Yelp Adresses “long-standing myths”

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.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. johnny says

    I have to say I like Yelp but I’ve noticed I tend to find the three star and lower to get a sense of a restaurant. The four and five star seem to be be written by people who benifits from them you can tell by how there written there like stealth advertisements ” some blatantly obvious “

  2. othersteve says

    They need to change to a 3 star system or bad, decent, great. Seems like anytime you see 4 stars other people wondered why the reviewed didn’t like the place and 3 stars and lower are seen as a slam. Although I think most of the time I only see 1 star or 5 stars which is likely just a sad comment on the general public’s tendency towards extremes.

  3. Christine says

    I own a retail store and have been disappointed when Yelp has removed great reviews of my place. I looked at the hidden reviews, and all of them were fantastic reviews, unsolicited by us. So the woman that hates everything in town and who accidentally doesn’t get greeted when she came into the store posts a nasty review that stays there permanently, and the great customers who have had such good experiences with us that they took it on themselves to join Yelp just to write about them are removed as they don’t have a history with Yelp. Seems unfair.

  4. grapedog says

    Yelp always feels a lot like Citysearch, both sites are looking for extreme reviews to bring in visitors to the site who will then see the advertising so someone makes money. I try to avoid it whenever possible.

    The nice thing about other foodie sites like PFD, for example, is that we know it’s a site run by a guy who is not making any money on the adventure. (i think) The content is usually good quality and the comments stay on topic most of the time.

    • wine&dine says

      are you sure it’s a ‘guy’? Pf+D is the most reliable source, certainly better than the Oregonian/Portland Monthly reviews have been lately. Don’t like yelps star reviews, “when in doubt try it out”.

  5. Michelle says

    Thanks for the great writeup. I always forget about this awesome event, but after reading this, we went right over and got two tickets!

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