Oops, need to make a profit!
    4. Sell ads.
    5. Realize that’s not really cutting it.
    6. Start to do things that cut into your original business ethos, whether that’s inflating the visibility of advertisers, or something more nefarious.

    Whether or not step 6 kills your business probably depends on how far you go and how cheap it would be for others to enter the market all the way back at step 1.

    Newspapers traditionally were a trusted voice in restaurant criticism because their critics weren’t funded by restaurants, but by classified ads. (Ahh, those were the days.) Even OpenTable, which feels like a trusted source (with reviews written by more savvy people) is operated by people with vested interests in the restaurant business.

    Is there an economic model for a review/ratings site that produces revenue from sources other than the businesses being reviewed? I think maybe. But it would be subscription-based for the user and very niche. Like Zagat circa 1985.

  • Matthew Sullivan says:

    The stories emerging about Yelp are a real problem. As a marketing consultant for restaurants, I encourage restaurants to engage with online reviews, positive or negative, but I’ve started advising that they ignore Yelp almost entirely — partly because I think it falls short of being a trusted resource, and partly because I don’t want to do anything that might bring the attention of Yelp’s mercenary sales force and lead to disappearing positive reviews.

    But there’s a clear cycle here among all these sites with questionable ethics:

    1. Start a legitimate business based on peer-to-peer reviews.
    2. Gain notoriety, fame, member lists, which cost money to maintain.
    3. Oops, need to make a profit!
    4. Sell ads.
    5. Realize that’s not really cutting it.
    6. Start to do things that cut into your original business ethos, whether that’s inflating the visibility of advertisers, or something more nefarious.

    Whether or not step 6 kills your business probably depends on how far you go and how cheap it would be for others to enter the market all the way back at step 1.

    Newspapers traditionally were a trusted voice in restaurant criticism because their critics weren’t funded by restaurants, but by classified ads. (Ahh, those were the days.) Even OpenTable, which feels like a trusted source (with reviews written by more savvy people) is operated by people with vested interests in the restaurant business.

    Is there an economic model for a review/ratings site that produces revenue from sources other than the businesses being reviewed? I think maybe. But it would be subscription-based for the user and very niche. Like Zagat circa 1985.

  • Mana says:

    The 5 star reviews I post disappear, so I have the user perspective and even in my case it’s not a good one. Based on all Yelp says about their algorithm my profile should get a high trust score. Yet, whenever I post a review, if it’s 5 stars, it goes on the “hidden” list. So here’s another reason why Yelp will disappear – people like me will stop writing reviews. Why am I wasting my time if my reviews won’t count? I’ll find better ways to support the businesses I like.

  • Mana says:

    The 5 star reviews I post disappear, so I have the user perspective and even in my case it’s not a good one. Based on all Yelp says about their algorithm my profile should get a high trust score. Yet, whenever I post a review, if it’s 5 stars, it goes on the “hidden” list. So here’s another reason why Yelp will disappear – people like me will stop writing reviews. Why am I wasting my time if my reviews won’t count? I’ll find better ways to support the businesses I like.

  • Mana says:

    The 5 star reviews I post disappear, so I have the user perspective and even in my case it’s not a good one. Based on all Yelp says about their algorithm my profile should get a high trust score. Yet, whenever I post a review, if it’s 5 stars, it goes on the “hidden” list. So here’s another reason why Yelp will disappear – people like me will stop writing reviews. Why am I wasting my time if my reviews won’t count? I’ll find better ways to support the businesses I like.

  • James says:

    Thanks for bringing attention to the tens of thousands of businesses being victimized by yelp, myself included. It’s worth noting that the “elite” program calls into question the credibility of reviews as these people are doing it to maintain a status, which gets them lots of perks, giveaways and freebies. I’ve had people name drop Yelp to imply that they had some kind of power as a customer. We give all of our clients five star service, and have eleven five star reviews to show for it; ALL filtered. Some by regular reviewers up for two years that fell into the filter after ignoring the advertising calls. The contents by the elites are not really that credible either, yet the driving factor behind the numbers yelp uses to shill for investment dollars; which it continues to loose on a Busines model that looks to be a bubble. It continues to grow but will eventually pop. I wouldn’t want to be holding the stock when that happens.

