Yelp is a huge company and a lot of people use their service to find the best restaurants, bars, and various other services. Their innocent logo and website appearance is very deceiving though, Yelp is an evil, and nearly useless company. Why do I say that the company is nearly useless? If you know me, you know my passion for Cluck U Chicken. I have a friend that I grew up with that loved it so much he opened his own in Parsippany, NJ. But all clucksters know Morristown is the best location hands down. If I had to rate one company five stars it would be the Cluck U in Morristown. In fact, Cluck U in Morristown and Red Bank are the only two I will go to. Everyone in my high school and surrounding high schools were obsessed with the Cluck U in Morristown. The day before Thanksgiving, which is the biggest bar day in Morristown, the Cluck U is jammed packed at 3 in the morning. The Cluck U in Hoboken is horrible and inferior in every way to the Cluck U in Morristown. However, look at the Yelp ratings: Hoboken, Morristown
One thing that pollutes Yelp is fraudulent reviews, there are plenty of them written by competing businesses. So many people rely on Google to find stuff they come across a Yelp page with a bunch of fraudulent reviews either promoting or demoting the company. I’ve read that bad reviews on Yelp has lead some companies to go out of business. The way to solve this is to have someone login with their real name such as their Facebook account. It is easy enough to write algorithms to filter out fake Facebook accounts. In addition, people can also report fake accounts to solve the problem entirely. In my opinion, people put way too much trust in the internet, including Yelp. One time I was out with friends in the East Village and someone wanted to Yelp a bar we were right in front of? I mean, is that really necessary, you can see the vibe and the crowd, would using Yelp on your smartphone provide you any better information?
As seen in the title, I declare Yelp as a modern day mafia. One may ask how so? Yelp has users pay them for advertising fees. While Yelp does not admit this, if you do not pay their advertising fees, Yelp will only publish the business’s negative reviews. Try looking it up. There are plenty of cases where people will make these claims. Don’t kid yourself, this practice is no different than modern day racketeering, and it is sad we are allowing Yelp to practice their business is such a way.
Have no fear though, the word on the street is that Knag Enterprises and partners are working on a project to overtake Yelp. But in the meantime, if you want recommendations on a good restaurant, use word of mouth; unless you are in NYC, then use the exact opposite advice from a New Yorker.