• http://www.sparklogix.com/ Richard Morrison

    This is very interesting.  It will be fun (maybe not so fun) to see how these two will match up.  Great article and great information!  Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002517305987 Jennifer Torres

    I don’t like Yelp. Mostly because unless you advertise on their site your positive reviews do get filtered out. We have now 4 reviews showing. 3 is bad one is good. Besides that we have about 15 filtered POSITIVE reviews. It seems like we have more unhappy than happy customers if someone doesn’t check the FILTERED reviews out. We are a 22 years old company. If that was the case, we wouldn’t exist today. Most of our customers are happy and we get positive feedbacks all the time. However when we advised these customers to go to Yelp to leave their review there, they were ALL filtered out. Yelp is calling us to sign up to their $300/month advertising package which you must sign for one year. We refuse it. Even though it seems like then our positive reviews will appear. Many business owners have the same issue, which is why a Class Action Law suit was filed against YELP. Unfortunately the law states a website doesn’t have to do anything with third party content (reviews)… but then why do they filter the good ones out and not the bad ones? 

  • http://www.topscottsdalehomes.com Carmen Brodeur

    No surprise that Apple wants a piece of the maps market. Surprising they chose Yelp as part of that strategy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DUOPU324BCKDNZNOPEKNOO5TQM Raptor

    This relationship is bad for small businesses. Yelp is going to hurt all small business and Apple will now share the wrath of small business. “I hate you Apple”.

    Google is very fair to small business and is seen more as a non-evil corporation. Apple is the next Microsoft.

    ” Like us on GOOGLE, hate us on YELP”

  • http://twitter.com/VTDesignWorks Vermont Design Works

    Great post! However I do have to say that I find it odd that it’s considered a good thing Yelp is no longer “David”… Didn’t David win? (I know, it’s a common metaphor… just strikes me as odd in certain instances “Congratulations Yelp, you will not win this death match.”)
    #stickler

  • http://twitter.com/yoursocialfans your socialfans

    YourSocialFans.com can help you attract thousands of fanss that you can keep informed about any of your product or service offerings instantly. By bringing you a targeted crowd of buyers all you need to do is give them an offer they can’t refuse! Branding is also another successful tool Facebook can provide for your business. As more and more people become fans of your page it builds trust in them and they are more likely to buy from you than your competitor, because they have been following the brand and it’s a brand they trust.invisible to visible

  • http://collegegirlcleaningservice.com/ Michael Montenaro

    Could not agree with Jennifer more; I own a local cleaning and maid service and the same thing happened with me after I resisted relentless pressure (daily calls if not more frequent) to sign an advertising deal with Yelp.     

  • http://www.dinomiteseo.com/ Dino Gomez

    Yelp’s relationship with Apple may have huge implications in the future of Google’s search algorithrm. Will Google show less Yelp results in the future in order to keep Yelp from taking over local search?

  • http://www.456lock.com/ ABC Lock & Key Inc

    yelp is another heaven for the Scammers, i am a locksmith and whenever i search for locksmith in Nashville Tennessee i get 20.000 result and they are all fake because there are only 15 legitimate company here. 
    Yelp is not a trusted source for people to look for a local businesses 

  • Matt McGee

    So you’re blaming Yelp for the fact that the locksmith industry is filled with spammers?

  • http://www.456lock.com/ ABC Lock & Key Inc

    Yes I blame Yelp for that, because there is no verification process to add your listing . Google made a big move toward those spammers on google map and now it is much better than even 6 months ago . In my opinion if yelp wants to have a better quality search result they need to make some changes to their data base for those local business that spammers are targeting and don’t let them have multiple fake locations with fake address.

  • http://www.456lock.com/ ABC Lock & Key Inc

    Same thing happened to us on yelp.com

  • Justin Sous

    This is an issue with your industry, not Yelp. Actually, the Locksmith industry scams the internet more than any other local business niche I know. They’re taking advantage of sites like Yelp to facilitate their spammy processes. It sounds you’re one of the “good guys” in the industry, so my condolences, but to blame Yelp for the fact that “the locksmith industry is filled with spammers” is preposterous. Would it help if Yelp added that verification process? Sure. But that surely hasn’t stopped the scammers in your industry creating fake Google Places listings… and they verify by post card and by phone. 

  • http://www.456lock.com/ ABC Lock & Key Inc

    I agree with you Justin, but google is doing so good now in terms of allowing business owners to have a page on google+local.
    We are expecting Yelp to do the same thing and ask business owners to provide state license and Store Lic.
    I know there were like tons of listing on google placese ( Google Map ) but Thanks to Dan Austin and his team, they started deleting them one by one and now there still a few left but it is way better. if yelp does the same thing that when our people are gonna be safer because i know how crazy the spammers overcharging people. the other day i was searching for a locksmith on yelp in nashville tn, i came a cross tons of them with weird names, 2 hours after drinking locksmith, midnight locksmith, after dinner locksmith, 7am locksmith,  Come on ! non of them are licensed and exist.
    All i know is we have to let our people know about those spammers.

