Yelp! exploded into the Chicago social scene a few years ago and became quite popular with reviewers and viewers alike, claiming, “Real People. Real Reviews.” Similar to the other social review sites, Metromix.com and City Search.com, consumers and patrons review and possibly reccommend restaurants, nightlife, shops, and entertainment.
However, reports are surfacing surrounding allegations that the advertising department informed businesses Yelp! can move negative reviews down the page, in return for more advertising dollars. Once this word spread, more and more businesses stated they received the same offer. While I understand advertisers would want to avoid placing their advertisments next to negative reviews , but is it right for Yelp! to offer the option so consumers won’t dig in deep enough to read negative reviews?
Not to mention, who are these businesses coming forward stating they accepted the option, as well? By doing so – the viewing public now knows to keep on reading to get the “Real Review.”