Is Yelp Reliable?

After doing a search “Yelp is Bullshit” I seen some articles about Yelp that makes one question the reliability of the site. http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/voracious/2010/02/class_action_lawsuit_finally_f.php You see, back in 2010 Yelp apparently faced a lawsuit against them because they refused to take down reviews that were harmful to a business but the business owner was told for a $300 fee she can join to have any reviews removed. Now, In 2012 we refused to pay $300 to Yelp for what the sales rep said would help our business. We refused to pay the $300 and so did one of our clients and Bam, all of our reviews are now gone and so are our clients reviews. This is apparently happening to many businesses who are on Yelp. Here is a link to one of the articles about Yelp http://recomcomputers.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/why-yelp-com-is-bullshit/

This one is saying the same thing happened to the author of the article with this company’s business. So with the question “is Yelp reliable”, We have to think about what they are supposed to be reliable for. Yelp is a review site, we look at it to see if a business is a good business or a bad business and anyone who has a review to give they should be able to give it and they all should be left on there, right? Well, true there could be competitors or disgruntled ex-employees who give bad reviews and people expect that. For example, if a business has 30 good reviews and one really bad review, it is obvious the bad review was someone who was disgruntled but over all way more people loved something about the business so the business has to be good. Well, if Good or Bad reviews are removed for any reason regardless if it is a random removal or a removal with purpose it then takes away from the reliability. Removing them because for any reason regardless if it is through paying a fee or just a random picking having any reviews removed so that the public can’t see it or if it is Filtered so the public can’t see it then the reviews on the site are not reliable.

Because Yelp removes good and bad reviews that are posted to non-paying businesses and bad reviews are removed for businesses who pay then mucking with the reviews takes away from the accuracy of the review. The public can no longer be sure if a business is good or bad based on the reviews on Yelp and the only thing that is certain is that a review may or may not be there in the future so there is no way to tell if a business is good or bad based on Yelps reviews but the only thing one can be sure of is that some pay and some don’t. In looking at it from the perspective of the public, if reviews are removed then the public is not seeing the true opinion of the general public. It is therefore my opinion that Yelp is NOT reliable. The next time you want to know if a business is a good business or a bad business and you go to look at Yelp for answers, keep in mind that Yelp removes reviews so we will never know if there were good or bad reviews that we can not see. So when you look at Yelp, ask yourself, since Yelp removes public reviews, how will I know if the business is bad or good and how is Yelp reliable if I can’t see all of the reviews to make my own decision without all of the information.

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