Yelp to let businesses respond publicly to critics

Yelp to let businesses respond publicly to critics

Summary: Businesses will finally be able to respond to the critics who have the power to make or break them on Yelp. The company is getting ready to roll out a feature that will allow business account holders to respond publicly to their critics.

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TOPICS: IT Employment, CXO
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Businesses will finally be able to respond to the critics who have the power to make or break them on Yelp. The company is getting ready to roll out a feature that will allow business account holders to respond publicly to their critics.

Currently, business owners could only respond through private messages.

Yelp recently was forced to defend itself against allegations of manipulating reviews in exchange for ad dollars. In February, an alternative weekly published a scathing, albeit biased, piece that was filled with stories of businesses being promised better reviews if they'd buy ads. Yelp denied the allegations.

An opportunity to open that dialogue between business owner and critic could benefit others, as well. Yelp community manager Don Bourassais, quoted in a CNET story, said:

If you wrote a glowing 5-star review some months ago about your favorite pub, in which you mention drinking Harp because they didn't carry Guinness...both you and other readers would probably be happy to see a new comment saying, 'Just got our Guinness tap last week. Hope to see you soon!

The feature is expected to roll out in the coming weeks.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO

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2 comments
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  • Yelp Is Still Untrustworthy And Unreliable

    For a small business, giving money to Jeremy Stoppelman and Yelp is like handing a butcher knife to a serial killer.
    Yelp is still crammed to the gills with fake reviews and false information.
    cosgrove
  • RE: Yelp to let businesses respond publicly to critics

    It took yelp six years to even consider giving small business owners a voice on their website, and only after a flurry of negative media attention threatened the viability of its own business. Yelp has never apologized to the small business community for its actions, nor did it bother to even announce this change to the business owner community. Instead, they send a message to their reviewers, which seems more like an apology for "giving in" to the demands of business owners. If yelp truly cared about the small business community, it would have included its needs in the original business plan, it would not have waited six years to respond to the needs of business owners, and it would not be apologizing for taking the first step toward creating an equitable site. Why on earth would any business owner advertise on a website that begrudgingly supports their needs? Yelp has offered up far too little, far too late, and it simply won't be enough to recover from their long term mistakes.
    blogorama