  • http://twitter.com/cjz Chris

    I was at Facebook HQ last year with a large group of small business owners learning about Facebook ads. One of the presenters said the word ‘Yelp’ and the 100 or small business owners stated boo-ing and hissing. It was actually quite funny and good anecdotal evidence of how many small business owners feel about Yelp and their bizarre logic for which reviews to display and the ranking of the reviews.

  • http://twitter.com/WebpageBySteve Steve Gibson

    With over 300 reviews on Yelp, I’m certainly not objective about the utility of the website. But as a small business owner myself, as well as a website developer for small and medium sized businesses, I’ve heard the arguments on both sides. First of all, I think Yelp does a poor job of selling their “premium services” — they ARE to blame for giving businesses the impression that spending money on Yelp advertising will net them positive reviews. That’s not true. Advertising on Yelp will only get your business to appear on more searches. If you have few reviews, or bad reviews, the money will be wasted. That’s why I tell businesses to focus their Yelp efforts on using Yelp as a way to publicly interact with customers. When a customer posts a good review, RESPOND. When a customer posts a negative review, OVER-RESPOND. Offer the complainer a free dinner, tell them how you are personally hurt by the failure of your business to meet their expectations — that response WILL appear on Yelp forever and it gives you a chance to speak directly to every reader who relishes the drama of a bad review. I think bad reviews are simply opportunities to show your customer relationship skills. On the other hand, if you’re reading this now and thinking, “blah, blah, blah”, I’m guessing Yelp will never work for you anyway.

  • http://www.esocialmedia.com Jerry Nordstrom

    Online reviews and ratings are clearly a powerful and required element of today’s marketing plan. Yelp however embodies just about the worst way to implement it (Second to Scam.com and similar sites). There are two key issues with Yelp. First, It is not customer focused with no support or viable channel to ensure the accuracy of your business reviews. Second the Yelp filter which clearly filters a suspicious number of positive reviews until it seems advertising dollars are spent, then magically the filter changes and your positive reviews are no longer filtered. Do 5 minutes of research and you will find a loud chorus of businesses screaming that they are being blackmailed by Yelp. Regardless of how Yelp has developed their business model either through negligence or intentional sales tactics I’m surprised to see Apple and Bing align themselves with the worst name in online reviews.

  • Overreacting

    Just the logic is confounding. You resist attempts from Yelp to get you to advertise. So they filter your positive reviews and only show the negative ones. So now you’re even more pissed off at Yelp. Are you more or less likely to spend money with them? My best guess is that you told some people “hey, write me a good review”, they signed up wrote a review then rarely if ever went back to the site. Looks suspicious, filtered, you get upset and claim conspiracy. As for the negative reviews, no business owner has ever given bad service, or dealt with a customer who couldn’t be pleased huh?

  • blissfulight

    Verification isn’t simply receiving a phone call or postcard at the stated address in order to claim the listing, it’s determining if the locksmiths or other heavily spammed service categories are legally entitled to provide that service.  I’m sure that Yelp is familiar with a service called Google, which indexes state and local government databases and allows you to look up licensing or other information for a particularly heavily spammed service category like locksmiths.  They don’t want to do that because it will cost them time and money.  What Yelp wants is to just basically collect money from SMBs without actually doing anything for the SMB, other than providing them with a simple landing page, even if that SMB is competing against false and fraudulent listings.  If there’s only 15 legit locksmiths in Nashville, and the legit locksmiths are competing against 20,000 listings, how is that fair to the ‘real’ business owner?  How are they even supposed to compete against that?  Why should any business pay Yelp $300 a month if Yelp can’t even provide a clean hosting service?  Until businesses like Yelp stop showing spammers in the search results, there isn’t a whole lot the average spammed SMB can do other than completely ignore Yelp.  

  • blissfulight

    If Yelp provides a local listing service, and the listings aren’t local, legal or relevant, don’t comply with Yelp’s TOS, and Yelp is hosting that content in defiance of consumer protection laws, then, yes, I do blame Yelp for not removing spammers.  If they wanted, they could ‘cure’ the problem by identifying all the good locksmiths (this really isn’t that hard to do–I’m in the process of compiling that database for the US), and then ‘filtering’ out the spammers by removing them all together.  Yelp’s engineers seem to have no difficulty filtering out good reviews in order to extort business owners into paying their advertising fees.  Surely they could devote some of their resources to removing spammers, just like Google, Yahoo, and other email providers are able to do with the torrent of spam that never reaches your inbox?  Are you suggesting that Yelp isn’t culpable at all?  That they bear no responsibility for what they advertise and promote?  That they have some super 1st Amendment protections that protect them against any form of accountability and provide some sort of blanket immunity against consumer protection statutes?  Many industries preceding Yelp and other local providers have claimed the same privilege, that what they do should be the responsibility of the consumer rather than the business creating or hosting the product, and that they have no responsibility if the consumer ends up being defrauded or hurt in the transaction that the business helped facilitate.  After much public outcry, we know what happened…