  • James says:

    Thanks for bringing attention to the tens of thousands of businesses being victimized by yelp, myself included. It’s worth noting that the “elite” program calls into question the credibility of reviews as these people are doing it to maintain a status, which gets them lots of perks, giveaways and freebies. I’ve had people name drop Yelp to imply that they had some kind of power as a customer. We give all of our clients five star service, and have eleven five star reviews to show for it; ALL filtered. Some by regular reviewers up for two years that fell into the filter after ignoring the advertising calls. The contents by the elites are not really that credible either, yet the driving factor behind the numbers yelp uses to shill for investment dollars; which it continues to loose on a Busines model that looks to be a bubble. It continues to grow but will eventually pop. I wouldn’t want to be holding the stock when that happens.

  • James says:

    Thanks for bringing attention to the tens of thousands of businesses being victimized by yelp, myself included. It’s worth noting that the “elite” program calls into question the credibility of reviews as these people are doing it to maintain a status, which gets them lots of perks, giveaways and freebies. I’ve had people name drop Yelp to imply that they had some kind of power as a customer. We give all of our clients five star service, and have eleven five star reviews to show for it; ALL filtered. Some by regular reviewers up for two years that fell into the filter after ignoring the advertising calls. The contents by the elites are not really that credible either, yet the driving factor behind the numbers yelp uses to shill for investment dollars; which it continues to loose on a Busines model that looks to be a bubble. It continues to grow but will eventually pop. I wouldn’t want to be holding the stock when that happens.

  • James says:

    Thanks for bringing attention to the tens of thousands of businesses being victimized by yelp, myself included. It’s worth noting that the “elite” program calls into question the credibility of reviews as these people are doing it to maintain a status, which gets them lots of perks, giveaways and freebies. I’ve had people name drop Yelp to imply that they had some kind of power as a customer. We give all of our clients five star service, and have eleven five star reviews to show for it; ALL filtered. Some by regular reviewers up for two years that fell into the filter after ignoring the advertising calls. The contents by the elites are not really that credible either, yet the driving factor behind the numbers yelp uses to shill for investment dollars; which it continues to loose on a Busines model that looks to be a bubble. It continues to grow but will eventually pop. I wouldn’t want to be holding the stock when that happens.

  • James says:

    Thanks for bringing attention to the tens of thousands of businesses being victimized by yelp, myself included. It’s worth noting that the “elite” program calls into question the credibility of reviews as these people are doing it to maintain a status, which gets them lots of perks, giveaways and freebies. I’ve had people name drop Yelp to imply that they had some kind of power as a customer. We give all of our clients five star service, and have eleven five star reviews to show for it; ALL filtered. Some by regular reviewers up for two years that fell into the filter after ignoring the advertising calls. The contents by the elites are not really that credible either, yet the driving factor behind the numbers yelp uses to shill for investment dollars; which it continues to loose on a Busines model that looks to be a bubble. It continues to grow but will eventually pop. I wouldn’t want to be holding the stock when that happens.

  • James says:

    Thanks for bringing attention to the tens of thousands of businesses being victimized by yelp, myself included. It’s worth noting that the “elite” program calls into question the credibility of reviews as these people are doing it to maintain a status, which gets them lots of perks, giveaways and freebies. I’ve had people name drop Yelp to imply that they had some kind of power as a customer. We give all of our clients five star service, and have eleven five star reviews to show for it; ALL filtered. Some by regular reviewers up for two years that fell into the filter after ignoring the advertising calls. The contents by the elites are not really that credible either, yet the driving factor behind the numbers yelp uses to shill for investment dollars; which it continues to loose on a Busines model that looks to be a bubble. It continues to grow but will eventually pop. I wouldn’t want to be holding the stock when that happens.

  • maddi says:

    Maybe it would be beneficial for Yelp to conduct studies on the types of people that actually post reviews, and make that information available to the public. -maddiblankenship@wordpress.com mblanke3@mix.wvu.edu

  • maddi says:

    Maybe it would be beneficial for Yelp to conduct studies on the types of people that actually post reviews, and make that information available to the public. -maddiblankenship@wordpress.com mblanke3@mix.wvu.edu

  • maddi says:

    Maybe it would be beneficial for Yelp to conduct studies on the types of people that actually post reviews, and make that information available to the public. -maddiblankenship@wordpress.com mblanke3@mix.wvu.edu

  • maddi says:

    Maybe it would be beneficial for Yelp to conduct studies on the types of people that actually post reviews, and make that information available to the public. -maddiblankenship@wordpress.com mblanke3@mix.wvu.edu

  • Ana Botezatu says:

    I didn’t think Yelp would have such a high schooler’s attitude when a restaurant wouldn’t advertise with them. I don’t think their model is necessarily bad; it’s fun to use when in a large city or an unfamiliar place. But if this gets any more publicity, a lot less people are going to other restaurant apps with better formulas.

