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Yelp Is A Scam


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#1 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:42 PM

I am beginning to hate Yelp. What started as a great little review site has turned into a black-mail operation against small business. Yelp apparently has started actually cutting good reviews in an attempt to make businesses advertise with them. Do you trust Yelp reviews? I don't any more. The company actually manipulates them.

No more Yelp for me.
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#2 dimeracer

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:06 PM

Same story, but different.... Expedia is a crock as well. I posted a 100% factual, but not flattering review there about a motel a couple of years ago. My review was not some emotionally charged, exagerrated story. It was well written, and described my experience accurately. Expedia deleted my review. I believe their's was simply a case of not wanting to discourage business with an Expedia member establishment.

#3 (The Dude)

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:36 PM

Yelp is indeed a scam that is black mailing businesses for positive reviews

#4 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:24 PM

someone needs to yelp yelp and give them some of their own medicine!
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#5 john

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:13 PM

Post reviews here, we don't take down reviews of non-advertisers. We have many businesses that have benefitted from years of exposure on our Best of Folsom list, yet have never advertised with us. Yelp has been a bit shady for some time.


#6 nomad

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

I am beginning to hate Yelp. What started as a great little review site has turned into a black-mail operation against small business. Yelp apparently has started actually cutting good reviews in an attempt to make businesses advertise with them. Do you trust Yelp reviews? I don't any more. The company actually manipulates them.

No more Yelp for me.


This has been common knowledge, for, oh, at least 2 years now? Even been discussed here several times.

#7 (The Dude)

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:48 PM

This has been common knowledge, for, oh, at least 2 years now? Even been discussed here several times.


Nothing wrong with a reminder once in a while

#8 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 06:39 AM

is it that common knowledge? I hope it becomes far more well known. I was talking to another friend who owns a flooring company about it who said he had all good reviews and he started getting really aggressive calls from Yelp pressing him to advertise at $323 a month. Wierd company. He said that some of the good reviews started disappearing from his listing. It's almost like reputation blackmail.
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#9 dimeracer

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:46 AM

That is so sleazy!

#10 Molly

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:54 AM

I had no idea about this. I just googled it since it's supposedly common knowledge, and I found this article: http://www.wired.com...vorite-feature/

Turns out you can see the "filtered" reviews. I was curious to see if any of my reviews had been filtered, and I found one that I'd written for the now-defunct Rockin' Cupcake Cafe among the filtered reviews, along with 51 others! I don't know the people who owned that shop, just liked it and wrote an honest review, but apparently Yelp didn't like something about it. I'm closing my account.

#11 granto

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 01:19 PM

Trust the reviews or not, but most of the "facts" listed here are urban legends as the wired article correctly states. Yelp has only its credibility to stand on, manipulating the truth for advertising would kill the business. From Yelp's about us:
5.Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post photos and message her customers
6.Yelp makes money by selling ads to local businesses - you'll see these clearly labeled "Yelp Ads" around the site
7.Paying advertisers can never change or re-order their reviews
8.Yelp has an automated filter that suppresses a small portion of reviews - it targets those suspicious ones you see on other sites


As far as the filtering is concerned they look for patterns of people gaming the system (same review context, exact reviews on multiple sites, etc). They are not perfect, I have had my beefs with them as well, but they are not horrible business destroying monsters. Google does the same with their SEO algorithms and they often are accused of the same sins.

So like them or not, your choice. But they are not actively manipulating the system.

#12 25or6to4

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:40 PM

Trust the reviews or not, but most of the "facts" listed here are urban legends as the wired article correctly states. Yelp has only its credibility to stand on, manipulating the truth for advertising would kill the business. From Yelp's about us:
5.Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post photos and message her customers
6.Yelp makes money by selling ads to local businesses - you'll see these clearly labeled "Yelp Ads" around the site
7.Paying advertisers can never change or re-order their reviews
8.Yelp has an automated filter that suppresses a small portion of reviews - it targets those suspicious ones you see on other sites


As far as the filtering is concerned they look for patterns of people gaming the system (same review context, exact reviews on multiple sites, etc). They are not perfect, I have had my beefs with them as well, but they are not horrible business destroying monsters. Google does the same with their SEO algorithms and they often are accused of the same sins.

So like them or not, your choice. But they are not actively manipulating the system.


And you believe everything a business will self proclaim about itself or it's products?
Let's check with the tobacco industry on truth in self proclamations?
How about the automotive industry?
or the insurance industry?
do you think the banking industry has been completely honest?
How about the oil industry?
Oh, that's right, if it's printed on a website, it has to be the truth?
Of course Yelp is completely forthcoming with how honest they are with reviews and stuff?
OK, you talked me into trusting Yelp. :ROFL:
"And the Wind cries Mary"

#13 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 06:22 PM

I just think its important that people understand that yelp does manipulate its data. It's not a pure and straightforward consumer review system. if you know going in, then its just buyer beware. just know when you are deciding where to have dinner or buy flooring or stay in a hotel that the reviews you're reading may be not the straight unbridled information.
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#14 (The Dude)

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:01 AM

And you believe everything a business will self proclaim about itself or it's products?
Let's check with the tobacco industry on truth in self proclamations?
How about the automotive industry?
or the insurance industry?
do you think the banking industry has been completely honest?
How about the oil industry?
Oh, that's right, if it's printed on a website, it has to be the truth?
Of course Yelp is completely forthcoming with how honest they are with reviews and stuff?
OK, you talked me into trusting Yelp. :ROFL:


Maybe he owns stock in Yelp and doesn't want people knowing the truth about the site?

Its absolutely true its a scam. I was a victim too. They hassled me daily by calling and emailing 3-4x's a day for several months straight telling me I needed to sign up for their $300 a month plan to help get me more positive reviews with a side biz I had. I had had many good reviews on the site, but after they started calling me those reviews started disappearing - imagine that!! I finally told them I closed the business and I deleted my free ad from their site.

It's wrong to bribe people for good reviews. I won't ever use or trust the Yelp site again and I tell everyone I know its a scam so they don't fall for the phony reviews.

I only visit places that earn good reviews, not those that have to buy them. Yelp is worthless. That dude should sell his stock as soon as he can before they go bankrupt.

#15 platur

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:58 AM

I didn't realize that Yelp was filtering out reviews. I checked and sure enough, a few of my reviews were filtered out. I went to the bottom of one of the companies I reviewed and found a bunch of other reviews, all of them having 4 or 5 stars. I heard that yelp rarely filters out 3 star reviews. I get that yelp does that to remove the false reviews, but I think it is doing more harm. Amazon doesn't have the filters- the community calls out the fakes themselves. This is good to know so thanks for bringing it to my attention.




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