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Yelp says it now has more than 57,000 active business accounts, up from 35,500 a year ago — a 61 percent increase. I should note that a small portion of the growth is due to Yelp’s ongoing integration with the European review site Qype that it bought last year. Mobile Yelp Searches: In the latest quarter, Yelp says 62 percent of all Yelp searches happened on mobile devices. A knowledge base for small business marketing, customer loyalty, and FiveStars best practices. Yelp, the go-to review site for consumers, is home to 90 million reviews. Consumers flock to Yelp before trying out a new boutique, service, or restaurant. Yelp has become more than a review site, it’s a discovery tool that leads consumers directly to new businesses.
While Yelp, whose motto is “real people and real reviews,” benefits businesses large and small, the site still receives major backlash from real business owners.
After visiting any business, customers can rate their experience and leave their comments on Yelp. In theory, good businesses get good reviews and see an increase in business because of it, while bad businesses get poor ratings and patrons avoid it. So what are the biggest beefs businesses have when it comes to Yelp, and are they justified? The company says, “the best word of mouth is organic and unsolicited,” which is what the algorithm works to showcase.

While this is a pain point for some, 67% of businesses on Yelp still have a four or five star rating, and glowing reviews to go with them. If a Yelper leaves a review that’s filled with false accusations, a small business owner can report it to Yelp, but it’s unlikely that Yelp will take it down. Statistics show 72% of consumers trust Yelp as much as personal recommendations, according to research from Merchant Warehouse. Rather than have the ad removed, business owners can respond to the comment in a professional manner in an effort to better represent their brand. The headline of a recent Business Insider article reads, “Yelp is continuously battling extortion claims.” In fact, Yelp has faced several class action lawsuits because of these claims, but judges have dismissed the cases, according to the news source.
During one of the lawsuits, a lawyer likened Yelp to the modern-day Mafia offering online reputation protection for a fee, according to Business Insider.
Yelp denies the extortion claims, posting an article on its blog that says extortion claims are not, and never have been, true. While the whole ordeal has led to some bad PR, it hasn’t stopped businesses from advertising and reaping benefits with the site. While the reasons listed above explain why a number of businesses strongly dislike Yelp, there are businesses that appreciate the site. In the eleven years since Yelp started, the site has amassed quite a following. Lisa is writer at FiveStars, a freelance journalist, and co-owner of a media company, McEwen's Media.
And according to a Nielsen study, 4 out of 5 people who visit Yelp intend to make a purchase, which has helped a lot of businesses get found and make money.

In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC received more than 2,000 complaints about Yelp from 2008 through March 2014.
But it’s not that black and white, making things complicated, particularly amongst small business owners. After all, rosy reviews may be the result of business owners posting their own positive reviews, or having friends and family do so.
However, some small businesses allege the company extorts owners by promising to hide negative reviews in exchange for advertising dollars. The post goes on to point out that research has debunked this myth and points to the number of times that courts have rejected the claims. A small business that can boost its star rating by one star can see an increase in revenue of 5 to 9%, according to a Harvard study. The site has 142 million unique monthly visitors, which gives the site a lot of clout with consumers and businesses.
Each day more and more people learn about the so called unbiased filtering system yelp uses to dictate what reviews are considered to be an honest consumer experience. My site,I have 104 reviews 22 that are recommended and create my star rating which is at this time 3.5.

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