HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Why Yelp Sucks!

So I was talking to a co-worker about why I wasn't really a big fan of Yelp, but mentioned I had posted a couple of items on the site. She asked about my reviews and I gave her my name on the site and she couldn't find any of my reviews. We then found out my reviews (all four of them) had been "filtered out."
Yelp says it filters reviews from lesser known reviewers until there is "trust" established, so my reviews do NOT show up and are not counted in the tally of the restaurant.

I think Yelp has it all wrong. If the reviewers cannot trust Yelp, why bother?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yelp is to the web what Herpes is to sex.

    4 Replies
      1. re: Beachowolfe

        That was too funny and way too subtle.

        1. re: scottca075

          Two plus years later and I just stumbled upon such brilliance . . . .

      2. so if u have had a post deleted here on chowhound (and i dont know of anybody who hasnt at one time or another) would that make CH suck too?

        and they at least filter them...they dont delete them outright unless they are against tos or are obviously bad or self yelps..

        i post on yelp as well as here...u can pretty well filter out the bs posters on either site..

        7 Replies
        1. re: srsone

          Yes, they DO filter. That does NOT mean that they never delete. That, or persistent-hide even when told "show all", same case as far as the user is concerned, and yes they absolutely do engage in this shady practice.

          1. re: tj442x

            They filter AND Delete. I had a review up about a company that owed me and others thousands of dollars, and was involved in what has turned out now to be 2 multimillion dollar lawsuits.

            My review was up for nearly a year. They deleted it suddenly and the account.
            I received a flippant email telling me it was because i didn't use my real name.
            I posted it again with real name, and they deleted it and the account again a few days later.

            I asked why.

            They emailed me a week later saying it wasn't a "personal" experience. LOL.

            I re posted it and used citations, dates, quotes, copies of email correspondence with the company CEO and his underlings. A week later they deleted it and sent me an email saying it wasn't a real customer experience review and said not to review this company anymore or they would delete me. Shady behavior.

            Now here is the kicker.

            About 2 minutes later an email came into my inbox from the same Yelp manager but the letter was addressed (Dear xxxxx) to another woman (at the company I reviewed/criticized or perhaps a PR person hired by that company).

            The email was mistakenly sent to me, probably by pasting in my address by accident and hitting send. sometimes when you do a copy-paste you don't hold down the Ctrl-C long enough to pick up the new copy.

            The email basically was kissing arss and letting that person know that she had removed my review again.

            I responded back asking why she was apologizing to this person and who is it? I asked if Yelp claims to be real reviews..etc.. why are they removing legitimate reviews with full documentation, dates and times at the whim of a third party.

            They wrote back a few days later saying it was a mistake, i wasn't supposed to get that email and then told me i couldn't review this company or might get banned...etc.

            My review was clean, documented and legitimate and reached the third spot in the big g00g search for that company. The company must have paid them something or Yelp was anticipating a paying relationship with them in the near future. I don't have a problem with that as long as they spell it out.

            1. re: oxymoronent

              While I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, Yelp does delete (or tries to keep up with deleting) any & all supposed "reviews" that aren't reviews so much as rants about legal proceedings. And it's completely within their rights to do so - especially if the legal proceedings are still in process. In this libelous day & age, I don't really blame them.

              1. re: Bacardi1

                @B If that were the case they would or should have communicated it. They did not.
                They gave different reasons as it progressed which added to the frustration and suspicion.
                I do understand that issue though, the BBB follows this policy.
                Thank you.

                1. re: oxymoronent

                  I definitely agree with you there. The Yelp admins are SEVERELY lacking in member service/communications.

                  One does have to wonder what they do all day, because it certainly isn't updating business statuses ("closed", "moved", etc., etc.) or responding to member queries. I & other members have repeatedly advised them of status changes that months - in some cases YEARS - later, still haven't been updated.

                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    Just to be clear here. This is not about a lack of communication skills. This is about clear cut dishonesty, deception. It appears that this admin/mgr lied repeatedly, .

                    Looking back at the company page now and they have allowed the company to add their own "self review" so to speak, the company line about who they claim to be. Of course it is all positive. Meanwhile they disallow negative reviews.
                    Again, this is not about member service/communications but about deception for based on some hidden personal (financial?) relationship. Interesting enough, the only negative review that wasn't removed is one that is still filtered away from public view. I suppose if or when that one gains, it will be deleted.

              2. re: oxymoronent

                Probably happened because the company was being legally aggressive and was large enough to pose a threat.

          2. Wow I did not know that. My friend likes to post on yelp to help local businesses and maybe he isn't helping as much as he thinks. Was thinking of jumping to yelp as my own Philly boards are filled with posters who insist on adding two or three question marks to the end of the title of their thread just so you know their query is more urgent than the rest. /sigh.

            5 Replies
            1. re: givemecarbs

              Hilarious carbs. I had to take a peak and I see what you mean. Very funny. I stopped reading Yelp a few years ago when I read a post of someone ripping to shreds one of the my favorite restaurants here in Charlotte. Based on his/her comments on items on the menu, the decor and a few others things that had been written, it was clear the reviewer had never stepped foot in the restaurant. Not sure what yelp could have done to prevent it, but I immediately lost interest.

              1. re: southernitalian

                Apparently it is becoming a more common business practice to hire people to write reviews on yelp and similar websites to either dis the competition or praise the one paying. The funny thing is since these people tend to post more, they also tend to become 'trusted' rather than 'filtered' by the logarithms used by many comment driven websites. It's an interesting conundrum.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    While yelp might use logarithms in their algorithms, I think you mean the latter.

                1. re: givemecarbs

                  Uh oh Carbs, I just realized I am guilty of that on the Philly Boards. I actually use two or three explanation points alot too, I think to point out that my comment is more exciting and enthusiastic that the rest ;)

                2. I wouldn't say Yelp sucks, but I'm always leery of reviews on Yelp, especially Elite reviews.
                  I do like Yelp for its search function and mapping.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: dave_c

                    The "elites" are easily the worst, at least in the bay area; so glad yelp tags them upfront and makes it easy to ignore them.

                    1. re: tj442x

                      I have to agree with you. I turned a friend on to Yelp and she instantly reviewed every place she'd ever been and became an elite member after throwing her jaded "hipster wisdom" (which is at best a huge oxymoron) at almost everything both here and where she came from.

                    2. re: dave_c

                      I like Yelp for its format and searchability. Chow lumps Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange County and more, almost 15,000 square miles of land, into one board. If you heading to an area like Santa Monica you have to sift through tons of garbage to find places.

                      I use Yelp to find "best restaurants" in an area and then search the top results in Chow. It would be nice if Chow would update the software.

                      I do agree that the "elites" are insufferable, but then again, that is not exclusive to Yelp.

                      1. re: scottca075

                        I use Yelp the same way. The phone app is great when I'm away from the house and need a place to eat too. It's not my end-all resource - I think it's extremely useful when used in conjunction with other resources. I find the reviews to be rather useless for the most part when taken individually, but you can suss out some interesting truths if you read a bunch of them.

                        1. re: scottca075

                          Yelp is a tool. Use it carefully and thoughtfully and you can get great results. Misuse it and it is about as effective as using a golf club for planting daffodils.

                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            I mostly agree but I would argue that it's not a very high quality tool.

                            1. re: virtualguthrie

                              we've had about 5000 years of agriculture to bring us to a garden trowel. Only about 50 with computers and about half that with the internet. So yeah, the tools are often blunt, clumsy, and inefficient.

