Until recently, Yelp mobile let you find, learn more about, and leave tips on businesses. One very glaring hole remained though, namely the ability to leave reviews. Previously, you had to check into a business, then remember to return to yelp.com from a desktop PC, search through your visited places, then finally leave a review. In other words, you either had to be a review-ie (my word for those addicted to supply the world with their opinions of businesses in exceptionally high volume.)
Check out Yelp now and you can leave a review right from the mobile app. I’ve played with this since on and off since it rolled out in August. At first, I thought it would be just another way for more fake reviews to make their way to a business’ yelp page more quickly, great. Has my opinion changed? Let me ask a question first. Why did Yelp just add this feature now? According to their official blog, “most people on Yelp don’t write reviews, they read them.” Interesting, but I don’t think this is why they waited until now. I think their review volume and review quality has slipped and this an attempt to bump that back up. Only time will tell, but the quality issues have been apparent for some time. Notice how many single review yelp review writers are now posted live, and notice they are predominately bag reviews? Don’t believe me? Check out the filtered vs. unfiltered star counts of your favorite businesses on Yelp and see. Let me know what you see in your industry.
Another update from Yelp began the posting of “Consumer Alerts” on the Yelp sites of businesses identified by Yelp users as having unsavory ways of collecting positive reviews. Things like free goods or service in exchange for positive reviews. If you are offering these types of incentives to your guests thinking you’ll get a big bump in positive reviews, you may want to think again. A consumer alert will stay on your Yelp page for at least 90 days. In a time where Yelp has over 10 million active users on mobile, no one can afford that type of embarrassment.
In what ways have the changes on Yelp mobile affected your business?