  • Ana Botezatu says:

    I didn’t think Yelp would have such a high schooler’s attitude when a restaurant wouldn’t advertise with them. I don’t think their model is necessarily bad; it’s fun to use when in a large city or an unfamiliar place. But if this gets any more publicity, a lot less people are going to other restaurant apps with better formulas.

  • Ana Botezatu says:

    I didn’t think Yelp would have such a high schooler’s attitude when a restaurant wouldn’t advertise with them. I don’t think their model is necessarily bad; it’s fun to use when in a large city or an unfamiliar place. But if this gets any more publicity, a lot less people are going to other restaurant apps with better formulas.

  • Ana Botezatu says:

    I didn’t think Yelp would have such a high schooler’s attitude when a restaurant wouldn’t advertise with them. I don’t think their model is necessarily bad; it’s fun to use when in a large city or an unfamiliar place. But if this gets any more publicity, a lot less people are going to other restaurant apps with better formulas.

  • Ana Botezatu says:

    I didn’t think Yelp would have such a high schooler’s attitude when a restaurant wouldn’t advertise with them. I don’t think their model is necessarily bad; it’s fun to use when in a large city or an unfamiliar place. But if this gets any more publicity, a lot less people are going to other restaurant apps with better formulas.

  • Ana Botezatu says:

    I didn’t think Yelp would have such a high schooler’s attitude when a restaurant wouldn’t advertise with them. I don’t think their model is necessarily bad; it’s fun to use when in a large city or an unfamiliar place. But if this gets any more publicity, a lot less people are going to other restaurant apps with better formulas.

  • Yelp is evil says:

    Yelp is the worse piece of shit website ever created and i hate that fucken CEO for his stupid defense’s of WELL WE DO MORE GOOD THEN BAD bullshit answers…fuck u!..when u do bad, its not ok when u do good…and u fuckers at yelp do more bad then good!…ruining my livelyhood and repuation…i fucken hope ur buisness fails jeremy nazi stoppelman then maybe u can understand what ur “company” is doing to people who try to have a legit business!

  • Yelp is evil says:

    Yelp is the worse piece of shit website ever created and i hate that fucken CEO for his stupid defense’s of WELL WE DO MORE GOOD THEN BAD bullshit answers…fuck u!..when u do bad, its not ok when u do good…and u fuckers at yelp do more bad then good!…ruining my livelyhood and repuation…i fucken hope ur buisness fails jeremy nazi stoppelman then maybe u can understand what ur “company” is doing to people who try to have a legit business!

  • Yelp is evil says:

    Yelp is the worse piece of shit website ever created and i hate that fucken CEO for his stupid defense’s of WELL WE DO MORE GOOD THEN BAD bullshit answers…fuck u!..when u do bad, its not ok when u do good…and u fuckers at yelp do more bad then good!…ruining my livelyhood and repuation…i fucken hope ur buisness fails jeremy nazi stoppelman then maybe u can understand what ur “company” is doing to people who try to have a legit business!

  • Yelp is evil says:

    Yelp is the worse piece of shit website ever created and i hate that fucken CEO for his stupid defense’s of WELL WE DO MORE GOOD THEN BAD bullshit answers…fuck u!..when u do bad, its not ok when u do good…and u fuckers at yelp do more bad then good!…ruining my livelyhood and repuation…i fucken hope ur buisness fails jeremy nazi stoppelman then maybe u can understand what ur “company” is doing to people who try to have a legit business!

  • Yelp is evil says:

    Yelp is the worse piece of shit website ever created and i hate that fucken CEO for his stupid defense’s of WELL WE DO MORE GOOD THEN BAD bullshit answers…fuck u!..when u do bad, its not ok when u do good…and u fuckers at yelp do more bad then good!…ruining my livelyhood and repuation…i fucken hope ur buisness fails jeremy nazi stoppelman then maybe u can understand what ur “company” is doing to people who try to have a legit business!