                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                Your response.... it's so.... beautiful.

                      2. That happens in the beginning, but post a few more even handed reviews and you'll likely find that the first ones reappear.

                        I like yelp - I find it, like the web in general, very democratic. Lots of proprietors fly off the handle when they see a bad review or two, but by and large, people are fair, and if you read past some of the snark and hyperbole, it can be a very useful reference.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                          +1, inaplasticcup. I don't take it for bible, but at least in my town it's not gotten too horriblytwisted, although ai did see a filtered review from my doctor's wife, and I know she doesn't have a stake in the restaurant, so not sure what drove that one. I will yelp along unless it gets to be too much of a muchness, then I'd drop it with no misgivings.

                          1. re: EWSflash

                            the filtering is done by algorithm, so it the opposite of personal. if the algorithm thinks it is spam it filters it. thats the whole of it

                          2. re: inaplasticcup

                            I agree. My experience has been similar.

                          3. Like most web sites, Yelp has its pluses and minuses, but last week it helped me find an obscure place in Portland, Maine, that has incredible lobster rolls. I just use it along with other references (CH, Urbanspoon, and more generally Google).

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Bob W

                              Are you refering to J's in Portland??

                              1. re: treb

                                Actually, the little-known Fisherman's Grill on Forest Ave. Check out the thread on the Northern New England board -- I posted pics!

                            2. I like Yelp as a search tool (to find a restaurant/hotel) in a different city, also in my home city of NYC. CH does not have a great search feature. The annoying thing about Yelp is when someone posts a review about an incorrect restaurant (happens a lot with Momofuku Ko in NYC where someone meant to post a review about one of the other Momofuku restaurants and posts on the Ko page--tip off is when they start writing about the ramen). There's no way to get the review moved to the correct restaurant or comment to the OP that he/she is posting a review about the wrong restaurant.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ellenost

                                u can message people thru yelp...
                                i have also posted response reviews to other peoples reviews...never had a problem with either..

                                1. re: srsone

                                  There are too many incorrect posts about Momofuku Ko. Probably many of the people don't even realize there are several Momofuku restaurants.

                                  1. re: ellenost

                                    i dont know about other people...but when i review or mention someplace ..on yelp,CH or wherever...i pretty much make sure i have the correct place/address/information when i do post something...especially if its a negative review...

                              2. I love the Yelp phone application because you can filter restaurant choices down to a few blocks. If a recent is truly exceptional, it has enough reviews to push it to the top of a list which -- to me -- shows a general consensus that it is decent.

                                Those two factors alone are priceless when I'm wandering around and trying to zero-in on a potential eatery in an un-known neighborhood.

                                1. Yelp is great. And yes, they do "filter" reviews from new members, or new members who have a slew of 5-star or 1-star reviews, since those stink of spam. Sorry, but you really can't blame them for that.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Breezychow

                                    As, I mentioned I've posted a total of four time over maybe a 2 yr period. I don't think that counts as spam.

                                    1. re: FoodChic

                                      No one suggested that they were spam.

                                      1. re: FoodChic

                                        it's a computer algorythm. it is the very opposite of personal

                                        1. re: FoodChic

                                          I find this odd. I post on Yelp more than I used to but even in the beginning, my reviews showed right up. Never heard of this filtering or newbie orientation period before. I think Yelp is okay for quick basic info and some people have interesting, trustworthy reviews. I sometimes miss the discussion aspect like on CH but since i haven't been on the Boston board for >1 year, that aspect is gone now.

                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            I think it's strange too, and it seems to me that the first few did show up when I posted them. Truthfully, I didn't realize they had the filter until we looked the other day. The review we were looking at was one where I had provided a restaurant with 5 stars...with very detailed information on the menu, what we liked didn't like...etc. Very perplexing.

                                      2. I find Yelp very helpful. Best part: an establishment can respond directly to a review, making it truly democratic.

                                        1. also - there are requests on CH all he time about finding a place near a specific spot, ie a bar near the met museum, a restaurant near a tourist attraction or hotel, etc.

                                          go to yelp, type in the spot, and you can search for places in a 4 block radius, or within a mile, etc, of that spot. try that on chowhound

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: thew

                                            Googlemaps gives you much of that too, as well as banks, groceries, other stores, hotels, parking garages, cleaners, points of interest, govt buildings, etc etc in the area you are interested in. Plus, if you are inclined, clicking on the icon for, e.g., a restaurant gives a dialog box from which you can cross over to more info (address, tel no. etc) plus reviews from around the web [as available] incld Yelp, Urbanspoon, Google Users, Open Table etc but NOT Chowhound.

                                            1. There are probably many reasons why Yelp sucks, but the filtering issue isn't too bad. Seems that they filter all reviews until you've written a few (anecdotal evidence suggests five) and then they become visible. Must be one of their simple heuristics to weed out spam. There are probably other conditions, but if you want your reviews to show up, try writing a few more.

                                              1. I've reviewed a lot of places on Yelp and have never had anything removed - even reviews where managers/owners didn't quite like my observations. As someone who has worked for years in restaurant/hotel/casino and other public serving jobs - and being fully appreciative of bad nights/bad apples, etc, - I aim to be honest and rarely give perfect or imperfect scores.

                                                But just like any other kind of reviews, from posters on Amazon and IMDB to reporter reviews of TV shows or movies/music, you learn to take things with a grain of salt and graduate towards people with whom you find common tastes. In other words, you spot trends and learn to ignore noise.

                                                There can be wisdom found in crowds and I appreciate Yelp's ability to provide some insight into so many places. In NY, there are something like 20,000 restaurants and there's no way traditional media could hope to cover them. If I find myself in a corner of Queens, having Yelp suggestions nearby is better than randomly trying a place.

                                                It's not perfect, but I find it usually contains a lot of good info. from passionate food followers.

                                                1. In my opinion, the number one current big problem with Yelp is- hipsters.

                                                  Everything is SO beneath them, and they all have multiple web access means. I can't wait for that fad to circle the drain and have people get back to being interested and productive and not feel so jaded and filled with ennui.

                                                  That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                    Yes! Thank you for expressing this shared sentiment. I can't stand the feigned confidence of the inexperienced, the futile attempts at humor through sarcasm, and the hyper conscious effort to be "different".

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                      "feigned confidence of the inexperienced"

                                                      Like this jewel in a review of a tapas restaurant?: " I saw someone mixing sangria at someone's table. Weird? I've always just assumed that sangria is crappy wine with juice and fruit, I've never seen someone try to present sangria as something artisanal. Bizarre to me. Can't say if its good or not. I haven't tried it."

                                                      1. re: danna

                                                        Well, at least this poster admits to his/her inexperience. It's better than those who speak confidently about things they know little or nothing about.

                                                        Still, a great example. Thanks for posting.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                      2. re: Mr Taster

                                                        Seems to me you'll find this on any open forum. Like this one.

                                                      3. re: EWSflash

                                                        LOL! I hear you!

                                                        Visit some of the beer forums if you want a REAL laugh!

                                                      4. Yelp has too many folks who say things like "nom nom". What are we in kindergarten?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                          1. re: jman1

                                                            Good one jman. Or "epic fail" tj. That said I do cautiously use Yelp.

