Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman has drafted a blog post that responds to the allegations in the class action lawsuit filed earlier in the week:
There has been a long history of people accusing Yelp of monkeying around with reviews in exchange for money. The allegations are disappointing, not only because they are false, but because they ignore empirical evidence in favor of conspiracy theories.
You can see for yourself: thousands of businesses that advertise on Yelp have both negative and positive reviews. Despite these counter–examples to the contrary (virtually no advertiser on Yelp has a perfect reputation), extensive media explorations that end inconclusively, and the absence of any actual evidence to support this theory, this unfortunate and untrue meme has taken on a life of its own.
He goes on to deny there’s any merit to the suit . . .
Separately Yelp has replaced Yahoo! on the Ask the Local Search Engines panel (also featuring Google and Microsoft) at next week’s SMX West show in Santa Clara. I’ll be moderating the panel and look forward to a very interesting and satisfying discussion.