So Yelp isn't very realistic?

Once and a while I like to check out reviews of places and I will frequently go to Yelp to see what other people have written.

I’ve even written a few reviews of great places I’ve been to. However there was one place where the food was average and the staff were lousy, where I felt I had to write an honest review. I clearly outlined the pros and cons and gave specific details about my experience.

A couple of weeks later I went to check back on my review just to see if there was a reply or if anyone found the review useful and my review was missing.

Instead I found it in another section called “other reviews that are not currently recommended”

So I’m guessing the restaurant contacted Yelp and had them pull my review.

I guess Yelp has now caved and can’t be trusted anymore to provide realistic reviews of restaurants and other businesses.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

I’ve wrote two reviews on Yelp and both times they disappeared. I gave up after the second time.

There have been previous threads on this. Do you have a long history of posting reviews to Yelp, or was this your first one? Yelp seems to downgrade reviews by people with small numbers of reviews in an attempt to keep out shills trying to promote a place and trolls degrading a place (like a competitor).

Even if you’ve posted several other reviews, they appear to have various other methods, that they don’t announce, to try and detect posts that might not be legitimate. From complaints I’ve seen, this does seem to catch a fair amount of “real” reviews.

Most of my reviews have been placed on the ‘Other reviews’ list even though they were detailed and accurate. I even had the corporate managers contact me about a really bad review and wanted me to take it down. We had a good fight over e-mail over that one. In that case, my date and I had to walk out of a non-busy restaurant because absolutely no one would serve us. We sat there for 45 minutes without so much as a glass of water so of course I wrote them a terrible review.

The strange thing is that in every case, my review wasn’t the worst one that was left up. Someone else had written a similar one to mine in the case of the missing staff except they also included themes like a ruined birthday. I can’t figure out how they decide what reviews to leave up and which ones to put in the spot that nobody will see them.

I used to be a Yelp Elite (which just means I posted a lot), and while that doesn’t give me any special insight I did use the site a lot, which clued me in to a few things.

It’s true that someone with few posts, no friends, and short posts, tend to have their posts “hidden”. Now, if it were just a way of trying to keep owners from posting false rave reviews or competitors from posting false rants, that’d be fine. HOwever, there have been reports that Yelp will try to extort money out of businesses to hide their bad reviews and list their good ones.

They don’t share the algorithm for hiding recommendations, claiming they don’t want it to be gamed, but it could just as easily be so nobody sees the “how much did the business pony up to see good reviews” variable. Which is why I stopped posting.

The other thing about the reviews, is people tend to only review places they loved or hated, and you really need to read the reviews to see why they loved/hated it. A place with 3 reviews could be artificially low because 2 of the reviews are people upset the place didn’t have their particular flavor of diet soda and gave it a one star.

Same. Wrote a couple reviews (both positive and negative) and they were all put into the cold storage of “not recommended”.

Gave up after that. Waste of my time to review sites – not like I’m getting paid for it, I was trying to do a public service – and the site itself can’t be trusted in my eyes if many of the reviews are arbitrarily hidden.

I write reviews on just about every place we eat. My early reviews, good and bad, were hidden. After a while, when I had racked up some friends and posted more than a few reviews, all my reviews were posted. Now they get put up immediately. It also helps if you get good comments on your reviews. A few “Helpful” cites and you’re golden.

I’ve heard the “you need to add more, get uprated, etc” bits. Problem there is that I’m not so invested in giving Yelp free content that I’m going to fight for the privilege.

Exactly. The only time I can be bothered to write a review is if the experience was really good or really bad.

Yelp is nearly useless except as a directory of businesses. If you can weed your choices down to one or two and wade through both public and filtered reviews, you can usually make a good judgment - but the stars/summary rating is meaningless.

I know I don’t trust them. When we had our deli, real reviews from our customers were filtered for strange reasons.

And of course, I could un-filter them for a fee.

I’ve heard that, but I also found many cases where bad reviews were filtered by businesses that clearly had no relationship with Yelp, not even to maintaining their listing. It isn’t that Yelp is consistently flawed one way or the other - it’s that they’re so goddamned erratic that there’s no way to make sense of any one listing.

As always, I suggest doubters or the curious choose two or three places with which they are very familiar, and read the rating, the public reviews and the filtered reviews. Odds are you will have a totally WTF reaction to all or most of them.

All my reviews are still up. Mind you I have posted quite a few, I have a couple of friends, etc.

Yelp has worked very well for me in finding good businesses and staying away from bad ones.

Same here. Fuck Yelp. If they want to micromanage each restaurant’s reputation they should write their own damned reviews.

I use both Yelp and Trip Advisor. I rely more on Trip Advisor.

They don’t micromanage each business’s reputation.

They have bots to do it for them, and nowhere near enough human staff to monitor what the bots are doing. It’s business by algorithm, and they Believe in their algos.

I’ve posted quite a bit on Trip Advisor as well. I’ve never really even used Yelp before and, after reading this thread, don’t really plan to.

This right here for me. All my reviews are visible and in place, and they run the gamut from 1 to 5 stars.

I use Yelp by looking at the overall star rating if there are lots of reviews, or reading all the reviews if there aren’t many - some annoying people can unfairly skew the average if they’re bitching about something that I wouldn’t care about.

I use Yelp regularly. I’ve posted reviews from one to five stars and only one of my reviews has been filtered. Interesting that it was for an apartment building.

I’ve found Yelp! really isn’t useful for apartment buildings, anyway, so the review being filtered isn’t a huge deal. There are about 90 filtered reviews as opposed to 40 reviews being posted. Still, there are quite a few posted reviews that are one star.

Yelp is best for restaurants and bars, I can often find interesting tidbits in the reviews.

My favorite thing in the world is that Yelp has reviews of Metro stations. Love it!

I mostly use Yelp to scope out if ethnic restaurants are authentic or not. I adore real Chinese food and really just don’t like American Chinese food, and it can be hard to tell from menus alone what side a restaurant falls into (especially if they have a separate Chinese menu). Yelp is a pretty quick way to see if it’s a place for hui guo rou or a place for General Tsao’s Chicken.