News & Opinions
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A Yelp Exec Explains How the Review System Works
Jim Cory / REMODELING / April 1, 2013
Q&A With Morgan Remmers, Yelp’s Manager of Local Business Outreach
REMODELING: Does Yelp have an official policy on rewards?
Morgan Remmers: We do. We discourage review solicitation or rewards to customers for writing reviews.
RM: What’s the reasoning behind that policy?
MR: We find that business owners create an unintentional bias. They want to incentivize or reward customers who are happy. It prohibits people from coming to the site; they don’t feel they can trust the information.
RM: How do you know that the review posted on Yelp has been solicited or that a reward has been paid for it?
MR: We have two controls. One is our review filter. The filter looks at a number of different objectives and data points. We created the filter shortly after Yelp was launched. We are looking for illicit reviews as well as reviews that someone has paid to have written.The second piece consists of people here who evaluate the reviews. We want only the most reliable and useful information about a business on our site, so that people come back.
RM: Many remodelers ask their customers to review them on sites like Yelp. Do you consider that a solicitation?
MR: There’s a big difference between telling the customer: Hey, we’re on Yelp versus saying: Hey, I am on Yelp, write me a review, here’s my laptop.