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  1. #1
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    Yelp Documentary - Billion Dollar Bully

    Sorry if this has already been posted, it's from March 7th but I was just made aware of it today (it's trending on Reddit).



    This could be HUGE for businesses, even if Yelp doesn't change it's strategy. With enough awareness, people might stop using Yelp and at least become aware of the ways people use reviews to tarnish businesses they've never been to.

    If anyone wants to help this project out:
    "Please visit our website, Prost Productions, Inc. - Are you ready to let your voice be heard?, for more information and ways to contribute to this project. Our Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded! Donations can still be received through PayPal."
    Hurricane K8
    Leavens Auto Group (London, Orillia, Chatham - Ontario,Canada)

  2. #2
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    Re: Yelp Documentary - Billion Dollar Bully

    Business owners don't like Yelp because if they get a bad review, you can't get it taken off (at least that I'm aware of). That's why most people seem upset that I have run into.

    However, the cold hard truth is that Yelp actually has a pretty good system, in my opinion, of filtering reviews. Is it perfect? No. But no system is going to be and it does the best of any system I've seen or experienced. In fact, who else even has a review filtering system besides Yelp and Google?

    Also, Yelp isn't unfairly picking on certain business owners, having a filter for some and not others. There is a level playing field here. Do you get negative reviews? Sure, but so do all of your other competitors. Do you get fake negative reviews? Probably, but so do all of your other competitors. The rules are the same for everyone so play ball and play better.

    Now, if all the stuff is true about extortion, threats, ratcheting up negative reviews out of spite, paying to get negative reviews removed then yeah, that's terrible and something needs to be done and done soon. That's bad business, bad humanity and very unacceptable.

    But honestly, I've never experienced that once or talked to any small business owner that has. The only complaint I hear about Yelp is that most small business owners think the negative reviews they have on Yelp are fake. And because Yelp won't remove them, they dramatically refer to them as extortionists.

    Bottom line, my experience is Yelp takes a lot of flack mostly for their review system, which, in my opinion, does its job. There's a reason they're by far and away the most popular local search directory. Think about it.

    But if anyone has real, hard evidence, not just hearsay and gossip, that this is not the case and Yelp is a big bully, I'd definitely want to hear about it. And I'll also watch the documentary.
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service

  3. #3
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    Re: Yelp Documentary - Billion Dollar Bully

    Here's my story:

    One of my companies that is listed on yelp (see A Servant?s Heart In-Home Care - Home Health Care - San Marcos, CA - Reviews - Photos - Yelp) has eight favorable reviews and one bogus negative review. The negative review has been "not recommended" (a good thing) for the past few years after first being featured on the "recommended reviews" for several years before that. During the past year we have received two or three legitimate favorable reviews and they all are marked "not recommended".

    In July of last year, we decided to try Yelp advertising for that company. The minimum commitment was for one year. During that year, the one negative review was shown LAST in the not recommended reviews. We cancelled after that year (it did us no good whatsoever to advertise with Yelp, as it turned out). The very next day after we ended the advertising contract, that one negative not recommended review suddenly became listed FIRST in the not recommended reviews.

    Coincidence? You decide. I have my own assessment about it.

    Note: I do NOT believe that "the government" should somehow regulate them to make them "play fair". I just think their approach is crummy and hurtful to small businesses. I speculate that they either (1) know nothing about how to accurately screen out fake reviews, or (2) they deliberately suppress the majority of favorable reviews as "not recommended" to pressure small businesses to buy advertising. Note that that is just my speculation. I could be wrong. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I saw pigs fly just a few days ago...

  4. #4
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    Re: Yelp Documentary - Billion Dollar Bully

    Quote Originally Posted by tcolling View Post
    Note: I do NOT believe that "the government" should somehow regulate them to make them "play fair". I just think their approach is crummy and hurtful to small businesses. I speculate that they either (1) know nothing about how to accurately screen out fake reviews, or (2) they deliberately suppress the majority of favorable reviews as "not recommended" to pressure small businesses to buy advertising. Note that that is just my speculation. I could be wrong. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I saw pigs fly just a few days ago...
    I think that eventually, nature will take its course and if that's how they are treating people, they will die off. It's just sometimes the free market takes longer than we would like.

    I don't know why they haven't done a bid system for ads like Adwords. It would raise so much more awareness with their ad platform.
    Tutelary Marketing, Owner
    Local Listing Ninja - Business Listing Service

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