Yelp Gets Its Own Bad Reviews

By Rosalind Brazel, The Fearey Group

In what could be a taste of its own medicine, Yelp is now getting its own bad reviews online and in court. The lawsuits were dismissed, but the online chatter persists.

Now Seattle companies are speaking out about what they say are manipulative practices by Yelp’s staff. The general manager of Hill’s Neighborhood Restaurant in Shoreline claims a Yelp salesperson called her to push the popular review website’s advertising in order to improve her restaurant’s ratings.

The San Francisco-based company says that is not how they do business, and celebrated the dismissal, in 2011, of lawsuits against Yelp that alleged abusive practices regarding negative reviews on Yelp. In a 2011 post on the company blog, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said nothing could be further from the truth.

Our favorite takeaway: The best advice about how to handle the bad-review situation? Adryenn Ashley, a consultant in Reno, Nev.,(and, as the Seattle Times points out, a longtime critic of Yelp) says businesses need to build up their own online presence. “Get popular,” she says.

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