                                                            1. re: jman1

                                                              I have seen nom nom on CH too. I don't like nom nom, or sammies, or brekky, or nummers, or yummo. Perhaps I am just old. 8>D

                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                A good article for the masses, but us Chowhounds are aware of the pitfalls of Yelp (and other review sites.) I would change the title of the article to "Top 9 Reasons You Can't Always Trust 'ANY' Review Site." Keyword is "ANY".

                                                                in regards to the Yelper caught claiming false creds, good for the SF Weekly for calling her out. Shine the light on the liars and scammers.

                                                                1. re: dave_c

                                                                  yes...some of those concerns could even apply to CH

                                                                  1. re: srsone

                                                                    Yes, a lot of those reasons could apply to CH, that's true. Since I posted that back in June, I've actually been looking at Yelp more and more. Only because several of the CHers in my city have stopped posting on CH. So if I want to read about restaurants in Charlotte, I occasionally go to Yelp. I'm continually amazed by "reviewers" who will rate a restaurant and then when I go to read his/her review, it will say something like, "I wasn't hungry so I only had a couple of PBRs but the -blank- my friend ordered looked great and he said he liked it." Seriously? I've seen this multiple times.

                                                                    1. re: southernitalian

                                                                      my wifes family lives in Charlotte...so when we visit i check yelp for places to try...
                                                                      and i have found some yelpers to be pretty helpful picking places ...

                                                                      i think if u spend more than 5 minutes reading the front page and actually dig deeper you can find out who knows the good places and who doesnt...

                                                                      the article has the tofu guy being "Top rated"..but when you actually go to the restaurant page Per Se is..it only may be top on the front page due to a lot of views or new reviews...whos on the front page has nothing to do with me choosing a place...

                                                                      i yelp as well... have been for a little over a year...i yelp 80% of the businesses i come into contact with..good and bad ..have yet to be "bribed" with elite status or any kind of "elite party"
                                                                      i have come into contact with a few of the elites in my area ...they are more concerned with and encourage good quality yelping.. and we try to weed out the "OH1R" shill posts..which so far when i or we flag something it gets taken care of pretty quickly...at least ime...

                                                              2. I set Yelp to filter out all the reviews from callow youth with no life experience, and now I can't pull up the site at all!

                                                                Can someone help?

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: tj442x

                                                                    Ageist. Not everyone with "life experience" writes a decent Yelp review.

                                                                    1. re: peasantpalate

                                                                      It's not expressly to do with age, but life experience is absolutely relevant to writing well.

                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                        Lots of Yelp reviewers have a vocabulary that consists of two words: "sucks" and "awesome".

                                                                        1. re: MsDiPesto

                                                                          sucks=drawn and quartered ..awesome=mini coronation

                                                                          both I can do without,especially the time required to sort through,and find middle ground

                                                                1. I had a very interesting conversation with a mover last week. Based on his EXCEPTIONAL Yelp reviews, I hired him to move me to Napa last winter. He did a great job and I left him a 4-star review.

                                                                  For my job, I needed to hire a mover for a bunch of office furniture and couldn't remember the mover's name so I went back to Yelp and he was no longer the top-rated, which surprised me.

                                                                  I dug into my checkbook to find his name and called him up and he told me that he stopped paying Yelp the $300 a month fee they charged to move his great reviews to the top of the list. In fact, despite still have more positive reviews than others on the site, his name didn't show up on the first page of their search and it affected his business horribly.

                                                                  So he went back to Yelp to re-institute the $300 fee and his company STILL DOESN'T SHOW UP ON THE FIRST PAGE. He feels like he is totally being held hostage and is at a loss on what to do. I was shocked and thought of all the restaurants that must be having a similar experience with Yelp's management who appears to operate in this fashion.

                                                                  Shocking, huh?

                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                  1. re: CarrieWas218

                                                                    $300 a month, really? That's super shady.

                                                                    1. re: Joanie

                                                                      I happen to own two businesses and think that anything that can effect your business "dramatically" for $300 is a great investment. Carrie said his reviews are still good, he's just not at the top of the page anymore. Yelp is a business like any other and of course those that pay should have better placement.

                                                                      To comment to Breezychow, $300 doesn't exactly require unlimited resources and is hardly extortion. Every business has to figure in some kind of advertising if they wish to increase their business, it is quite simply the cost of doing business.

                                                                      1. re: Rick

                                                                        The amount is irrelevant - Yelp claims that the reviews it posts are unaffected by whether a particular establishment advertises with them. When that is proven to be untrue (as it has been in this instance and many, many others) it is fraud and sleaze. Extortion doesn't need to break the bank to be extortion. That kind of "cost of doing business" is right up there with the paying the mafia not to break your windows (or your arms), no different except in scale.

                                                                    2. re: CarrieWas218

                                                                      I'm having an extremely difficult time believing your mover's story to be true, particularly since there are thousands of tiny mom & pop businesses that are at the top of their niche, yet definitely do not have the resources to pay extortion. In addition, don't you find it more than a little suspicious that Yelp, with it's worldwide clientele, wouldn't have more than just one complainant willing to out them if they were, in fact, extorting $$ from businesses? I'm kinda thinking your mover may have a bit of a sour grapes problem.

                                                                      Now I do believe that Yelp does charge businesses for prominent advertising, but that's hardly extortion.

                                                                      1. re: Breezychow

                                                                        Actually I do believe it - google "yelp extortion" and read about the numerous lawsuits that are being filed against Yelp for similar stories that my mover told me.

                                                                        Some of the lawsuits are being dismissed while others are moving forward.

                                                                        1. re: CarrieWas218

                                                                          I stand corrected. But since I'm not a business, I'll still use Yelp for locating great places to eat & businesses to use. It works for me.

                                                                        2. re: Breezychow

                                                                          I wish somebody would post one of the invoices or however people are billed to pay for whatever it is they get from Yelp. I've read a lot of these stories and I don't necessarily doubt them but I am really surprised that if this is happening that not one person has the documentation to show this billing practice.

                                                                          1. re: Chris VR

                                                                            At this point I go with two semi-contradicting philosophies here:

                                                                            1) Where there's smoke, there's fire. This story has popped up far too many times to be totally ignored (OTOH, so have things like alien abduction)
                                                                            2) Two sides to every story. It's entirely possible that things are (intentionally or not) being misrepresented by biz owners.

                                                                            I take the same two stances w/ the big groupon wars and such - too many biz owners claim that htey were hoodwinked by groupon to fully ignore them, but I also have a hard time believing that the stories are 100% accurate and not partially the owners fault for not understanding the details.

                                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                                              I find it odd that you so casually take it as a given that alien life couldn't possibly exist, and then use that assumption to dismiss the Yelp complaints' validity.

                                                                              1. re: Mola Ram

                                                                                My belief in the possibility of alien life has little to do with my viewpoint of the sorts of people that claim they were abducted.

                                                                                And while I am not 100% sure exactly to what you're referring to by "Yelp complaints'", but due to the waffling nature of my post I can assure you that you're incorrect when you mention my "dismiss"ing it.

                                                                      2. I've always thought that Yelp and similar customer rating services were unhelpful anyway. I never want the opinion of a stranger for a restaurant — I would rather rely on my own judgment. I used to go out for sushi quite often and would occasionally try some recommended place. Once I went to one highly touted sushi bar and it wasn't a place I ever wanted to go back to. That's when I stopped giving any credence to sushi bar reviews.

                                                                        I see Z ratings all the time in the windows of restaurants I wouldn't care to patronize. I see very high or very low Y ratings on the web based on one or two reviews! What good is that?