  • Yelp is evil says:

    Yelp is the worse piece of shit website ever created and i hate that fucken CEO for his stupid defense’s of WELL WE DO MORE GOOD THEN BAD bullshit answers…fuck u!..when u do bad, its not ok when u do good…and u fuckers at yelp do more bad then good!…ruining my livelyhood and repuation…i fucken hope ur buisness fails jeremy nazi stoppelman then maybe u can understand what ur “company” is doing to people who try to have a legit business!

  • Laurel Hodory says:

    Wow thank you Peter. Great points!

  • Laurel Hodory says:

    Wow thank you Peter. Great points!

  • julian says:

    Regardless whether or not facts are known to be true or not… Humans by nature will always take another opinion into consideration… Its how we think. I think this article is focusing on the validity of the reviews rather than what the website has to offer. Other companies have also used review systems in their business model and have done very well.
    1. EBAY
    2. AMAZON
    3. Angie’s list
    I’m not saying YELP is the next big thing… I am saying its already here and will just get more popular as it has hit its “tipping point.”
    Hey who’s to say this guy wasn’t paid to write this review… LOL
    -Honest Opinion… no reason to lie

  • julian says:

    Regardless whether or not facts are known to be true or not… Humans by nature will always take another opinion into consideration… Its how we think. I think this article is focusing on the validity of the reviews rather than what the website has to offer. Other companies have also used review systems in their business model and have done very well.
    1. EBAY
    2. AMAZON
    3. Angie’s list
    I’m not saying YELP is the next big thing… I am saying its already here and will just get more popular as it has hit its “tipping point.”
    Hey who’s to say this guy wasn’t paid to write this review… LOL
    -Honest Opinion… no reason to lie

  • Erika Klinger says:

    There are many other places people can go to find reviews. I agree with you Peter. People don’t want strangers telling us what they think. In my own little world, I have never used Yelp for any sort of review. I don’t know a lot of people who do. When you want an honest opinion from someone you can relate to then you turn to your friends, Facebook, and Twitter. Yelp will eventually go ‘out of business’ as you say get lost in the dark just like Myspace. I see them ‘fading out’. Google Maps, Facebook, etc, will be the ‘go to’ source to get the information you want.

  • Erika Klinger says:

    There are many other places people can go to find reviews. I agree with you Peter. People don’t want strangers telling us what they think. In my own little world, I have never used Yelp for any sort of review. I don’t know a lot of people who do. When you want an honest opinion from someone you can relate to then you turn to your friends, Facebook, and Twitter. Yelp will eventually go ‘out of business’ as you say get lost in the dark just like Myspace. I see them ‘fading out’. Google Maps, Facebook, etc, will be the ‘go to’ source to get the information you want.

  • Erika Klinger says:

    There are many other places people can go to find reviews. I agree with you Peter. People don’t want strangers telling us what they think. In my own little world, I have never used Yelp for any sort of review. I don’t know a lot of people who do. When you want an honest opinion from someone you can relate to then you turn to your friends, Facebook, and Twitter. Yelp will eventually go ‘out of business’ as you say get lost in the dark just like Myspace. I see them ‘fading out’. Google Maps, Facebook, etc, will be the ‘go to’ source to get the information you want.

  • Erika Klinger says:

    There are many other places people can go to find reviews. I agree with you Peter. People don’t want strangers telling us what they think. In my own little world, I have never used Yelp for any sort of review. I don’t know a lot of people who do. When you want an honest opinion from someone you can relate to then you turn to your friends, Facebook, and Twitter. Yelp will eventually go ‘out of business’ as you say get lost in the dark just like Myspace. I see them ‘fading out’. Google Maps, Facebook, etc, will be the ‘go to’ source to get the information you want.

  • Erika Klinger says:

    There are many other places people can go to find reviews. I agree with you Peter. People don’t want strangers telling us what they think. In my own little world, I have never used Yelp for any sort of review. I don’t know a lot of people who do. When you want an honest opinion from someone you can relate to then you turn to your friends, Facebook, and Twitter. Yelp will eventually go ‘out of business’ as you say get lost in the dark just like Myspace. I see them ‘fading out’. Google Maps, Facebook, etc, will be the ‘go to’ source to get the information you want.

