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Why Consumers Find Yelp Useful



A recent article in the New York Times noted the lengths that some businesses will go to “manage” their reputations by paying for fake positive reviews. This practice not only violates Yelp’s Terms of Service – it’s against FTC guidelines too. We love to see increasing awareness about the need for quality control of online reviews; Yelp has taken an aggressive stance on this front for the past seven years in an effort to provide consumers with the most useful information.

We take two distinct approaches to quality control. First, our users help us police the site to enforce our content and review guidelines. For example, users can contact our User Support team or flag a review if it contains an ad hominem attack or fails to relate a firsthand experience. Our User Support team will evaluate the review and make a decision about whether it should be removed.

Second, we filter out some reviews using an automated software system that runs independently from our User Support team. Rather than looking at subjective data like how well a review is written, the filter looks at objective data that gives clues about a review’s reliability. Reviews that don’t make the cut are posted to a "filtered reviews" page (still viewable by clicking on the link at the bottom of any business listing with filtered reviews.) If a filtered review later makes the grade based on new data, it is re-posted to the business’s main profile page.

Online reviews continue to be one of the most trusted sources of information for consumers. With over 58 million unique visitors each month, Yelp is a primary destination for consumers trying to find great local businesses.

As always, we recommend that business owners focus on providing a great customer experience, and let their reviews accumulate organically. We’ve found that businesses that do it the right way have had the most long term success.

 

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