Google provided this example of what its new services ad function will look like.

Google Adds Paid Home Service Provider Suggestions To Search Results For “Clogged Toilet,” “Plumber”

Less than a year after Amazon took on the likes of Angie’s List, Yelp and other companies that can connect consumers to professional service providers like plumbers, locksmiths, electricians and others, Google announced it would join the fray by adding prescreened service providers to its sponsored search results. [More]

You Can Now Rate And Review U.S. Government Services On Yelp

You Can Now Rate And Review U.S. Government Services On Yelp

The wait time to get customer support from the Internal Revenue Service is stretching on into infinity. The Transportation Security Administration agents at one particular airport checkpoint always seem to have it out for you. There’s one particular bathroom at Yellowstone National Park that is the best and everyone should know about it. Whatever your experience with U.S. government services, you can now review it on Yelp. [More]

Federal Judge Applies Common Sense, Decides Yelp Reviewers Are Not Employees

Federal Judge Applies Common Sense, Decides Yelp Reviewers Are Not Employees

Last year, we shared the news that a group of Yelp reviewers whose accounts had been deactivated were suing the website for back wages. The ex-reviewers claimed that they had performed the functions of an employee, with guidance and critique from Yelp management, by providing content that the site could sell ads against. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed the case last week [More]

(photo: colonelchi)

A Year After Restaurant Owner Asked Me To Change Yelp Review, Things Got Weird

You may remember reader Mark, who left a bad Yelp review for a local tavern back in 2013, then received a request from the business’s new owner asking him to change or remove the review. Mark declined. That was a year ago: the owner apparently went through his Yelp inbox recently to rage at correspondents. Here is our gift to small business owners: another cautionary tale about how not to handle your online presence. [More]

An example of the new statistics users can find for health facilities on Yelp. [via Yelp]

Yelp Adds Hospital Wait Times, Nursing Home Fine Info To Reviews

When a trip to the emergency room is in order, you’re usually in a hurry, because, after all, it’s an emergency. Sitting around waiting to be seen by a doctor can be an agonizing experience for those in need of quick help. While Yelp can’t hurry along those doctors, it can apparently tell you just how long you might expect to be camped out in the hospital E.R. [More]

Lawmakers Propose Bill To Prevent Businesses From Suing You For Complaining About Them

Lawmakers Propose Bill To Prevent Businesses From Suing You For Complaining About Them

Most of the time, consumer interactions with businesses go just fine. We give a company our money, they provide us with goods or services, and everyone is happy. But sometimes, things go awry. The customer isn’t happy, the business doesn’t make it right, and we complain: not just to the business, but to Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp. And that, too often, is when the story starts to get even uglier. [More]

Yelp Reportedly Testing The Merger Market

Yelp Reportedly Testing The Merger Market

Yelp might still be the most recognizable name in crowdsourced online reviews, but it may be hitting a wall in terms of audience growth as it faces increasing competition; all the while, the company’s stock price remains less than half of what it used to be. All of this might explain why the company is reportedly looking to find a buyer for its multibillion-dollar business. [More]

Court Dismisses Yelp Shareholder Lawsuit Over Bogus Reviews, Inflated Stock Prices

Court Dismisses Yelp Shareholder Lawsuit Over Bogus Reviews, Inflated Stock Prices

Last summer, some Yelp shareholders filed a class-action lawsuit against the online review site, alleging that Yelp misled them about the quality of user-generated reviews and the process Yelp uses to screen for bogus write-ups. This week, a federal court judge sided with Yelp and dismissed the complaint, saying that a reasonable investor would not believe that every review posted to an open and free online community would be genuine. [More]

Virginia’s Highest Court Says Yelp Doesn’t Have To ID Anonymous Reviewers

Virginia’s Highest Court Says Yelp Doesn’t Have To ID Anonymous Reviewers

For nearly two years, we’ve been telling you about the Virginia carpet cleaner trying to compel Yelp to identify seven of anonymous users so that the business could name them in a defamation lawsuit. After Yelp lost legal battles in both the trial and appeals courts, the state’s highest court today ruled in favor of the review site, but only because the subpoena was served in the wrong state. [More]

Obedience School Sues Yelper For $65K Over Negative Review

Obedience School Sues Yelper For $65K Over Negative Review

A few months ago, a Virginia woman began taking her dog to obedience class, and when the training wasn’t what she expected, she requested a pro-rated refund and wrote a negative review of the school on Yelp. Now she’s facing a $65,000 defamation lawsuit. [More]

Restaurant Uses Surveillance Footage To Disprove 1-Star Yelp Review

Restaurant Uses Surveillance Footage To Disprove 1-Star Yelp Review

Being unable to get a seat at a busy restaurant where you don’t have a reservation is probably not a justifiable reason to give the place a one-star writeup on Yelp. But if you are going to put that negative stamp on a restaurant, at least tell the truth. [More]

(R.)

5 Reasons Restaurants Should Think Twice About Shaming Bad Customers

Running a restaurant — which is often a narrow-profit, high-risk operation with frequent staff turnover — is not easy, and those employees and owners who do work hard sometimes feel like they only hear complaints from customers. So it’s not entirely surprising that some restaurant folks choose to use social media to shame bad customers, especially those who don’t tip well. [More]

(catheroo)

Dentist Who Claimed Copyright Over Patient’s Yelp Review Must Pay $4,766 In Damages

Way back in 2011, we told you about a dental patient who said his dentist had gone too far with a “privacy agreement” that preempted patients from publicly complaining about the doctor and claimed copyright on patients’ reviews. After nearly four years of legal wrangling, the dentist has finally been ordered to pay the patient nearly $5,000 in damages, though he may never get it. [More]

Just a bit of the harsh critique that ownership left for its former servers and kitchen staff.

Shuttered Restaurant Lashes Out At Former “Incompetent” Staff In Yelp Farewell

Yelp is usually a place for restaurant diners to vent about bad service and food — and occasionally for restaurants to start ill-advised social media wars with those who complain. But it’s rarely the place for a restaurant to publicly point the finger at its own employees. [More]

The defendants' website promises that only 4- and 5-star reviews will be posted online while reviews of 3-star or worse will be sent to a "Control Center."

Yelp Sues Websites Promising “All Positive Reviews” For Businesses

While Yelp may be within its legal rights to re-order and filter its user-submitted reviews, the company is taking legal action against the operator of multiple websites promising “all positive reviews for your business.” [More]

(jdong)

Yelp Enters Delivery Realm With $134M Purchase Of Eat24

Not only can you make reservations at thousands of restaurants through Yelp, soon you’ll be able to order delivery. The latest expansion for the review site comes after it agreed to purchase delivery site Eat24 for $134 million. [More]

Not the establishment in question. (Scott Lynch)

Did This Laundry Service Respond To A Bad Yelp Review With A Violent Threat?

Emma used the same wash-and-fold laundry service at a laundromat in her neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY for years, and had a bad experience in August. She did what people normally do in that situation: she left them a one-star but respectful Yelp review, and switched to using a different place. Just another day in the free market… until she received a threat by private message that contained her home address. [More]

Yelp Goes To Court To Protect Identity Of Anonymous Review-Writer

Yelp Goes To Court To Protect Identity Of Anonymous Review-Writer

Once again, a business who is displeased with an anonymous review on Yelp is trying to sue that reviewer and attempting to compel Yelp to reveal that user’s actual identity. But this morning, lawyers for Yelp and consumer advocates were in court to argue that there is no justification for unmasking the writer of this review. [More]