  • Erika Klinger says:

    There are many other places people can go to find reviews. I agree with you Peter. People don’t want strangers telling us what they think. In my own little world, I have never used Yelp for any sort of review. I don’t know a lot of people who do. When you want an honest opinion from someone you can relate to then you turn to your friends, Facebook, and Twitter. Yelp will eventually go ‘out of business’ as you say get lost in the dark just like Myspace. I see them ‘fading out’. Google Maps, Facebook, etc, will be the ‘go to’ source to get the information you want.

  • Shawn Tacey says:

    Without “trust” there is no marketplace. With over 80% of commerce being driven by word of mouth referrals, trust is the currency of the marketplace. Yelp’s initial plan to digitize word of mouth referrals was noble until it found out it could not make money from it. So it turned to a filtered reviews/advertising model, and it was doomed from that moment. We predicted that 6 years ago because you cannot be a steward of the public trust and make your money from pay to play advertising and filtering reviews. Consumers are too smart, and it ultimately undercut Yelp’s credibility. Same is true for Angies List and the others where the top of the list is not merit based, but purchased. The idea of charging customers for the privilege of reading reviews or referring a great business is absurd. That is why Angies List will be a free platform in 6 months. And what of the poor businesses that are being extorted to have their good reviews displayed? The whole market place is congested with misinformation so that out of frustration customers simply pick the shiny one on the side just to escape it only to learn that they yet again made a bad decision. Where is the solution that brings social networking, trusted referral networks and only the best businesses for life needs to one platform with absolutely no advertising or customer tracking and the highest privacy protection on the Internet? I know the answer and it is coming.

  • Shawn Tacey says:

    Without “trust” there is no marketplace. With over 80% of commerce being driven by word of mouth referrals, trust is the currency of the marketplace. Yelp’s initial plan to digitize word of mouth referrals was noble until it found out it could not make money from it. So it turned to a filtered reviews/advertising model, and it was doomed from that moment. We predicted that 6 years ago because you cannot be a steward of the public trust and make your money from pay to play advertising and filtering reviews. Consumers are too smart, and it ultimately undercut Yelp’s credibility. Same is true for Angies List and the others where the top of the list is not merit based, but purchased. The idea of charging customers for the privilege of reading reviews or referring a great business is absurd. That is why Angies List will be a free platform in 6 months. And what of the poor businesses that are being extorted to have their good reviews displayed? The whole market place is congested with misinformation so that out of frustration customers simply pick the shiny one on the side just to escape it only to learn that they yet again made a bad decision. Where is the solution that brings social networking, trusted referral networks and only the best businesses for life needs to one platform with absolutely no advertising or customer tracking and the highest privacy protection on the Internet? I know the answer and it is coming.

  • Shawn Tacey says:

    Without “trust” there is no marketplace. With over 80% of commerce being driven by word of mouth referrals, trust is the currency of the marketplace. Yelp’s initial plan to digitize word of mouth referrals was noble until it found out it could not make money from it. So it turned to a filtered reviews/advertising model, and it was doomed from that moment. We predicted that 6 years ago because you cannot be a steward of the public trust and make your money from pay to play advertising and filtering reviews. Consumers are too smart, and it ultimately undercut Yelp’s credibility. Same is true for Angies List and the others where the top of the list is not merit based, but purchased. The idea of charging customers for the privilege of reading reviews or referring a great business is absurd. That is why Angies List will be a free platform in 6 months. And what of the poor businesses that are being extorted to have their good reviews displayed? The whole market place is congested with misinformation so that out of frustration customers simply pick the shiny one on the side just to escape it only to learn that they yet again made a bad decision. Where is the solution that brings social networking, trusted referral networks and only the best businesses for life needs to one platform with absolutely no advertising or customer tracking and the highest privacy protection on the Internet? I know the answer and it is coming.

