Is Yelp Manipulating Reviews?

Davide Cerrentini is proud of his restaurant's rank as the worst on Yelp. Botto Bistro has a slew of negative reviews, most inspired by Cerrentini.


The reviews are quite amusing:

Yelp reviews

Cerrentini opposes what he considers aggressive ad sales tactics. He claims that Yelp deletes positive reviews and elevates negative reviews if businesses don't sign on for ads.

But Yelp won a recent appeal and posted this statement:

Ninth Circuit Confirms That Yelp Does Not Extort

For years, fringe commentators have accused Yelp of altering business ratings for money.  Yelp has never done this and individuals making such claims are either misinformed, or more typically, have an axe to grind––whether businesses upset that Yelp will not remove reviews they don't like, or unscrupulous internet marketing "experts" trying to make a buck off of honest business owners with dubious reputation management schemes. [Continue]

Discussion Starters:

  • How would you describe the tone of Yelp's statement? Is this appropriate?
  • Cerretini says he's attracting new, higher paying, loyal customers. Is it still true that "any publicity is good publicity"?