Does Yelp "manipulate reviews for their own profit"?

Curt Kelley
It appears, this not having gone to court yet, that is what may be happening. Does this raise the profile/legitimacy of social (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc...) media?
Aaron Wirtz
While I don't have any first hand knowledge of this, I've talked to other dealerships who told me that once they started advertising with Yelp, good reviews started flowing in as if a faucet was turned on. Does their advertising work THAT well? I doubt it, especially since the suggested ads (for Wichita, anyway) are usually only marginally relevant. For example, when I search for car dealerships, Yelp regularly shows me auto glass stores and body shops.
Dara Moore
Our local Yelp rep has definitely eluded that if we buy advertising, especially for some of our more reputation challenged stores, the good reviews will have a better chance of not getting filtered with more of the negative getting filtered out.
Kristen Judd
This is a timely post Ed. I was just reading a comprehensive article on BuzzFeed about Yelp that is worth the read. Here is the link: If you think about it, it's really rather ironic. Online reviews are about perception. There are always at least two sides to every story that results in a negative review, but it doesn't matter who is "wrong" and who is "right" because the consumer who wrote the review has the perception that he or she was treated unfairly. It is clear from Ed post, the lawsuits that have been filed by businesses, the complaints I hear daily from dealers, the posts on these boards, etc., that Yelp has a perception problem! One last thing, did you know that you can review Yelp ON Yelp? You can! Here is the link to Yelp's own Yelp page:
Ron Henson
This topic makes me really excited that Yelp! will be providing a keynote at DSES13. I'm anxious to hear what Dylan Swift has to say.
Ed Brooks
I think the wall between “church and state” - between “news” and advertising - has been breaking down in media for quite a few years. In digital, in never really existed. As KW stated, Yelp has a perception problem and the perception is that Yelp is "Pay to Play". If you want to read more about the wall between “church and state”, check out

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