In an effort to create more trust and “transparency,” Yelp said this morning that the company was taking two additional steps:
- Adding the ability to see reviews filtered by the company’s review filter
- Discontinuing the “Favorite Review” feature that’s part of the Yelp advertising package
According to CEO Jeremy Stoppelman’s post:
Why? Because while Yelp has seen tremendous growth in just a few years, we’re still new to a lot of people. Despite our best efforts to educate consumers and the small business community, myths about Yelp have persisted. We’ve said all along we believe these incorrect notions stem from the combination of the filter and this advertising feature — and we’re practicing what we preach. Lifting the veil on our review filter and doing away with “Favorite Review” will make it even clearer that displayed reviews on Yelp are completely independent of advertising — or any sort of manipulation. We also hope it will demonstrate the importance of a safeguard such as our filter and the unique challenge we face daily to maintain the integrity of the review content on our site.
As indicated by Stoppelman, this is a direct effort to combat perceptions and claims that Yelp is manipulating reviews on the basis of whether or not a local business is an advertiser. It’s obviously a positive step for Yelp and is in part motivated by the lawsuits pending against the company.
Do you believe these moves will address some of the (mis)perceptions of local advertisers?
Here’s the press release.