LA Times on Yelp shakedowns and pay-for-play reviews
I think the problem is not so much whether or not it happens, simply that there
is the perception that it happens. It doesn't take much more than this single
article to turn a review site into the equivalent, in readers' minds, of Citysearch.
With at least two layers of faceless corporate overlords focused on the bottom
line, how is chowhound holding up against what must be similar pressures?
Unlike yelp and citysearch, chowhound isn't a directory with listings, so there's nothing to "sponsor" -- it's a very different business model. Although, it never occurred to me until this minute, but the "places" feature could eventually be turned into some kind of directory service.
Someone at a Christmas party I went to here in the Bay Area told me this about Yelp in relation to veterinary clinics. I didn't really believe her but now here's this article.
I am both a biz owner and user. I had 1200 reviews, and as soon as I gave one bad review to a holiday party in December.... I started having reviews pulled without warning. I was down to 1099, then wrote 26 since May 1st and am only at 1111.
It is pathetic. There is something very wrong here.