Is Yelp still relevant?

Hunter Swift
Vince Sollitto VP of Communications at Yelp responded to my Yelp tweet from #DSES2013. Thoughts?
Ron Henson
I loved that debate Hunter. Still seems sketchy to me. To your point, a customer has such a great experience that they decide to leave a review for the 1st time. That should have massive relevance.
Eric Miltsch
If Yelp is saying they want to have trusted reviews by users "they know" then they need to up their game and create a platform that enables them to "get to know" users. They can't just rely on a user's activity within the Yelp community, there are actually plenty of ways to find people on the web - this is the basis of the Semantic Web, connecting people to the places & things that are relevant, to create greater meaning & value around the content people are searching for. Yelp has already proven the science behind the fact that Yelp users provide more "stable" reviews due to the fact their accounts are based off of real personas. Older, anonymous platforms such as the old Merchant Circle or even Yahoo reviews would see much wider swings in the star ratings & have much less helpful reviews simply b/c the reviewer was anonymous and wanted to rant, leaving 1 star and a comment that simply said "This place sucks a## . Why not tie in Klout scores? Why not tie in G+ Author attributes? Or at the very least, why not create deeper connections behind the verified profiles by connecting as many social platforms as possible to your Yelp profile. I'll go out on a limb and say that a large amount of Yelp users have more than 1 social profile that can help them get to know someone & determine the level of value they can provide. Yelp users can have an influential voice & they shouldn't be kept silent due to either the inability to gauge the quality of their voice or Yelp's desire to drive businesses to their pay for play model. Either way it seems a little busted to me.
David Kelly
Eric, For once I see a use for a Klout score!! Great idea. I agree that Yelp needs to find a better way to get to know a reviewer. If I use apple maps, do I become 'known' to Yelp because it is so deeply integrated? A very frustrating platform to say the least.
Andrew Getchell
Ron, you'd have to define relevancy first. Google deems that Yelp is relevant and Yelp shows up on the first page when searching on our dealership's name. In that regard then, they are certainly relevant. In addition, most Yelp users probably don't know about the pay to play issue, so they consider Yelp an unbiased source. That said, the unfair reviewer weights that Yelp's filter uses has diminished the relevancy of Yelp in the eyes dealership management team that's for sure. The problem is that with the partnerships that Yelp has formed with Apple, Yelp may be relevant whether we like it or not! Andrew Getchell, ISM at West Broad Hyundai
James Jalali
Yep has to change their business practice. They can generate revenue because of their high traffic on their site, instead of bullying businesses to purchase their product. To me they lost their credibility if they had any. They called us numerous times trying to convince us to subscribe and we have been resisting just because of their way of doing business, "use it or lose it" style. We have about 50 reviews on Yelp, and I know by fact that all of them are legitimate reviews from our customers, unsatisfied and satisfied. All positive reviews are filtered and negatives are up. I do not believe in their filtering algorithm, it can simply be modified to be easy on business subscribers. Yelp is bad business money driven practice.

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