  • Shawn Tacey says:

    Without “trust” there is no marketplace. With over 80% of commerce being driven by word of mouth referrals, trust is the currency of the marketplace. Yelp’s initial plan to digitize word of mouth referrals was noble until it found out it could not make money from it. So it turned to a filtered reviews/advertising model, and it was doomed from that moment. We predicted that 6 years ago because you cannot be a steward of the public trust and make your money from pay to play advertising and filtering reviews. Consumers are too smart, and it ultimately undercut Yelp’s credibility. Same is true for Angies List and the others where the top of the list is not merit based, but purchased. The idea of charging customers for the privilege of reading reviews or referring a great business is absurd. That is why Angies List will be a free platform in 6 months. And what of the poor businesses that are being extorted to have their good reviews displayed? The whole market place is congested with misinformation so that out of frustration customers simply pick the shiny one on the side just to escape it only to learn that they yet again made a bad decision. Where is the solution that brings social networking, trusted referral networks and only the best businesses for life needs to one platform with absolutely no advertising or customer tracking and the highest privacy protection on the Internet? I know the answer and it is coming.

  • Shawn Tacey says:

    Without “trust” there is no marketplace. With over 80% of commerce being driven by word of mouth referrals, trust is the currency of the marketplace. Yelp’s initial plan to digitize word of mouth referrals was noble until it found out it could not make money from it. So it turned to a filtered reviews/advertising model, and it was doomed from that moment. We predicted that 6 years ago because you cannot be a steward of the public trust and make your money from pay to play advertising and filtering reviews. Consumers are too smart, and it ultimately undercut Yelp’s credibility. Same is true for Angies List and the others where the top of the list is not merit based, but purchased. The idea of charging customers for the privilege of reading reviews or referring a great business is absurd. That is why Angies List will be a free platform in 6 months. And what of the poor businesses that are being extorted to have their good reviews displayed? The whole market place is congested with misinformation so that out of frustration customers simply pick the shiny one on the side just to escape it only to learn that they yet again made a bad decision. Where is the solution that brings social networking, trusted referral networks and only the best businesses for life needs to one platform with absolutely no advertising or customer tracking and the highest privacy protection on the Internet? I know the answer and it is coming.

  • Kathy Long says:

    Totally agree. I’ve been saying for at least a year now that I felt G+ could take down Yelp. Why? Because they have what Yelp is missing. Google knows who your friends are and the friends of your friends, and can easily feed you their opinions. So the circle of trust is there. And when they converted Google Places to the social platform Google +, I thought that was brilliant. They already had the consumers there in search. All they had to do was tie in the social G+ platform to the local search where consumers are already and before you know it everyone starts looking to G+ as their trusted source for trusted reviews. Bye, bye Yelp.

  • Kathy Long says:

    Totally agree. I’ve been saying for at least a year now that I felt G+ could take down Yelp. Why? Because they have what Yelp is missing. Google knows who your friends are and the friends of your friends, and can easily feed you their opinions. So the circle of trust is there. And when they converted Google Places to the social platform Google +, I thought that was brilliant. They already had the consumers there in search. All they had to do was tie in the social G+ platform to the local search where consumers are already and before you know it everyone starts looking to G+ as their trusted source for trusted reviews. Bye, bye Yelp.

  • EIDALM says:

    My company have been in business for 42 years ,we sold over 80 million dollars worth of products ,in 2006 a salesman from yelp offered their service for 3000 dollars a month ,when I declined the offer he left ,but came back one week later with reduced amount of 2000 dollars each month ,again I politely said no to him again no ,soon after that we got hit with several negative reviews most were fake ,we also had far more positive reviews ,soon after near all positive review were wiped out ,and hence after all new positive reviews were posted for few days and soon after they were removes ,and later on since that time near none of our positive reviews were posted at all ,and that have been going on from the beginning after refusing to subscribe to yelp ,and have I known that how evil this awful people are ,I would have throw the 2000 dollars a month extortion money to them and save my 43 years old great business ,so ad of today where yelp removed or not posted tens of positive real customers reviews we are left with 15 bad fake reviews most from the year 2006 to 2009 …In my 43 years in business with total sales of over 80 million dollars and tens of thousands of satisfied customer ,and total advertizing budget that exceeded 2 million dollars in one year ,yelp ruined all of that and cost me lots of damage that is financially huge not mention the many sleepless nights were my anger reach it’s highest point ,for the fact due to the action of yelp and reviews from people that have never been in my business cause so much harm financially and emotionally….We all of us decent people customers and businessmen must get together to put an end to this criminal company who uses extortion to make money and in the process destroying thousands of good American companies by using extortion and fake reviews….If you would like to help or join me please let me know

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