In the wake of the class action lawsuit(s) and some of the related negative press surrounding Yelp, the company is making a bigger push to explain itself to the public and presumably SMBs. Evidence comes in the form of a video, which was posted on the Yelp blog last week, explaining how the company’s review filter works (though the video is much broader).
And yesterday a very high profile Q&A appeared in the NY Times with Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. The Q&A jumps right into main class action and the legitimacy of its claims:
Q. Class-action lawsuits have been filed that accuse your company of extortion. Do you extort people?
A. Absolutely not. The way Yelp works is very counterintuitive to a lot of folks, which is the source of the problem. In 2005, we created a review filter. It’s automated and algorithmic and screens out certain reviews that it just doesn’t know enough about. When a consumer encounters a business’s page, the reviews they’re seeing aren’t necessarily every review that’s been written about the business. It’s a selection of those reviews. It ensures that the consumer sees generally useful, trustworthy information that gives them a good idea of what to expect when they patronize that business.
Related: Q&A interview of Luther Lowe, Yelp Business Outreach Manager