How reliable the reviews on Yelp really are?

In short – not really reliable.

IĀ  was not really surprised to see this news piece (Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0), but it raises a thought about the quality of the information we’re getting from the Internet.

It is not a secret that many internet companies providing us with information for free do earn some money somehow. The “how” is by placing advertisements. And the road between just placing marked “sponsored links” or “vendor responses” in the links and just changing the reviews’ content or just hiding unpleasant reviews is very short.

I’ve written about my bad experience with NewEgg recently. And while I was refunded all my money for the bad product, my review submitted to NewEgg – never appeared in the product reviews, and my “1 egg” rating was not reflected on the otherwise almost perfect product rating for the faulty product.

So Yelp is definitely not alone in trying to screen and filter out information that would harm the advertisers, even when it is supposed to be unbiased. Next time when you look at reviews and ratings on various sites – you should also check independent blogs and reviews not affected by the advertisers’.

Be careful, and enjoy your shopping nevertheless

Your Little Advisor

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2 Responses to How reliable the reviews on Yelp really are?

  1. Muro says:

    I know you couldn’t get enough of me over at money.stackexchange.com šŸ™‚ so I thought I would check out your blog.

    Anyways…we recently moved to a new area so my wife subscribed to Angie’s list to find reputable companies. She mentioned that Angie’s List recently started accepting advertisements on their site. I told her she should cancel her subscription. How is Angie’s List going to balance bad reviews with a company that is paying to advertise on their site? It compromises the very purpose of their business and I’ve never seen a review company be successful after accepting paid advertisers. In my opinion, the only credible review company is still Consumer Reports since they still do not accept advertisements.

    Anyways, good article. This was the first I heard about yelp selling advertising. Never really used their site much anyhow.

    • Hey, welcome, and hope you’ll be coming back frequently. I’m trying to post something of value at least once a week. Sometimes I post my thoughts on the current issues, I’m sure you can contribute a lot in the comments there šŸ˜‰

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