(afagen)

You Can Now Reserve A Hotel Room Through Yelp

In an effort to keep travelers who might be checking out the reviews for hotels on Yelp’s website or in its mobile apps instead of going elsewhere when it comes time to book lodging, Yelp announced today that it’s teamed up with travel site Hipmunk to offer hotel reservations directly to users. [More]

Restaurant Responds To Negative Yelp Review With Role-Playing Exercise

Restaurant Responds To Negative Yelp Review With Role-Playing Exercise

When a ticked-off consumer goes on Yelp to unleash a nasty rant about your restaurant, what’s the best way to respond? For one eatery in Kansas City, it was to flip the tables on the Yelper with a bit of dramatic role-playing. [More]

Yelp Swears It Doesn’t Manipulate Reviews, Even Though It’s Allowed To

Yelp Swears It Doesn’t Manipulate Reviews, Even Though It’s Allowed To

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court held that Yelp is free to shuffle positive and negative reviews around at will, and can even use that freedom as a way to urge businesses to advertise on the site. But even in light of this ruling, Yelp maintains that buying ads on the site does not determine which reviews show up for your business. [More]

FTC: Yelp To Pay $450,000 For Collecting Personal Information From Children

FTC: Yelp To Pay $450,000 For Collecting Personal Information From Children

With each new settlement the Federal Trade Commission announces, it appears more likely that mobile apps and children just don’t go together. In the most recent case, Yelp settled allegations that it improperly collected children’s’ personal information – a big no-no that means the online review site will pay hundred of thousands of dollars to rectify. [More]

NYC Steakhouse Goes To Court To Obtain Identity Of Fake Yelp Reviewer

NYC Steakhouse Goes To Court To Obtain Identity Of Fake Yelp Reviewer

It’s one thing for a company to pursue legal action against an online reviewer who posted negative things about the company when it is actually true. Currently the Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan, a former job applicant, Yelp, and a mysterious fourth party are involved in legal action to discover the identity of “Besfort S.,” a Yelper posing as a former Sparks employee who posted about how spitting in food is routine. [More]

Appeals Court: Yelp’s Ad Team Isn’t Extorting Small Businesses

(Rich Rogala)

For several years, some have accused online review site Yelp of strong-arming small businesses into paying for ads on the site, and a handful of these companies have even sued Yelp, hoping to prove their allegations. But this week a federal appeals court shot down extortion claims made against Yelp by California business owners, saying the site’s ad sales methods are just “hard bargaining.” [More]

Yelp Reviewers File Class Action Lawsuit, Want To Get Paid

Yelp Reviewers File Class Action Lawsuit, Want To Get Paid

Last fall, while we were covering fake Yelp reviews of real businesses and real Yelp reviews of fake businesses, a lawsuit questioning the nature of online reviews in a different way was filed on the West Coast. The lawsuit was dismissed in February, but has since been filed again with different attorneys and a different lead plaintiff. Their argument? Elite Yelp reviewers provide a service to the site, and some reviewers are paid, so all of them ought to be. [More]

(jdong)

How Should Business Owners Respond To A Negative Online Review?

We know that the proper response of a business to a bad online review shouldn’t be to post their own fake positive ones, or to fine wedding hosts for the bad reviews by their invited guests. Yet what should the proper response be when someone expresses dissatisfaction with your business…or when you take over a business with a history of bad reviews? [More]

(Rich Rogala)

Yelp Accused Of Lying To Investors About Quality Of Online Reviews

Since it launched a decade ago, some business owners have grumbled that the online review site Yelp allowed users to post fake, negative reviews. Now a potential class-action suit filed against Yelp accuses the site of trying to mislead investors about the quality of user-generated reviews and the way in which the company screens this content. [More]

3 Reasons Why Yelp Should Reconsider Its “Elite” Yelper Program

3 Reasons Why Yelp Should Reconsider Its “Elite” Yelper Program

Nine years ago, online review site Yelp began bestowing “Elite” status upon certain reviewers, rewarding them — sometimes literally, with free swag — for their frequent write-ups and their dedication to the site. While it’s arguably a positive thing for Yelp to recognize certain users, it may be time for the site to reconsider how it runs the whole Elite program. [More]

