Taking steps to address what they call “the long-standing myths about Yelp”, the company has announced a series of changes.
They are getting rid of the “favorite reviews” function, which it sold to advertisers who wanted to draw attention to their top reviews. This function allowed restaurants to mark a review as a “Favorite”, which moved it to the top of the list. However, readers coming to the site were not told the restaurant had paid to get the review moved, which to people unfamiliar with the site, suggested that it had been voted a favorite by the people, and not the restaurant. Yelp has removed this feature because “it led some people to the wrong conclusions about whether businesses could control the review content on their page.”
Yelp also announced changes in their moderation system.In the past, the website had an automated filtering system in place that would hide certain reviews that it felt were malicious, fake or questionable. The problem was, since the process was automated, some legitimate reviews were filtered out that shouldn’t be, and as users reviewing “credibility” went up and down, the scores could appear to change for no reason. Now anyone will be able to see the reviews that were previously hidden.