All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Online Reviews’

Yelp Puts ‘Extortion Conspiracy Theory’ Back Into Spotlight

Yelp Puts ‘Extortion Conspiracy Theory’ Back Into Spotlight

Well, the Yelp “extortion” (or lack thereof) narrative is back in the news. For years, the company has been accused by business owners of burying positive reviews when the owners decline to pay for advertising on Yelp. Yelp has always strongly denied such things, pointing to failed lawsuits, studies, etc., but the stories and accusations have never gone away. Do …

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Yelp Shows Users View Counts For Their Reviews

Yelp Shows Users View Counts For Their Reviews

Yelp announced that all users can now see how many people have viewed their reviews for the 90 days prior. This should only encourage people to post more reviews, because people love to see stats about the things they’ve done online. “For years Yelpers have been taking the time to share local insight knowing their reviews and photos help others …

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Yelp Reviews Under Government Spotlight

Yelp Reviews Under Government Spotlight

On Tuesday, Yelp and other members of the Consumer Electronics Association, including Zenefits and R Street Institute, briefed Congressional staff, businesses, and advocacy organizations on SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) and what it calls “chilling impacts” of lawsuits filed “to censor or intimidate critics.” In September, a Yelp reviewer was ordered to pay a business owner $1,000 after leaving …

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Yelp Strips Businesses Deemed ‘Shady’ Of Ratings And Reviews

Yelp Strips Businesses Deemed ‘Shady’ Of Ratings And Reviews

Yelp is cracking down harder and harder on businesses it considers to be engaging in shady practices. It’s not only slapping more businesses with consumer alert warnings, but it’s slapping many more with a new “reputation warning”. Is Yelp doing a good job of separating shady businesses from legitimate ones? Let us know what you think in the comments. Yelp …

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Yelp Slaps 51 More Businesses With Consumer Alert Warnings

Yelp Slaps 51 More Businesses With Consumer Alert Warnings

Yelp announced that it has released a new round of 51 consumer alerts, which will be posted on business pages for 90 days. That brings the total for this year so far to 185. In January, Yelp announced a round of 85 alerts. Then in June, they announced another round of 51. Once again, Yelp is calling out specific businesses …

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Yelp Experiments With Categorized Photo Browsing

Yelp Experiments With Categorized Photo Browsing

Yelp announced a new way to browse photos – by category. You can now browse by things like food, interior, outside, drink, and menu. The feature comes as the company has been experimenting with using neural networks to learn more about the content in user photos. “Each photo a Yelp community member takes provides meaningful information to other people, but …

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Government Agencies Get Yelp-Friendly

Government Agencies Get Yelp-Friendly

Yelp announced that it has entered into an agreement with the federal government to enable federal agencies and offices to claim their Yelp pages, read, and respond to reviews. That includes the TSA: “We encourage Yelpers to review any of the thousands of agency field offices, TSA checkpoints, national parks, Social Security Administration offices, landmarks and other places already listed …

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Yahoo: We’re Still Using Yelp Reviews [Updated]

Yahoo: We’re Still Using Yelp Reviews [Updated]

Update 2: Blumenthal points to another response from Yahoo on reddit: “Thanks for pointing this out! I work for Yahoo, and I’ve reported this to our Yahoo Local team*. They’ll be taking a look at this for sure. Yahoo Local doesn’t use the Yelp API, rather we have a data feed from them that we merge into this feed. They’ll …

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Chattanooga Shooting: Fifth Victim–26-Year-Old Navy Officer–Dies

The Chattanooga shooting death toll has now reached five. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, a reservist serving on active duty at the Chattanooga center, has died. Four Marines died at the scene on Thursday. The Navy announced Smith’s passing on Saturday. Randall Smith grew up in the northwest Ohio city of Paulding. He joined the military after attending …

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Amazon Is Changing How It Shows Reviews And How Ratings Work

Amazon is reportedly changing how it displays customer reviews on product pages in the U.S. It’s using machine learning to figure out which reviews are most helpful to users, and giving those more weight in the algorithm. It’s also putting more weight on newer reviews. This is according to a report from CNET, which interviewed Amazon spokesperson Julie Law about …

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Yelp Tells Businesses How To Respond To Reviews

Businesses have a tricky relationship with Yelp. On the one hand, it can be a great way for customers to find a business, and a positive Yelp presence can encourage the customer to actually visit. On the flipside, negative reviews can be very damaging, and have led to plenty of defamation suits. Do you interact with negative reviews of your …

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Yelp Slaps 51 Businesses With Consumer Alert Warnings

Yelp announced that it has activated a new round of consumer alerts, this time slapping 51 businesses with the alert messages. While the alerts themselves show messages to consumers who stumble upon the Yelp pages of these businesses, the real message is to the business themselves, and that message is: “We don’t tolerate review manipulation.” “Consumers have the right to …

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Yelp Aims To Better Deal With Duplicate Business Listings

Duplicate listings have proven to be a pretty big challenge for Yelp, the company revealed in a post on its engineering blog. It’s not an issue Yelp takes lightly, and it’s putting new measures in place to help deal with it as time goes on. So far, under its current system, Yelp has been able to merge over 500,000 duplicate …

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Facebook Puts Critic Content On Restaurant Pages

It appears that Facebook is taking another step in offering an alternative to Yelp and similar services. The company has reportedly partnered with a number of content providers to show reviews from food critics on restaurants’ Facebook Pages. The feature is being tested according to multiple reports. Facebook tells me that yes, they’ll include negative critical reviews on restaurant pages: …

