Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yelp Uncovered

Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons

So - this is rather old news, but it only just popped into my head again. Last year I attended a Commonwealth Club Inforum lecture with the the founders of Yelp moderated by Greg Sterling. Yelp's mantra is 'real people, real reviews' and anyone who has looked for restaurant reviews online will not have been able to escape its influence, right there near the top of a google search every time. Love it (or claim to hate it but secretly refer to it every time every time you go out to eat), there's no denying Yelp's impact on the restaurant scene.

You can listen to the Yelp lecture via the link found here.

You might even find yours truly timidly asking a question just after the 49 minute mark. My bravado was, perhaps, dampened by the blush-inducing crush I have on a certain Mr Stoppleman...

QUESTION OF THE DAY graphic copyright sam breach
? Yelp: Do you love it, hate it or have mixed feelings ? If you're a restaurateur, now's the time to get your own back!

2007 | Heston Blumnethal's Oxtail Stew
2006 | Joining the Elite
2005 | Hachis Parmentier de Canard

© 2008 Sam Breach
Yelp Uncovered


  • At 18/1/08 00:33, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I use yelp to update my shopping adress book..It's easier to share! I also use it to find new shopping adresses. People who buy fabric and paper aren't very aggressive and I found some good ideas on Yelp.

    About restaurants,I noticed too many agressive, racist or offensive comments...For this reason I don't check it for restaurants. I find yelpers often overreact. It doesn't suit me.

    If I really need to find a gem to astonish my picky French husband,
    I check your blog!
    I trust you more than yelpers.

  • At 18/1/08 09:28, Blogger mollyfn said…

    I use Yelp to find places that otherwise would be hard to find (falafel on the Peninsula, where to get cupcakes, etc) but I don't trust 95% of the reviews. People are way too generous with their stars and generally their standards are too low. It's good for reference though.

  • At 18/1/08 10:52, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    I agree with the two commenters above. Reference, but not reliable reviews.

  • At 18/1/08 11:41, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, it's a guilty thang -- like watching Top Model. I certainly don't place any importance on comments by the "reviewers" who all too often seem intent on sniping -- or, conversely, puffing up a place that doesn't deserve it. But we all slow down to view freeway accidents, don't we?

  • At 18/1/08 11:54, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love Yelp to "reference-check" recommendations that are made to me.

  • At 18/1/08 12:32, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'll take a peek at it just to make sure a place doesn't have 99% negative reviews but on the other hand I don't take too much stock in those reviews. For example... last week I checked it regarding a restaurant I was going to try for the first time and one review focused on the air freshener in the bathroom.... not really gonna help me make a decision people!


  • At 19/1/08 16:59, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a business owner with just short of 500 reviews of my stores I will say there are several problems with yelp with the two biggest being:
    One of my competitors has been found to post false reviews of both my business and their own. It is ridiculous and petty but I worry that someone may judge our stores based on down-right lies. Some of the reviews are obvious and some aren't. Yelp won't do anything about it, obviously.

    Second, Yelp has made a great service that is available for free. They are tring to make money now and the services they have offered me for a fee go a bit against the idea of unbiased reviews in my opinion. One example is putting reviews of my choosing at the tops of the listings.

  • At 20/1/08 12:35, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We have some bars and restaurants. If you can get past some of the criticism, there is a lot of valuable feedback to use to make your business better and busier. There are a lot of great features allowed for a business owner to use for free, such as the ability to contact a reviewer. Yelp gets a lot of things right which Citysearch got wrong.

  • At 22/1/08 08:11, Blogger Sam said…

    thanks to everyone for weighing in - it is especially interesting to hear from the problems and positives Yelp brings to business owners.

  • At 16/8/08 18:36, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would agree that Yelp is a great reference resource, but I don't think that spending money with them as a small business is a good idea at all. The most effective way to use Yelp is to get more people to organically add reviews to your business. Nobody that uses Yelp would ever go to your store because they saw an advertisement you put up, just my opinion.

  • At 15/9/08 11:49, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Yelp business model is get people to write free reviews to fill yelps site with content.

    They use the reviews to create pages to
    pit small business against small business.

    A non paying business has (paid to yelp) competitor business on the same page. If I pay , yelp will remove the other saps that paid to be on my site and it goes on and on until everyone of us small business has paid and yelp laughs all the ways to the bank.

    They called and emailed me dozens of time per week to explain how they are doing such a great job for my business and push a hard sell over the phone excrement script telling me to pay 150.00 or more per month to advertise on another poor saps yelp page who has yet to cough the monthly extortion to keep my business off their page.

    I as a small business owner, would like to deficate in the mouth of the owner and creator of yelp.

    Thanks for reading.

  • At 16/10/08 00:16, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yelp is truly going down the tubes. They are just a fad, but you are right about their extortion and raking in the cash

  • At 28/3/09 11:00, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The biggest concern about yelp is that they deleted several positive reviews after the business owner declined their advertisement offers.
    Some business owners call yelp mob-like behaviour.


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