Yelp for business owners is Great in My Opinion
The majority of business owners who interact with Yelp seem to like it. I have personally helped several business owners get on Yelp, and they pretty much all have thanked me for it.
I also suggest that business owners understand the Yelp review system. Not every bad review will end up on your page, nor will every good review.
Yelp Review Filter Explained
Yelp just put out a video that gives an overview of their review filter and which follows up on the reason business owners should not ask people to write reviews for them (this advice was given out last year on the Yelp blog).
There is very little value in a review system which is manipulated and just like some people are unhappy with Google that their site doesn’t rank well, some business owners are unhappy that their reviews do not always show up. If you are a business owner and you have your friends and family review you it can be seen as spam. Many people who are unhappy with Yelp are people who have even stated that this is exactly what they did, they asked people to write them good reviews, the people wrote the reviews, and some of them didn’t appear on Yelp.
They then assumed that Yelp is “withholding reviews” so they can get money out of business owners.
Which simply isn’t the case.
Just like Google identifies links that have value, Yelp identifies reviews that have value.
A review coming from a Yelp user that has been using Yelp for a long time and who has reviewed many businesses is considered a stronger review than one written by a first time user of Yelp.
Some sort of filter is naturally needed to ensure that reviews seen by users are legit. If they did not do this, then a business owners could just create a whole bunch of usernames and make bad reviews about their competitors.
The very same business owners who are complaining now about not having instant good reviews on Yelp would also be complaining if Yelp let reviews go up instantly that were negative about their businesses.
Use Yelp Well
Here is a great video of a business owner who is taking full advantage of Yelp for his business…
Yelp is great. I highly recommend it. They also have a great blog.
There are people complaining about Yelp right now, but not many people praising them for what they have done overall, which is create some of the most trusted reviews on the web and a wonderful resource for both business owners and business customers.