Yelp’s Video Feature Is Now Live, So You Can Show Exactly What You Mean By “Ear-Splitting Music”

Yelp’s Video Feature Is Now Live, So You Can Show Exactly What You Mean By “Ear-Splitting Music”

If a picture is worth a thousand words — which it is, I just cashed in a picture yesterday — then a video must be even more valuable, right? So thinketh Yelp, as it says that it’s previously announced video feature is now ready for users who want to add short clips to their reviews. [More]

The original Yelp review has since been deleted, but not before the Internet saved this screengrab for posterity.

Restaurant Turns Yelper’s Lame Abortion Joke Into Fundraiser For Domestic Violence Crisis Line

Just like the rest of the Internet, Yelp is not immune to idiots who pepper their “reviews” with boorish, sexist statements that are probably intended to be funny. Most businesses would simply ignore this sort of non-feedback, but a restaurant in Portland (the one to the upper-left) saw a chance to turn a cheap abortion-based semi-joke into a worthwhile cause. [More]

(jdong)

Is Yelp Holding Positive Reviews Back When Restaurants Don’t Advertise? Nope

For more than five years now, we’ve reported on business owners’ allegations that review site Yelp makes shakedown calls, threatening to hide negative reviews if businesses pay up for advertising, and promising to hide positive ones if they do. A Toronto restaurant is just the latest business to make such claims, and took the allegations to that city’s subreddit. Only there’s no real proof. [More]

Is It Wrong For A Restaurant To Tell Diners To Remove Google Glass?

Is It Wrong For A Restaurant To Tell Diners To Remove Google Glass?

The culture war (more of a slap-fight) over where and when it’s okay to sport Google Glass continues. A Manhattan restaurant is the latest to get caught up in the fracas after it asked a customer to remove her Glass device while dining, resulting in a burst of negative reviews from those who think the eatery crossed a line… and a backlash from those who aren’t impressed with the headgear and don’t see why anyone would wear one to dinner. [More]

Because the world needs more hastily uploaded videos with strange aspect ratios, Yelp will soon be rolling out videos for reviews.

Yelp Adding Videos To Reviews To Put A Face To “Worst Falafel Ever” Rants

When you’re looking for a restaurant — or a dry cleaner, or plumber, or prison — and checking out Yelp on your mobile device, you’ve surely said to yourself, “If only I could watch video of this Yelper’s completely reasoned and not at all reactionary 1-star review!” Well, you’re wish may be granted with the news that the crowdsourced review site is adding video reviews to its mobile apps. [More]

Yelp’s Controversial Business Tactics Contribute To 2,000 Complaints Received by FTC

Yelp’s Controversial Business Tactics Contribute To 2,000 Complaints Received by FTC

Consumers head to Yelp to provide and/or peruse the praise and criticism left by other users about local businesses. But the tables have turned a bit with thousands of people taking their complaints about Yelp and its business practices to federal regulators. [More]

Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Suggests “Crowdsourced Expertise” Over Generic Yelp Reviews

Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Suggests “Crowdsourced Expertise” Over Generic Yelp Reviews

Andrew Zimmern, chef and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, has never held back his feelings about crowdsourced review site Yelp, once calling it a “tremendous forum for a bunch of uninformed morons to take down restaurants.” It’s all well and good to slam the site, but what are people to do when they’re looking for insight on where to eat? [More]

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

As helpful as crowdsourced review sites like Yelp can be, not every write-up is of use to a consumer trying to figure out whether a restaurant is worth the trip. Sometimes it’s because the review is too vague (“The menu wasn’t amazing” is one I come across too often). Other times it’s too specific (“The napkins didn’t match the table cloths! Never going back!”). And many reviewers tend to let their emotions get the best of them, giving slightly subpar meals a single star or throwing a restaurant a 5-star rating without really thinking about what that score implies. [More]