                                                                        Research on the web any product you're thinking of buying, and you will find someone trashing it. So I just rely on my own judgment more than the opinions of others. Usually it works out, sometimes not. Such is life.

                                                                        CH is, of course, a fount of opinions of strangers. I find it more helpful than other such services, because there are a lot of comments on most subjects from seemingly well-informed people, so it is possible to get useful information from it.

                                                                        1. Like any review site, it can be ridiculously off target. Perhaps my biggest pet peeve is when people parrot criticisms that others have incorrectly made. It's like, c'mon man, seriously? Have a an original thought and write it down. You see people lifting observations all the time.. WTH?

                                                                          The cutesy second grade bullshit speak grates on my nerves, too. People who use terms like "sammy", "sando", or whatever, sound like complete dolts. They need to include those search words in the almighty algorithm.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                                            Totally agree ladybug..recently, someone used the word "brekkie" (for breakfast) on our local forum sowal.com. I almost lost mine! Of course, this is southern Alabama..

                                                                          2. Yelp does suck. A small restaurant in my area only served dinner and had a brisk take out/delivery business. It didn't open until 4 p.m. and a Yelp poster suggested it was a front of illegal activities based on the fact it wasn't open "during the day." Yelp refused to remove it. When customers were made aware of the negative post they posted opinions which were positive about the food and service. All those posts were filtered out b/c they were new or relatively new Yelp posters.

                                                                            Another business in my area, an employment recruiter, had 17 reviews on Yelp, only the negative ones were unfiltered until she finally brought advertising on Yelp and suddenly all of the reviews were unfiltered.

                                                                            Yelp is a scam.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: ViviW

                                                                              I have read in several places that Yelp approaches Restaurants that are being reviewed & for payment will run filters that perhaps take out the less favorable reviews.
                                                                              Check this out:


                                                                            2. Well, the Yelpers are one-starring Heather Terhune, so they're ok by me.

                                                                              1. I've found I typically get better recs from chowhound. But, like some others up thread have said, when in a new city Yelp tends to be easier to use than Chowhound since Chowhound covers such a large area and you can narrow it down on Yelp.

                                                                                1. All of my Yelp reviews wind up filtered too. I've had an account there since March 2011, I have 13 friends, and 27 reviews with a variety of stars. So IDK how much more "established" I need to be? Has anyone else figured out how to get around this awful filtering system?

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: SparklingSugar

                                                                                    I would email them. My first review showed up and none have ever been filtered.

                                                                                  2. You know how Yelp goes:

                                                                                    Was this review …? Useful (1) Funny (2) Cool(1)

                                                                                    I wish they'd add: "Nonsensical" or "Illogical" or "Stupid" or "Unrealistic"

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: thirtyeyes

                                                                                        And open themselves up to lawsuits from users who subsequently acquired carpal tunnel syndrome? I think not!

                                                                                        1. re: thirtyeyes

                                                                                          Never understOod why a review would want to be cool. Well written perhaps but cool?

                                                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                                                            Yes, it is odd. When I read some of those reviews with "cool" ratings they strike me as somewhat sarcastic/flippant/"adolescent-frathousetype" but others do not - so maybe "coolness" is an attribute assigned to such things by a certain demographic...? At least one of my reviews there is also tagged "cool" and I have no idea what that responder had in mind when tagging my review that way.

                                                                                            1. re: melpy

                                                                                              I remember once having one of my yelp reviews marked "cool" and it made me feel kinda, well, cool. It had been many years (decades really) since I was last cool.

                                                                                          2. Yelp is confusing. When I saw that my reviews were filtered, I thought, "What can I do to prove I'm real?" So I went through Yelp's FAQ's and... put up my picture, filled out the details of my profile, friended other Yelpers, commented on other reviews, etc. With no results. I can't help notice that while I have not written a negative review, and all of the "unfiltered" reviewers posted a lot of negative reviews.

                                                                                            I'm not sure if Yelp is actively extorting money, but they have created a situation that makes business owners pay them for help. Yelp filters reviews (they move "bad" reviews to a section where they are not part of your score). What's a bad review? Yelp won't say. The algorithm for filtering is very proprietary, and there is no recourse if you are filtered.

                                                                                            The math behind the software may "unfiltered" you after a while, but there is no method of appeal or discussion. I've personally created 22 reviews (and every one of my reviews is filtered. If I'm doing something that's causing filtering, shouldn't Yelp help me to fix it? Instead, you are not told when you are filtered. Most reviewers are surprised when discover their filtered status. Even when you go to a business you've reviewed, you don't get told that you are in the filter. Instead, the first review you see is always your review. You need to know to go to the filter, sort the list to see that your review has been removed.

                                                                                            I've looked at various businesses, and I see up to 2/3 of the reviews filtered. This certainly gets the attention of the business owner. When they contact Yelp (of when Yelp proactively contacts you) the conversation quickly moves to how their paid services can help you. If you follow their advice (including talking to every reviewer), your score probably will go up. No other review site that I can think of leverages user reviews like that to generate revenue.

                                                                                            In my case I THINK that because all of my reviews are positive, I could look like a bot of some sort, assuming that Central Park, Moma, and the museum of natural history are paying for fake reviews. Yelp says tat the #1 reason they filter is because of "bots", yet they allow no form of communication to prove you are a real human being.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Chris520

                                                                                              I'm amazed that anyone gives yelp "reviews" a second thought. Amateurs who don't seem to know much about the subject on which they are opining. It's more for entertainment, for me.

                                                                                              1. re: tommy

                                                                                                I think for the most part, you're right. But I have come across some reviews that are thoughtful and concise. I don't read the reviews nearly enough to build a sense of which posters to follow - by and large, yelp is a directory to me. But I have also come across reviews that posters from Chowhound - hounds that I feel are legit and follow-worthy - who have also posted similar if not the same reviews on both CH and yelp.

                                                                                                The CH poster, PeterCC, posts here on CH, and on yelp as PeterC:


                                                                                                PeterCC is a recent addition to the LA board and a very avid, detailed and valid poster. If more yelp posts were of this quality, I'd be using yelp for more than a directory.

                                                                                                CH poster Tony C is a pretty long time regular on the LA board and has a really good grip on food, particularly on the food scene in the San Gabriel Valley:


                                                                                                Again, if more yelp posts were like this, it would be a far more valuable source of info. I'm hoping our posters who also post on yelp are helping to raise the bar to raise the bar - but the bad still far outweighs the good.

                                                                                            2. I find yelp to be helpful. But, like this site, I know that most information is highly subjective.
                                                                                              The one thing I find funny are the highly negative reviews that don't even mention the food.
                                                                                              Maybe its the new yorker in me, but sometimes you have to put up with a little hassle to get a table at a popular place. And yes, showing up late for a reservation means that you just might lose your spot.

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: AdamD

                                                                                                i enjoy reading chowhound because everyone here is so experienced and so sure of themselves.
                                                                                                i have posted some brief comments and questions on new restaurants around my neighborhood, and most times no one ever replies.
                                                                                                if i go to yelp, someone has tried the new restaurant, posted their opinion and even posted some pictures. i find that very helpful
                                                                                                i rarely see any new discussion on CH on brand new restaurants, unless they are by already well-known local super-chef-restauranteurs.
                                                                                                yelp scoops CH on new restaurants, usually by months.

                                                                                                1. re: ritabwh

                                                                                                  True. The CH board covering the area where I live now is not exactly hopping. But the yelp reviews are always new and fresh.

