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Yelp’s IPO Update

Few things are more heartening than when Yelp admits what we’ve been saying all along: Their review filter sucks!  In short, in their own words, “determining the credibility of reviews is difficult, and we cannot guarantee that our efforts will prove to be effective or adequate.”  If I were the SEC I’d make them rewrite it again! The filter doesn’t work, there is no intelligence behind it, to my knowledge they have no PhD statisticians designing the scoring algorithm…

“While we have designed our technology to filter content that we believe may be offensive, biased, unreliable or otherwise unhelpful, we cannot guarantee that our efforts will be effective or adequate. In addition, some consumers and businesses have expressed concern that our technology inappropriately filters legitimate reviews, which may cause them to stop or reduce their use of our platform or our advertising solutions. If the performance of our filter proves inadequate or ineffective, our reputation and brand may be harmed, users may stop using our products and our business and results of operations could be adversely affected.”

Now there’s the smoking gun! 🙂  And my hunch is that the word “IF” is going to have to be removed and replaced with “WHEN” to meet the stringent SEC requirements for full disclosure and perhaps that is why the rumor mills are churning about the cancellation of the IPO.  That is one (of many) great thing about the SEC and disclosure requirements. They can often dig up what us mere consumers have been saying for years.

And why the rush to IPO?  In Feb. 2010, private-equity firm Elevation Partners bought $25 Million in stock in Yelp and allowed six Yelp founders and executives to cash out a portion of their stockholdings to Elevation. Jeremy Stoppelman cashed out $15 million in the deal, so it’s not like he’s only a paper millionaire.  With all the hoo-ha going on behind the scenes and the requirements involved in being a publicly traded company, I’m not holding my breath.


About the author

Adryenn Ashley

Adryenn Ashley is the mediagenic founder of Wow! Is Me. As an award winning filmmaker and actress she is used to transforming herself and others into riveting onscreen characters. Now she uses her well honed techniques to transform everyday entrepreneurs into wildly successful business celebrities. As a mentor to CEOs worldwide, she is directly responsible for adding significant revenue to her client's bottom line. For information on how you can work with Adryenn Ashley, go to

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  1. Alon

    They can admit their filter sucks all they want. They filtered out every single good review for the main branch of a business I work for. They left only 1-star reviews out in the open. When you use an iPhone, the Yelp review shows up right under the name of the business — as one star. This business has helped so many people in so many ways that it's not even funny.

    The main point is — regardless of their filter, I sent in a complaint to Yelp about how one of the reviewers very obviously never attended the location he trashed. It's very clear that he is a member of a competing business. The representative claimed he wouldn't remove the review, because it was the person's opinion. The rep suggested I read the guidelines. I thanked him for recommending that I read the guidelines, because they openly state the review should be based on your direct experience and shouldn't contain any broad generalizations about the business.

    After thanking the reviewer for suggesting that I read the guidelines, I suggested that he read his own guidelines and challenged him to find a single sentence in the review which indicates that the person ever set foot in the business. No response.

    So, not only does their filter suck, the real human beings who deliberately leave the bad reviews in place — reviews by people who never entered the business — suck as well.

    Plus, you cannot call them on the phone either — unless you pay them their $300 payola.

  2. Tai


    sorry to hear about the trouble….

    however in court you can ask and prove that all the accountes and emails were created and sent from the same I.P number i.e the same computer…. Yelp can be served with a court order to get you that info.

    all the best

  3. Shadi

    Have you seen the pictures on Yelp's listing on Yelp? Just saw a few, pictures of employees you can tell they were hand picked, I don't think normal good people would want to work for Yelp! There is one picture of this "Yelps Rules" wrote in the sands! This alone shows the mind set of these inhuman people! They believe they have they are ruling our lives! They are aware of destroying lives and they are proud of it! Hoe creepy is that!

    People in over seas pull down dictators by putting their lives on the line, why can't we have a organized demonstration to bring light and attention to this?

  4. JAmes

    I have worked with kids for 2 decades and never had a negative complaint or comment until now. A former parent showed up unannounced one day and demanded a refund when i tried to explain they were not entitled to one I was sucker punched in the side of my head, as I fell back i was attacked and brutally assaulted IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN AND THE CHILDREN I CARE FOR

    I had the man arrested and instantly his wife started a hate campaign on me posting all over the net to include Yelp I assume in an attempt to make me look like the instigator

    I offered to send YELP proof her accusations are false but they refused stating shes entitled to her opinion

    Now i'm suing this woman for slander and will most likely win, as a result she has either started Creating fake accounts to agree with her original postings or random first time users (yea right) started jumping to her defense

    As if that was not bad enough I had over a dozen positive posts by current and former customers all deleted and many of their accounts closed

    These were users with existing accounts, people who had made other reviews and the only thing they did is give me a glowing review

    Now the best part has yet to come. When I filed a tasteful complaint with YELPS legal department MY ACCOUNT WAS CLOSED when I asked why they refused to give me an answer

    1. Adryenn Ashley

      This feel exactly the same as what happened to the girl that was raped. Someone posted that she deserved it, and started a hate bashing against her, and she complained, they deleted her. I am so sorry for what you have been through. I can only hope that the authorities in your area are going to be able to put those responsible behind bars, and that includes the woman slandering you. It goes far beyond that, it's intentional infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference with business relationships, interference with prospective contract and business relations, and if I wasn't tired I could come up with a dozen more. What Yelp allows people to do, unsupervised, is heinous.

  5. Jack

    I agree with Erica. We tried to get them to just remove us from their site and they refused. Six so-so reviews were posted, 15 excellent reviews were "filtered". We have not tried to bribe Yelp yet and we never will. Customers do not want to expose their private information by following Yelp rules to become an "accepted" reviewer.

    Many of my restaurant owner friends agree that "yelp sucks".

    1. Adryenn Ashley

      don't worry, there is a better solution coming…

  6. Erica

    Oh yes… they never remove the negatives… The FILTER out only the good see the site.

  7. Erica

    New business owner.. The first time I heard of Yelp It was after my first negative comment went live on there site. Within about half hour from the actual post, I was contacted. I was questioned ." Did you know we can fix all your Negative reports, even delete them permanently from Yelp. For a SMALL FEE of $299 per month (which is detrimental to your business) We can even post positives to bring you new clients. I was offered with the $299 fee " Your positive posts which are currently FILTERED will be visual vs filtered. We will even include ad Advertisement of your own and include a video on your Ad." I was asked to enter into Yelp and view my reviews. I was advised that Yelp will place my competitors Ads on my page, adjacent to my reviews, unless I join and pay the $299 per month. As of today I have 6 total reviews, They filtered my positives.Only post live the 3 negative reviews. And because i didn't like how Yelp does business I have all my competitors promotional ads on my page. This is a horrible thing to do to people and it is all about the money. If you pay the fee you will always have great ratings. I did ask if I tried it and carried it for 6 months and could not afford it would those negatives still stay off my reviews.. I was told we would just have to wait and see, but there is no promises made to keep negatives off your review page unless you JOIN. My opinion is: This is call Blackmail….by Slander UNLESS YOU PAY,, That's what it is… I can't wait for Yelp to crumble.

  8. c bellizzi

    I have requested 2 times from yelp to remove a negative review from a threatening consumer who in fact used and payed through a california based company.My blemish free business reputation is being harmed by yelp.plaese help.

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