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Do you Yelp?

Image representing Yelp as depicted in CrunchBase

Yelp! hit 100 Million users in January, 2013. The local directory and review service has been around since 2004, and for many is the go-to site for choosing services of all kinds, based on user reviews.

Yelp! gives regular folks the opportunity to review businesses from dining, to merchants, to service providers.  Of course, if you are checking Yelp! to find a nearby sushi place or a mechanic in a town far from, the user has to make a leap of faith and accept the assumption that reviews are honest, and that there is no manipulation by either the vendor or Yelp! itself.

In a recent Google+ discussion someone brought up this Forbes Article – Think Yelp is Unbiased? Think Again!!  It bears a look, especially from those of us who have Yelp! business pages.  Yelp! filters reviews.  They are up front telling business owners that they use the filter: “The filter establishes an objective standard against which every review can be measured.”, and the FAQ goes on to explain why the filter is necessary to weed out bogus reviews, BUT the FAQs do nothing to explain what that objective standard is. Continue reading

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