                                                                                                  1. re: ritabwh

                                                                                                    imho, yelp vs chow is quantity vs quality. I don't have an issue with that though. If I find a place on yelp that is new, I cross-ref with chow and get the true lowdown. yelp is very democratic in terms of numbers. The problem is there is no back and forth dialog, no vetting, no one to call out a troll, liar or shill. Hounds tend to be far more knowledgable - they can be gruff or even sarcastic at times, but still - the info is just so much more reliable and detailed. Reading yelp (at least for LA) is like reading parts of a diary belonging to some disenchanted hipster who's just move into my otherwise fair town from some other town that booted him or her out.

                                                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                      I try to cross-reference as well, but unfortunately OC does not get the play that LA does. What especially bothers me living in a resort area, are bashes or praise from people who have not been to a spot in years or even decades (either by their admission or that I can tell by their comments).

                                                                                                      The "gruff or even sarcastic" have scared away more than a few thoughtful posters. Fortunately, I have been able to "friend" some people through Yelp that post on both, so we can email back and forth.

                                                                                                      1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                                                        The issues that I've had going down to the OC is the number of places that are or at least feel like chains. Much of the food hasn't been bad, but not exceptional either. To be fair, I don't spend much time in OC either. Also, many parts of the OC sprung up very recently, so areas haven't had a chance to build that social patina that I feel is a necessary piece in the foundation of building a food culture, unless bedroom community culture counts. But I sense that OC is slowly building up its stock of non-chainy places, and I think many already exist - but more in the areas where solid enclaves are established. The most obvious is the Westminster/Garden Grove area. But even places around Anaheim and Santa Ana have their share as well. Two folks I'd be following if I lived in the OC would be CH poster Das Ubergeek, who now writes for the OC Weekly, and Gustavo Arellano, editor and house wisecrack of the OC Weekly as well. They strongly focus on ethnic eats, but their recs are solid.

                                                                                                      2. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                        i've tried cross-referencing Yelp and CH without much luck.

                                                                                                      3. re: ritabwh

                                                                                                        I think that depends where you are. Here in the Boston area new restaurants get written up very quickly on Chowhound, often even before they open, with posts like "Did you see what's coming soon?"

                                                                                                    2. Yelp is the McDonald's of review sites.

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: biscuit

                                                                                                          Have you ever noticed how highly fast food including MCDOnalds is reviewed on Yelp?

                                                                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                                                                            Yeah, some guys prefer dirty socks to real girls.

                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                              It's not an either/or, you know. :)

                                                                                                            2. re: melpy

                                                                                                              My local McDonalds -- the only one I go to with any sort of regularly -- gets reviewed quite crappily on Yelp, which is totally accurate.

                                                                                                          2. YELP made it past the class action lawsuit against them in 2011, but it appears they are continuing with the practice of removing negative reviews for restaurants who are in their "accounts receivable" ledger. I've recently had another negative review removed from the Del Frisco's site for their Houston location. The DVD for the navigation system in my wife's car was stolen by Del Frisco's valet, and I noted it on my review; the review was promptly deleted from the site. YELP is worthless.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Mr.Bill

                                                                                                              Out of curiosity, was this proven? If so, in a court? Was he caught with it? Posting that isn't a "negative review" of a restaurant.

                                                                                                            2. Yelp Extortion: The Lawsuit’s Dismissed. Are they back at it in 2012?

                                                                                                              As a disclaimer, this post contains quite a bit of personal conjecture. Online reputation management for small businesses is one of my personal passions. Managing a company that helps businesses utilize new media successfully is something I really take pride in. The thought of review sites taking advantage of user generated content to eek extra cash out of already-tapped small businesses really (and I mean REALLY) irks me.
                                                                                                              In October of 2011 a class-action lawsuit against Yelp claiming that they were removing negative reviews in exchange for “advertising” was dismissed with prejudice (meaning they cannot be sued again for the same reason). It’s now January of 2012 and already it seems the complaints of extortion are not going away; instead they appear to be growing more frequent in numbers as awareness has risen that something fishy could be going on at Yelp.

                                                                                                              Savvy business owners know that online, everyone has a megaphone with seemingly, never-ending reach. Social media sites like Yelp have caused businesses to up their game and go the extra mile for their customers – that’s the good part. The flip-side is an ugly place where online review websites control a business’s reputation and as a result, their bottom line.
                                                                                                              As I come across blogs that talk about Yelp, a quick scroll down the page to the comment area brings forth a slew of business owners claiming that Yelp is still filtering reviews based on whether they advertise. Here are a few places to read recent comments:

                                                                                                              An article that started out talking about Yelp’s review filter lives on in the comments with many angry small business owners

                                                                                                              Article written in 2009 by the East Bay Express on the topic of Yelp Extortion 2.0 lists recent comments by hundreds of angry business owners Reddit discussion page with recent discussion on the above mentioned article.

                                                                                                              The “We hate Yelp” Facebook group exposes concerns from users and business owners alike.

                                                                                                              If Yelp, is in fact, doing everything on the up and up, they are still facing quite a predicament. On one hand they don’t want fake reviews to cause consumers to distrust them and on the other hand they don’t want businesses and their reviewers to distrust how they handle their reviews. And in the mean time…thousands of people each day are making buying decisions based upon the visible reviews on Yelp.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Mr.Bill

                                                                                                                I'm not sure if these are you words. Could you provide a link or credit?

                                                                                                              2. With all its supposed "faults" notwithstanding, I love "Yelp", post to it frequently, & use it to search out new places to try.

                                                                                                                Sorry, but CHOW is severely lacking in this department. Very few people review restaurants on a consistent basis here - it's fly by night. On Yelp I get new reviews for restaurants & businesses in my area every single day.

                                                                                                                CHOW for me is for nothing but "foodie" stuff. For restaurants, it's "Yelp" for me.

                                                                                                                1. Trip Advisor is just as bad. I have quite a few reviews on TA and they recently removed one at the request of the owner. I rated them poorly and listed in detail why they well...sucked. I followed all posting guidlines and used no profanity. If a restaurant owner can alter his/her ratings and remove reviews then how can any of these sights really be trusted?

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Lucas19

                                                                                                                    My poor boyfriend took me to a Paris and insisted on planning the entire trip, choosing the restaurants based on Trip Advisor recommendations.

                                                                                                                    After our second, mediocre meal, he said that he would rely on my research (and Chowhound) in the future for such planning...

                                                                                                                  2. Well Yelp now SUCKS big time for me.

                                                                                                                    Even though nothing was broken, Yelp decided to fix it by revamping their website. So where before I received reviews of restaurants & businesses from several counties below mine & several counties above, I now ONLY get reviews for restaurants & business for MY county only. No place else. Gee - how helpful is that? What a bunch of a**holes.

                                                                                                                    So no more Yelp for me. I already KNOW what's going on in my own little county; it was the reviews for spots outside of my little realm that were interesting. Poor Yelp - maybe they should fire the person in charge & install a Chimp. No - that would be insulting to the Chimp.

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                      I just went to Yelp, and it looks the same to me. Can't you just change your location and check out the other counties?

                                                                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                                                                        Are you kidding????

                                                                                                                        Like I have time to type in more than a dozen towns or half a dozen counties every day just on the off-chance that there's a new review or a new restaurant???? When before they'd all pop up on one page for me? Honestly.

