Yelp.com is a popular reviews website where you can go to get information about all different types of businesses in your area. These are supposed to reviews that random people choose to put up on businesses that they like or dislike in order to allow others to get insight and information into the place of business. For example, if you go to a particular restaurant and love it then you can say so on Yelp in order to encourage other people to go there as well. For the most part, this is how Yelp works and it provides a useful user-generated service to others. However, there are some drawbacks of using Yelp.
Benefits of Getting Information from Yelp.com
There are a lot of different benefits to using Yelp.com to get information about a business or to supplement the information that you have found about a business. Some of these benefits include:
- You can find basic information including the hours of a business, their contact information and their website using the site.
- You can search for types of businesses in your area that you might not easily find on other local search sites (such as Google maps).
- You can read the opinions of other people who have gone to the place of business which can give you an impression of what it would be like to go there and whether or not you would like the place.
- You can initiate discussions through the "talk" section of Yelp which lets you ask for specific or more detailed information about the business or about the topic in general. For example, if you want to find a good Mexican restaurant in a specific neighborhood then you could ask about that in the talk section and others might give you that information.
- You can add your own opinions to improve the site and to support the local businesses that you really like.
Drawbacks of Getting Information from Yelp.com
Although Yelp is a great site and there are a lot of benefits you can experience from using the site, there are definitely some drawbacks to using the site for information. These drawbacks include:
- People get paid to write reviews on Yelp. They aren't supposed to but businesses have been known to pay writers to write positive reviews on sites like Yelp in order to increase business. This means that you may be reading something that you think is honest and instead it's just an ad.
- The opinions on Yelp are just opinions. Many people take the information and advice on Yelp as though it is factual. It is important to remember that everyone's standards for "quick service" or "clean rooms" differs and that you can't assume a place is good or bad because one person says so.
- There is often misinformation on Yelp. Sites like Yelp and Wikipedia let anyone put information on them. For the most part, the group moderates each other to make sure that information is correct. However, incorrect information does appear on sites like Yelp.
Summary of Yelp.com
Yelp.com is a good site in a lot of ways. User-generated review sites like this allow a lot of people to offer opinions of the places that they have been which allows everyone to be more informed about good and bad businesses. Additionally, many businesses have improved their service because of something said on these sites. So Yelp definitely has a place in our modern society. When used correctly, it can be a great way to obtain information about a business, an area or a topic. However, it is important to remember that not all of the information on sites like Yelp will be honest or accurate so you have to consider Yelp to be just one source for information and not the sole source that you are using to learn about a business.
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on May 03, 2018:
I have personally witnessed several interactions between Yelp and business owners where Yelp has tried to sell them better reviews. Mysteriously the businesses good reviews would suddenly vanish at the same time the people at Yelp were making their sales pitch. Now you might say "Well some reviewers just take their reviews down sometimes." Maybe that does happen. But when my own positive reviews for a place that I LOVE to eat vanishes...and it wasn't done by me, then I know that something underhanded is going on. I did a little digging around and this exact scenario, apparently is not uncommon with Yelp. As a result, no one I know ever uses Yelp any more.
Updownside from Southern California Coastal on July 12, 2010:
I personally love Yelp.com and use it all the time. I've been on it for a few years now and have found many reviewers that I trust and follow. If I ever need a good idea on a night out, a service, or just to be entertained, I find Yelp to be a useful tool!
Joel Dow on August 05, 2008:
I think Yelp is growing more and more irrelevant because they're using a star rating system to rank businesses. While they have a lot of good features and a large following, Yokld.com and a few other sites out there are using an up/down vote model that more accurately reflects the overall perceived quality of a business by the user community.