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Is Yelp Bad For Business?

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Yelp is an influential site but also tends to continually stir up controversy and disillusionment among business owners.

Love it or hate it - Yelp has the potential to be a force for good but sometimes ends up being one of the worst things that has happened to small business in the last few years. Both reviewers and businesses complain about the filtering algorithm which often hides good reviews while showing every bad one. There have been to accusations of extortion by Yelp, if you pay they claim they will remove competitor’s listings that normally appear alongside your business.

According to Yelp:

“Every Yelp review is automatically evaluated by Yelp’s recommendation software based on quality, reliability, and user activity on Yelp. More often than not, those useful reviews come from active members of the Yelp community.”

Yelp usually puts more weight on reviews left by people who have a lot of friends, and who have left many reviews for businesses. Could it be possible that some customers find if they want to promote businesses they like, they must leave bad reviews for other businesses to make their good reviews look legit. Is it possible that these people will leave much harsher reviews than they normally would, or even leave unnecessarily bad reviews for businesses they have never patronized?

Anyone you will ever talk to at Yelp has no real clue what is going on in their own company, is never of any help if you have a questions and cannot explain how their filtering algorithm works.

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