                                                                                                                        I'm finished with Yelp unless it's to provide a review that I can send to the friends I've made over there who might be interested.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                          <Are you kidding???? >

                                                                                                                          No. I was trying to be helpful by suggesting a way you could expand your radius. It didn't occur to me that anyone would need to search "half a dozen counties," but you'd probably have more time to devote to that if you cut down on the number of question marks you throw all over your posts.

                                                                                                                          1. re: small h

                                                                                                                            Uh, no, not really. Typing a question mark & pressing repeat takes a nanosecond. Having to individually type in all the counties that surround mine to check to see if there's a new restaurant or business, can take as much as an hour.

                                                                                                                            Oh, & Yelp responded to my question re: why they changed things. Simply because of all the morons who need to have a Yelp app. Apparently they're more important than those of us who don't feel the need to be joined at the hip with our little tech machines 24/7. Can't wait till someone gets rear-ended or worse on the road because some idiot is checking his/her "Yelp app" while driving. . .. .

                                                                                                                    2. I just joined Yelp this year and I only have 25 reviews and I've never been filtered or deleted as far as I know. I don't use my real name, I don't have much filled out in my profile, I have not friended anyone (but someone did friend me (eye roll)) and I haven't used any of the other features.

                                                                                                                      I wonder what I'm doing wrong? I wasn't on TWoP 3 days without getting warning!

                                                                                                                      On a serious note, the star ratings (and this goes for all sites) are stupid. Why not just put the stars there without a "title" next to it. My "A-Okay" may be someone else's "Top Notch." Recipe review titles are the worst.

                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                            Among other things, it's the home of probably the largest 'We Hate Sandra Lee' board on the web.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                            Yes, sorry.

                                                                                                                            I'll remember for next time :(

                                                                                                                            1. re: Manassas64

                                                                                                                              Thank you! Many of us would be most grateful for that :)

                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                        1. I'm always careful when using yelp. Here's an example why: I was just looking for some info on a brand new restaurant that recently opened in town. I goggled and saw there was a yelp review. The 5 star review was gushing with accolades. Wow! This place must be good but who was this reviewer and interesting that this was only her 2nd review ever. Let's look at her other review - another 5 stars. The 2nd restaurant is in a different town and is even a different genre but low and behold and what an unbelievable coincidence - they're both owned by the same people. The new restaurant only has that one review which I must totally discount. The other one has several review with, you guessed it, only one 5 star. I guess this could and probably does happen on other sites including this one. I just don't think it's as prevalent.
                                                                                                                          This is why Yelp sucks.

                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                            Yes, it's a sad, SAD fact that Yelp is totally delinquent when it comes to review Spammers. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I, & others, have reported totally obvious review spammers to Yelp that fall on deaf ears. In fact, practically EVERY correction reported to Yelp falls on deaf ears. One has to wonder what the hell they do at Yelp, because it certainly isn't keeping up with spam or changes in venue. It took 3 YEARS for Yelp to finally correct a restaurant listing that had closed. THREE YEARS!!! And several people - myself included - regularly told them the place had closed. And we all LIVED in the town the restaurant was located in! Talk about lazy stupidity!

                                                                                                                            I kind of imagine everyone who works at Yelp wearing beany hats & playing with those paddle-ball toys. They can't possibly be doing anything else - certainly not working.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                              To Yelp's credit, they did finally take down the "unauthorized" website for a storied LA burger counter called "The Apple Pan", but only after many complaints from a vocal minority telling them the website wasn't connected to the business. The Apple Pan has no official website.

                                                                                                                              The problem was that The Apple Pan has a policy of regular annual (or biannual) price hikes, bringing the current price of a coffee shop cheeseburger, fries, coke and a slice of pie to approximately $25-30 with tip, an outrageous tab for what it is, a humble burger shop (albeit with a killer banana cream pie).

                                                                                                                              The problem with the unofficial website was that it was stagnant for years. The only thing it showed was a menu with prices from several years ago. The regulars and locals know about The Apple Pan's price gouging practice, but visitors to our city would go to yelp, click through the link to the official looking webpage, and come away thinking their meal was going to cost a hell of a lot less than what it turned out to be.

                                                                                                                              It was this awful bait-and-switch, due to the unscrupulous website owner (who likely was skimming a nice profit from google ad sales from all the Yelp clickthroughs) and the outrageous price hikes from the legitimate business itself.

                                                                                                                              Interestingly enough, that unofficial website was linked to yelp for years. After Yelp removed the link, it was just a matter of months before the site owner took down the old menu. I don't remember which one Yelp originally linked to, but applepan.com is now a blank page, and theapplepan.com links to a godaddy hosting page.


                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                The sheer volume of material they have to review, determinations that need to be made, research on IP addresses or whatever else they use to vet posters, would very likely be overwhelming for an organization of any size. I don't suspect they are sitting on their asses doing nothing.

                                                                                                                                More often than not I see more filtered reviews than published ones. Something is certainly working.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                  >>I kind of imagine everyone who works at Yelp wearing beany hats & playing with those paddle-ball toys. They can't possibly be doing anything else - certainly not working.<<

                                                                                                                                  Don't know about yelp, but sounds a lot like Facebook. I visited one of their LA offices more than once and that's the general state of affairs that I recall.

                                                                                                                                2. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                  The irony her is that the OP is complaining that yelp filters are TO strict while you are complaining they are NOT strict enough. You simply cannot please everyone. The fact is yelp filters out a lot of the reviews you are complaining out - urbanspoon - not so much.

                                                                                                                                  I have also found that when yelp and urbanspoon differ on a restaurant rating by a great deal yelp is almost (9 out of 10) times more spot on. The reviewers on yelp (not all) seem to be more knowledgable and not just looking for quantity of food over quality.

                                                                                                                                  If I want know where to get all you can eat buffet or free happy hour food urbanspoon rules if on the other hand I want a good meal I’ll pick yelp.


                                                                                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                    Not necessarily complaining about yelp as much as saying to be careful when using it. 3 or 4 reviews and I usually look deeper into the reviewers. 20, 30 100+ reviews and I'm thinking that 4 star review is pretty accurate.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                      I agree that we have to use common sense when evaluating reviews but Yelp appears to be the ONLY sight that is trying to filter out the spammers. You disagreed and said you think it's more prevalent and I honestly don't see that. I stopped using UrbanSpoon due to all of the false reviews and the ability to just click like or dislike without commenting. I have seen restaurants and bars give you 10-30% off if you write a positive review or click like while you are there and show it to the management, Yelp doesn't work that way so there is much less gaming of the system.

                                                                                                                                      A case in point is a brand new hole in a wall restaurant in my town. UrbanSpoon's has 47 written reviews 44 of which were 5 stars reviews that happened on the week they opened and are all 1 hit wonders this little hole in the wall rocketed to the second best restaurant on the Urbanspoon website the very week they opened. with over 250 votes from people who liked it. Compare that to Yelp that has 4 unfiltered reviews of the same restaurant (3,4 and 5 stars) and 11 filtered reviews (all 11 filtered reviews were written the first week and all were 5 stars by one hit wonders).


