There are no shortages of places for you to voice your opinion online, but Yelp! is definitely not on my list. Why, you ask? Well, there is no shortage of Yelp! haters. Check out #WeHateYelp hashtag on Twitter or the growing We Hate Yelp! Facebook group. Here are the top 4 major flaws that I have with Yelp!
- Yelpers don’t have to visit the business they’re reviewing.
Take for example Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, FL. The restaurant only had two reviews, but after the owner bear hugged President Obama, his business saw a spike of over 2,000 new reviews by people from both ends of the political spectrum either loving or trashing the restaurant.
- There is no Yelp! standard for stars.
Yelp! doesn’t have any guidelines for what constitutes a 5 star rating. One person’s 3 star rating could be another person’s 5 star. Take this for example: Texas de Brazil has a 4 star rating, but the McDonald’s in a near by neighborhood has a 4.5 rating. No offense to Ronald, but am I really supposed to believe that my favorite Brazilian steakhouse is rated lower than fast food hamburgers?
- Yelp! Has Bullies
If you’ve seen the news, you’ve probably heard about Extortion 2.0 where reviewers threaten businesses with bad reviews unless they pay.Sadly, this practice isn’t just limited to unsavory individuals, they’re have also been reports of Yelp! soliciting businesses to purchase advertising in order to push down or remove bad reviews. There’s also the case of Yelp! removing positive reviews. Enlighten Dallas, my go to for all skincare solutions, once had half a dozen positive reviews, but after they declined to advertise on Yelp! all of a sudden all those reviews got “filtered” out.
- Yelp! Wants to Make Money for Yelp!
As mentioned earlier, Yelp! sells advertising. Yelp! is a business and to survive, businesses need to make money. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, Yelp! does it to the detriment of people seeking reviews. There’s actually a court case with Yelp! being accused of suppressing positive reviews and highlighting negative ones for businesses that decline to pay Yelp! for advertising.
So, if you’re looking for a business review, I’d recommend checking out Foursquare tips left by other users.