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Yelp For Sale? Report Says It’s Exploring Options

Yelp might be up for sale, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which says, citing people familiar with the matter, that it is working with investment bankers and has “been in touch with potential buyers” in recent weeks. It notes that the company could still decide against a sale, but it seems to be exploring its options. …

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Dealing With An Increasingly Mobile Yelp

Yelp released its Q1 financial results on Wednesday with a 55% revenue increase compared to the same quarter last year, but falling short of analysts’ expectations and sending its stock price down. Still, the company grew its cumulative reviews by 36% to 77 million, including a record 6 million reviews contributed during the quarter. Do you expect Yelp’s increasing mobile …

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Yelp Gets Legal Victory In Privacy Case (Because Subpoena Was Issued In Wrong State)

Yelp has been embroiled in a legal battle for the past couple years as a Virginia carpet cleaning service has sought to get the names of reviewers it alleges left reviews without using the service in order to name them in a defamation suit. Things haven’t always gone Yelp’s way. It lost in the initial trial and in appeals court, …

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Yelp Documentary ‘Billion Dollar Bully’ Reaches Funding Goal

Last week, a Kickstarter campaign kicked off to raise money for a documentary called Billion Dollar Bully, which delves into accusations about Yelp’s business practices that have haunted the company for years. Businesses often claim that Yelp salespeople call them to try to get them to advertise, and when they decline Yelp responds by burying positive reviews and letting negative …

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Yelp Documentary: The Plot Thickens [Updated]

As previously reported, last week, Prost Productions announced a new documentary project called Billion Dollar Bully, which dives into the infamous Yelp “extortion” allegations that have persisted for at least six years. The basic story that we’ve seen brought up in numerous press reports and internet comments over the years is that Yelp salespeople call businesses who are listed on …

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Exclusive Chat With Director Of Yelp Documentary

UPDATE: The plot thickens. Last week, Prost Productions announced a new documentary project called Billion Dollar Bully. The film, which is about half shot, looks at those Yelp “extortion” accusations that have been swirling around for at least the past six years. Do you plan on watching the film when it’s released? Let us know in the comments. In less …

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Revleap Wants Businesses Wronged By Yelp To Help Fund Its Legal Defense

As previously reported, Yelp recently filed a lawsuit against a company called Revleap, claiming to “take a stand against misleading ‘reputation management’ companies”. Revleap, which seeks to get businesses a “large constant flow of positive reviews that stay on top of your profile” and to “remove fake reviews,” says Yelp’s allegations, which include trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition, cybersquatting, …

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Revleap: Yelp’s Allegations Completely False, Unsubstantiated

Last week, Yelp said it was “taking a stand against misleading ‘reputation management’ companies,” as it filed a lawsuit against a company called Revleap, which it said is a scam, and puts small businesses at risk because of the Yelp Consumer Alert program in addition to federal and state regulations. Yelp said has Revleap had operated under various names like …

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Yelp Is Beefing Up Its Sales Staff

Yelp released its earnings report for the fourth quarter and full year 2014 on Thursday, and as previously reported, the company grew its local advertising accounts by 48% over the course of 2014. Yelp execs discussed the progress of its ad offerings quite a bit during a conference call. The company intends to increase its sales headcount by 40% this …

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Yelp Slaps 85 Businesses With Consumer Alerts

Yelp just announced that it’s releasing a new round of Consumer Alerts, slapping big warnings on top of the pages of 85 businesses. These businesses, Yelp says, are either attempting to buy or offer rewards for positive reviews or have a large number of reviews submitted from the same IP address, which the company considers “a hint that someone may …

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46% Of Yelp’s Top 100 Places To Eat In The U.S. Are In California

Apparently you really need to live in California to have a great selection of places to eat. That’s what Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. would have you believe anyway. 46 out of 100 of them are located in the state. Of course this is simply based on user data from Yelp, so that would seem to …

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Yelp: FTC Closes Investigation, Takes No Action

Yelp announced on Tuesday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has closed an investigation into the company’s business practices without taking any action against it. Last spring, the FTC published a letter stating that it had received over 2,000 complaints filed against Yelp since 2008. This was made available in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by …

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Yelp Filter Not Catching Biased Reviews

It may be a new year, but there are still problems with Yelp’s review filter. We’ve been tipped to some research finding reviews featuring promo codes, which would seem to violate Yelp’s guidelines, showing up for Uber and Lyft, as well as a competing taxi service. Yelp’s filter has long been the subject of controversy with small business owners, and …

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Yelp Shows Businesses Some Love With New App

Yelp’s reputation among businesses is…let’s just say a mixed bag. By now, you’ve no doubt heard plenty of horror stories, regardless of whether or not they’re true (they’re often unproven), but the fact is that Yelp needs businesses to exist, and ultimately, the better its reputation among them is, the better off the company itself is bound to be. Yelp …

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Yelp Reviews Say More Than You Realized

Yelp reviews can have a tremendous impact – for better or for worse – on a business. They can dictate whether or not a customer decides to visit. This is one of the reasons the site/app is so controversial with businesses. There may actually be more to reviews than meets the eye, however. Do believe Yelp reviews have any significant …

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Google My Business, AdWords Express Apps Get Updates

Google announced some updates to the Google My Business and AdWords Express apps aimed at making it easier for businesses to find the right customers. With Google My Business for Android, business owners can see reviews from across the web. This is coming to the iOS app soon. “Business users have told us how much customers appreciate a response, so …

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