We have received great reviews from current clients who used Yelp. However, we have also noticed these reviews are filter and are removed from our Yelp Account, maybe because we refused to sign up for a paid Yelp Account. After reviewing Yelp further, I have found the following information from the Huffington Post.
The last few days, we have seen a flurry of controversy around the local business rating community Yelp.com, a popular and influential online community where visitors can rate local merchants such as restaurants and bars. The allegations? That Yelp will remove or hide negative reviews for companies that advertise.
This story touches a lot of small businesses. In addition to reaching about 19.5 million consumers per month, Yelp tends to dominate Google search rankings for names of local businesses in cities that they cover, often making a Yelp reputation the first impression a consumer has of a business. If a favorable Yelp reputation is in fact for sale, it puts tremendous pressure on all local merchants to pay up so as not to fall behind their competitors. And if the allegations are true, it raises ethical concerns about the company.
On February 18, the obscure East Bay Express published a 4,500 word article called "Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0," outlining allegations from anonymous and named local business owners who reported that Yelp salespeople offered to move or remove negative reviews if their company would pay $350 per month in advertising.