                                                                                                                                      1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                        I think we're pretty much in agreement on all points. With Yelp, although not getting discounts for writing reviews, I have noticed that's many 1 star reviews tend to get someone from the restaurant contacting the individual often resulting in a gift certificate to come try it again. Sounds counterintuitive but sometimes a very negative review garners someone a free meal.
                                                                                                                                        I'm not necessarily a big fan of Yelp but I do use it a lot. I'm just careful when I do. As you allude to, those one hit wonders are often 5 stars (shills?) or 1 star (really pissed off patrons?). There's often something that motivates an individual to sign up and write that first review.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                          I've seen similar, except for one place near me. It's an incredibly mediocre restaurant, averages a three star ratings, small smattering of four and fives. But you look at the filtered reviews, all one and two star, and not by new posters. Seems a little odd.

                                                                                                                                  2. if the review system will allow both party to speak there opinion then there will be no clashes in the system so just implement a third part to handle review on Yelp

                                                                                                                                    1. I'm a fan of a new local restaurant that is getting killed by Yelp. Despite having 15 reviews, Yelp is only allowing 1 review -- and it is extremely negative by a person who has only reviewed 2 restaurants in the last 3 years. The reviewer seems to have a bias for chain places, and this small, indy is not to her liking.

                                                                                                                                      What can I do? I don't want to see this restaurant go under.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: HamTech87

                                                                                                                                        Post about it here, of course!


                                                                                                                                      2. I'm not sure about whether this policy is still in place, but it's 2013, and, as I noted below a couple years ago, Yelp can be very helpful, especially if you need some names quickly in a strange city. I think anyone who just dismisses it out of hand is missing out. For example, the depth of the reviews in Portland Maine is very impressive and they are extremely helpful -- I cross-checked a couple places I found on Yelp with some trusted hounds here and that worked very well.

                                                                                                                                        I do question some of their filtering decisions, but for restaurants that have a lot of reviews, you're just dealing with noise at the margins.

                                                                                                                                        My $0.02. 8<D

                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                          Think of Yelp as crowd sourced reviews. And you can filter and just look at Yelp elite members.

                                                                                                                                          The issue around new restaurants is a problem. We had one where a new bbq restaurant opened by a celebrity chef who was recently on a food network competition had great reviews before the official opening all on yelp (because these folks got to go to pre tastings). And then afterwards the reviews on both yelp and chowhound have been mixed. You can use them as an early warning signal, a way to supplement the thoughtful discussion you can have on chowhound, and really just as a yellow pages for restaurants when you are in a strange locale. If the number of reviews is big enough, you can get a general sense of both is it good or not, but what to order and what not to order. And since the reviews are all in once place you can see trends about a restaurant to see if a chef has left and has quality suffered, or has the place been neglected by management.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                                            I would be careful about relying on elite members. You get the elite status by "sort of" winning a popularity contest. You need to get friends and post "helpful but positive" reviews. I think if you take a honest look at elites vs posters who have 200+ reviews you will find that elites are mostly positive reviews while the non-elites seem to give more 1,2 and 3 stars.

                                                                                                                                            I may be a little biased here, I was an elite once and never received the pin again so I actually emailed yelp. They suggested that I be more positive in my reviews and possibly not review places that weren't up to high standards.

                                                                                                                                            That's not how I review though, I review the good, bad and the ugly and will give out 1 and 2 stars when the places merit it.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                              I would disagree. I am elite on yelp, and I know my distribution of stars is more bell shaped than many. I trust someone who has 200 reviews more than someone who has an axe to grind with a a place because they had a poor experience. But more importantly yelp gives you a range of reviews, and if you read them all carefully you can get a sense of what dishes are good and what dishes are not good.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                                                Instead of blindly trusting elites or people with 200 reviews, you could also develop a sense of who to trust by reading many reviews. Over the years I've come to know who the people are on yelp that ill actually trust because their sentiments closely echo my own

                                                                                                                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                  yes, this is similar to my approach with movie reviewers. there are certain movie reviewers i "trust" because they have liked movies that i have liked.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: cwdonald

                                                                                                                                              I've often wished there was a filter to filter out elites. Never before have I seen a group of such self-important people. And their reviews often suck because they're generally too busy talking about unrelated things like who they were with that nit and what they did after

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                3 paragraphs in and the only info you have is that it was their second time at this restaurant, for their 5th anniversary, the moon was full and that the waitress was cute.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                  unless they are griping about the guy in the parking lot who took two stalls, the woman in the bathroom putting on her make-up, or the child at the next table who kept looking at them.

                                                                                                                                          2. Here's another reason why yelp can suck. Copied from a recent review:
                                                                                                                                            " I admit i haven't been to the Boston location but since I'm irritated that they don't list their prices on their online menu I'm going to be another one of those crank yelp reviewers. Ah, i feel better having that off my chest (that and giving them 1 star)..."
                                                                                                                                            This happened to be a place with 400 reviews and a solid 4 star average so this 1 star (not filtered I might add) has almost no impact. Had this been a relatively new restaurant with five or six reviews it could have a big impact on the overall rating especially if someone were quickly looking at the stars and not reading the individual reviews. This particular reviewer has 17 reviews so maybe he could be trusted if it were a 1 star review of a restaurant that he actually ate at and not just a place whose website he doesn't like?

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                              Well at least that Yelper gave us enough detail to know precisely how much of a fool he/she is. We can at least make an informed judgment about this person's reviews.

                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bobbert

                                                                                                                                                I'd much rather just test the restaurant myself than to have to sift through garbage reviews like that, of which there are MANY on yelp.

                                                                                                                                                Luckily I discovered CH...

                                                                                                                                              2. The price range thing is nonsense. Who decides what is inexpensive and what is pricey? I'm happy to buy a nine dollar beer or a four dollar coffee or an eleven dollar sandwich, but don't put it in the lowest price category. If a twelve dollar burger gets one "$", what does a three dollar burger get? Zero? And yet another place with twelve dollar burgers will get a "$$". It's random, and usually one dollar sign short of what it should be.

                                                                                                                                                1. It would interest me to know what percentage of posters here are in Northeast USA locations, specifically New York City and environs, or other metropolitan areas, as opposed to middle America.

                                                                                                                                                  As my profile can make plain, I use Chowhound A LOT. I love it. But living here in Indiana, I find Yelp to be much more useful for locating interesting restaurants in this region. Try to find out on Chow what's great in Goshen or Fort Wayne, Indiana. The information (if any) will not be as fine-grained or current as it is on Yelp.

                                                                                                                                                  Additionally, I've written some 20-30 reviews on Yelp around here, and I've never experienced (nor heard about from others) any significant "filtering." It may be that the relative population density is a key issue.

                                                                                                                                                  1. So I just yelp searched some of the worst sushi restaurants I've been to in San Diego. Not only did they have 3.5-4 stars, but several of the top reviews started with "I don't eat fish."


                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                      >> several of the top reviews started with "I don't eat fish."

                                                                                                                                                      But again, this is not a bad thing.

                                                                                                                                                      I'd be much more frustrated if the person had me read their entire thing and ENDED it with "...but I don't like fish."

                                                                                                                                                      That person is telling us exactly what we need to know up front, and they should be praised for being so honest about being so clueless.

                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                                                                        Always possible to discount reviews by people who demonstrate lack of experience or openness. There's a genuine Naples-style pizza place near here, for example, and it's obvious that some not-so-happy reviewers were just disappointed not to get what they assume pizzas should be--cheese bombs, crust not so well done, etc.

                                                                                                                                                        Also, my point is simply where is useful information to be had. San Diego probably has a larger Chow community than South Bend, Indiana, does.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I like using the yelp app when we are in a new place and short on time. It's an easy and quick to search. I will also use it when I want more detailed info on a restaurant. Chowhound is good when I have time to ask a question and wait for responses or to do research, but not in a short time frame. And I do like how yelp allows owners to respond to directly comments. And that it is easy to see updated reviews by users.

