Yelp – The Story that Won’t Die

The Bold Italic is reporting on a film maker that is attempting to tell the Yelp is a bully story via a documentary.

Yelp gets zero stars in an upcoming documentary by local filmmaker Kaylie Milliken. Her film, Billion Dollar Bully (which is halfway done, according to the International Business Times) focuses on complaints from restaurant owners about Yelp’s business practices.

The doc contains interviews with business owners and lawyers who believe their ratings and those of their clients were affected by how much they were advertising — an allegation that, as SFist points out, Yelp vehemently denies

The release date has not been set. But Bold Italic reports that the filmmaker, Kaylie Miliken plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to finish the product.

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8 thoughts on “Yelp – The Story that Won’t Die”

  1. We have had a strange one with Yelp with one of our clients recently (UK). The business has asked for reviews on Yelp and whilst they have got a few from real customers most folks don’t use Yelp (despite it’s visibility in search around the subject) and the few they have got have all been marked as untrusted.

    The business had one locational fringe customer – not even in the same country and this is a tiny local business who received an order they could not process and returned it and refunded the money and this customer has gone on a bad review binge.

    This review though – slandering the company from a first time yelper has been made public.


  2. Hi Marcus
    Welcome to the Yelp review filter… its logic:
    1- If the review is postive but the reviewer does not have between 10 and 15 previous reviews or tons of friends —> Not Recommended

    2- If the review is negative but the reviewer has 0-10 friends —> Show review

    This isn’t strange at all to those of use that have been tracking the Yelp filtering algo. Sorry.

  3. Yelp is the 35th most traffic’d website in the USA. I despise their algo as it stands today. But if I was them, I wouldn’t change it – too much money to be made with the business model they have. It’s probably easier to pay small law suits than to lose money changing what the users already like.
    And as a user of the Yelp app – I love them. The app is great for much more than just reading reviews.

    1. @Allyn
      Despite their traffic both desktop and mobile, they have a hard time creating value for their advertisers and thus they have trouble making money. So maybe they should change something…

  4. We have had several issues (spanning multiple clients) with Yelp. We are just as frustrated as our clients are with them.

  5. I had a situation with a business I was marketing which opened my eyes to the evil of Yelp. This was a small local business whos low stars (based off two reviews out of 15 NEVER showing) were turning potential clients away. We made a huge effort to boost LEGITIMATE reviews from everyone to super active Yelp accounts to legitimate past customers and after months not one would show for more than a day or two. I finally found a solution (one I haven’t heard or read about before that may never work again), which was to report the Yelp business page to Google as copyright infringement to an individuals name. Google removed or knocked down the Yelp business page way out of sight and no one was finding their business in the top of SERP with poor reviews anymore. Down with Yelp!

  6. I agree that Yelp must evolve its procedure when it comes to allowing reviews. It looks like they are a very suspicious lot and can reject a review on the basis of god knows what! But still a yelp review is worth a lot for the local businesses, it is highly valued and acknowledged.

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