It’s hard not to feel a huge degree of schadenfreude over Yelp’s pitiful plight these days.
For the benefit of those not living in the U.S.,Yelp is an online destination for Reviews of restaurants and other businesses.
We’ve always believed a lot of reviews on the Yelp site are junk.
Because it’s hard to prevent a PR agency, friends and family or even the owner of a restaurant or small business from creating a Yelp account and posting a flattering review.
Or a competitor from badmouthing a rival business.
Or an idler with lots of time from just scribbling some drivel.
We’ve seen reviews of NYC restaurants that have absolutely no resemblance to reality.
As we’ve said ad nauseum, ad infinitum we may not be able to adequately explain E=MC2 but we do know Indian food.
So we never cease to be surprised at the flattering reviews of Indian restaurants on Yelp, many of which we suspect are either written by PR people hired for the purpose or by friends/family.
Yelp Reputation Battered
If the easily manipulable reviews are one side of the Yelp nonsense, the other dirty side of Yelp is its stinking business practices.
Over the last few weeks, Yelp’s credibility has taken a severe beating with charges of extortion, propping up positive reviews and hiding negative reviews of paid advertisers, lawsuits et al.
Until this morning, advertisers on Yelp could even pick one ‘Favorite Review’ that would then be highlighted at the top and the other reviews pushed down.
What was to prevent the ‘Favorite Review’ from being written by a PR firm or by the owner himself/herself/itself.
After the tsunami of negative publicity, Yelp on Tuesday decided to eliminate the ‘Favorite Review’ feature that was offered to advertisers.
Yelp has denied extorting businesses.
But in our not so humble view Yelp has little credibility.
Folks, the next time you base a decision to patronize a restaurant or some other business in NYC or elsewhere based on a Yelp Review, remember this post.
Small Businesses Join Lawsuit Against Yelp
Yelp Hit With Class Action Lawsuit
A Rave, a Pan, or Just a Fake?
Critics Prompt Change In Yelp Site’s Reviews
Yelp Aims For Transparency, But Perfection Is Another Story
Is Yelp Extorting Companies? We Analyze, You Decide