                                                                                                                                                        But I hate how yelp doesn't do enough to filter out those who are clearly reviewing restaurants based on irrelevant info (former waiter accused of rape, owners acted like assholes on tv, owners are sons of Reality Star, etc.) and not personal experience dining at the restaurant. If a poster has never been to the restaurant, and admits it in their review it should automatically be deleted.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Update from Taipei :

                                                                                                                                                          Yelp totally irrelevant here. It's wildly freeing.

                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                          1. To my earlier posts upthread: I'll add that Yelp is an optimal forum in my small-market northern Indiana area for promoting places that I suspect are less well known than they should be. The "Great Lakes" board on Chow--which covers a huge area--would have very diluted interest in some great butcher or Thai place that I found in South Bend, whereas Yelp is well targeted to that sort of promo.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                                                              That's a fair point, and along the lines of the earlier post in this vein I'll note that I'm in Boston where the board is pretty good. I'll admit that when I travel to less cosmopolitan areas CH has often been close to useless for the exact reason you cite - the boards start covering enormous geographic areas with even fewer posters total covering it.

                                                                                                                                                            2. I like using Yelp, but their filter can definitely use some work. One local restaurant has 31 reviews that are "recommended," but there are a whopping 61 reviews hidden. If those were included, the average star rating would go way up. They say that whether or not a business advertises with them does not affect the filtering process, but I have my doubts.

                                                                                                                                                              The actual reviews are pretty useful, but I trust them less and less on numerical scores now.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Here's an interesting first-timer review of a Boston-area restaurant:

                                                                                                                                                                Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                Categories: American (New), Italian, Pizza
                                                                                                                                                                Neighborhood: South Boston
                                                                                                                                                                1.0 star rating 12/21/2013

                                                                                                                                                                was SO disappointed last night when i got a pizza to take home and it was in an ugly generic box.. what?!?! what happened to the lincoln pizza boxes? everyone loves walking home with a lincoln pizza box and everyone knows where you got it from.. hm

                                                                                                                                                                Was this review …?

                                                                                                                                                                Useful 4 Funny 17 Cool 2

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                  I got the email from that PJ "server not servant" guy about this yelp "review". It's an absurd review but I wonder about the 17 people who think it's 'funny'. Hopefully they clicked that cuz it's so ridiculous but who knows. I guess I worry more about the 4 people who actually clicked 'useful', WTF?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                    My thoughts exactly. That's why I had to include the clicks! I'm hoping it is actually a joke...

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                    So how is their pizza?

                                                                                                                                                                    I do not trust Yelp. So many reviews don't even discuss the food (like bear's post re: Lincoln).

                                                                                                                                                                    So unfair to the restaurant!

                                                                                                                                                                  3. Social media is both a blessing and a curse. I like Yelp for newer restaurants. Though many of their reviews do not give specifics about the food. Prefer chowhound for everything else. Not a big fan of FaceBook because I like my anonymity.

                                                                                                                                                                    That said, I had my first experience posting on Yelp and reporting a post that had profanity (f**k you finger in a photo). This is the response I got:

                                                                                                                                                                    Hi there,

                                                                                                                                                                    We're writing to let you know that we've evaluated xxxx review of xxxxxx that you recently flagged. We rely on community engagement to help keep Yelp useful, and although we didn’t agree that this content should come down, we appreciate you bringing it to our attention.

                                                                                                                                                                    Business owners can address any concerns or misunderstandings via their Business Account by posting a public comment or sending a private message to the reviewer.

                                                                                                                                                                    -The Yelp Support Team =

                                                                                                                                                                    Not sure who the "community" is because this new restaurant only had 3 reviews. Unless, of course all the other reviews were filtered out. I notified the business owner about the post.

                                                                                                                                                                    I just want to read about the food (specifics, please), service and atmosphere. Be candid, fair and respectful.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'll jump on this bandwagon
                                                                                                                                                                      bad reviews of one of my all time favorite restaurants giving one star because
                                                                                                                                                                      A) they walked in and couldn't get a table without a reservation
                                                                                                                                                                      B) the restaurant is in a "bad neighborhood"
                                                                                                                                                                      C) they had to wait for a cab to get them, after the hostess CALLED a cab for them
                                                                                                                                                                      D) taking off two stars because the seating is "close"
                                                                                                                                                                      E) Taking off stars because they ran out of the wine you wanted
                                                                                                                                                                      so... none of those things tell me anything about the food or the service
                                                                                                                                                                      I guess the 'atmosphere' but really, what do any of them have to do with a restaurant review?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 1. First hand, I know 2 business owners with many long-time, loyal customers who've posted 5 star reviews - - and Yelp filtered them out.
                                                                                                                                                                        2. I also know of a negative review that was posted by an employee of a competitor which was deemed acceptable to Yelp. When contacted to take it down, Yelp did nothing. The business owner had to approach the competitor's employee to ask them to reconsider the posting. AWKWARD!
                                                                                                                                                                        3. As such, I've also heard that if you advertise on Yelp, your reviews magically show up. Really??? Little less than extortive.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. The best way to get them is to wright good reviews for all the businesses that have low reviews but have lots of good ones that is not recommended by Yelp !!
                                                                                                                                                                          My Business is in Garland , Tx . I have over 18 Good reviews from Satisfied customers but Yelp Recommended only one and guess what its the one star one .

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I did the Yelp thing for a few years and been with Urbanspoon 4 plus years and now this happens,,,,, Urbanspoon Forked UP
                                                                                                                                                                            July 14
                                                                                                                                                                            A email sent to IAC parent company,,,, ENJOY

                                                                                                                                                                            The new team at Urbanspoon has lead to the departure of many and the removal of thousands of Photo's and many will soon removing thousands of there reviews from the last 4-5 years. The seems to be a witch hunt placed on the heads of the long time Prime members by BEN at Urbanspoon and his boss Keela. The have removed 1700 plus of my photo's and those of select primes. Many have stopped posting reviews and photo's because of this over the last month.

                                                                                                                                                                            I assure you will see a major reduction in you page hits which means ad dollars under this new take control and knowing how to piss folks off. Many of us are older folk that spend thousands of dollars helping your site by eating, reviewing and posting photo's. Ben had pulled all my ranking a few weeks ago as the number one in Detroit and then this past weekend had his team remove half my photo's. This info needs to get into the hands of those concerned and DOUG LEEDS CEO of Ask.com who heads up Urbanspoon. I really need someone to contact me on this issue prior to removing everything I've contributed over the years and then recommend hundreds of other users do the same

                                                                                                                                                                            Place to Vent Urbanspoon complaints link https://www.facebook.com/pages/Urbans...

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ALPOE

                                                                                                                                                                              Figured this thread was too long to read, and I already know that yelp is far from perfect. Unfortunately, Chowhound participation in San Antonio (which gets lumped in with Texas) boils down to the "Usual Suspects" (maybe a half-dozen myself included) and tourists/conventioneers looking for "the best Tex-Mex on the Riverwalk" (there isn't any!).
                                                                                                                                                                              As a result, I'd become an avid user of Urbanspoon until their new administration's actions earlier this year basically froze out the prime community, not just in SA as described above.
                                                                                                                                                                              Not certain that it is a redeemable site at this point, or whether it will join Myspace and others at the internet landfill.