Yelp Making Push Toward More Transparency

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


7 Responses to “Yelp Making Push Toward More Transparency”

  1. Mike Stewart Says:

    After attending the TTU Social Media conference Today and listening to the social media crisis responses of both JP Penney, Southwest Airlines (Kevin Smith) and others, I am very impressed with Jeremy’s response. I can def. tell you that some tech savvy executives are correct in corporate responses to social media challenges. Not so much with others.

    The video reminds me of one of my favorite “websites”

    Mike Stewart

  2. Mike Stewart Says:

    BTW, does YELP employ sales consultants? If so, is it possible that sales consultants could impact the companies reputation negatively. Also, if a CEO or executive is failing to address ethics issues and knows that they exist within the organization, is this not an ethics or accountability concern for said executive or CEO?

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Re the second post . . . don’t know.

  4. zippy Says:

    Unfortunately, you didn’t put the link to the NYT article which shows readers’ “comments”. There are now 64 comments from businesses all over the country. 95% of which say they were extorted, and cite specifics.

    Read them here:

  5. Yelp’s Challenges on Display in NYT Comments « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Challenges on Display in NYT Comments By Greg Sterling One of the comments responding to my earlier Yelp piece, about the company’s efforts to do a better job explaining its algorithm, said the […]

  6. Panel: “The Big Picture With The Big Local Players” Says:

    […] some cases anger among some local businesses who don’t understand it. More recently Yelp has made a much bigger effort towards transparency in this […]

  7. Mike Stewart Says:

    Some big changes I hear. Yelp is separating reviews? Details Greg?

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