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Do Negative Comments on Yelp Help or Hurt?

The Yelp Issue: Do Negative Reviews Help or Hurt?

In an age of Internet anonymity and oversharing, review sites are both a help and a hindrance to businesses. On one hand, you can get so-called honest reviews of everything from a hiking trail to a nail salon, on the other you might be subjected to unfairly negative reviews, fabricated positive reviews, and everything in between. Yelp is facing yet another lawsuit, brought on by small businesses claiming that some of their positive reviews were removed from the site after they refused to purchase advertising on Yelp.

The last time I wrote about this issue, you had strong opinions. Personally, I'm inclined to think a few negative reviews of a business lend it credibility — I'd be extremely skeptical of an organization with 100% positive reviews. On the other hand, a bunch of negative reviews — especially for a small business — could do some serious damage. It also seems that people are more inclined to post a negative review than a positive one; case in point: AvoidItNYC, a New York City site existing solely to post negative reviews.

What do you think? Can negative comments help? Do you trust them?

Join The Conversation
Yesi-Jukebox Yesi-Jukebox 7 years
Negative comments help because you get to see both sides of the story. Sometimes you can definitely tell when someone just had a bad experience because they were having a bad day and are taken their frustrations out on the business.
JessiLee99 JessiLee99 7 years
I don think a negative review necessarily lends credibility to a business, but I don't think a few negative reviews will sink a business either. At least for me, if I see a negative review, I figure maybe the staff or the reviewer was having a bad day, and everybody is entitled to that once in a while. Personally, I use yelp to look for trends of quality service. If most reviews are good, but there are a few bad ones, I'll still give the business a try.
aistea311 aistea311 7 years
I just joined Yelp a few months ago and on one of their boards someone was asking about a good comic book store near where I live. I posted a negative experience I had at the one that pretty much ruled the town with their raising of prices and posted the address to a small independent shop. Just recently, the owner of the big store sent me a scathing email pretty much saying what I was saying was false (it was not and this is what Yelp is for) Long story short, businesses cant post their own reviews, its not fair so if a consumer tells it like it is, it is up to the reader to come to their own conclusions. Yelp is just their to help, not to decide every sushi place you go to. Okay, I will get off my soap box, I havent posted on geeksugar in awhile :)
alf9280 alf9280 7 years
Yelp provides a similar outlet for businesses that provides, and I have seen several owners contact me about situations where I've had an issue with their service or products. To me, it really shows that the owner is concerned with what people's thoughts are on what happened and how can they fix the situation. Understandably, not every business owner has the time, resources, or cares, to surf the internet to find every bad review and fix the problem. But, I agree, it definitely shows their proactive customer service and Yelp allows them to either message the reviewer directly or to comment publicly on their review for all to see.
alf9280 alf9280 7 years
I feel like this problem has been discussed, time and again, on Yelp for all the things that people have been saying in blogs, on youtube video blogs, etc. From what I've seen, most people that review a lot, the majority of their reviews are positive (ratings of 3-5 stars). Those that don't review nearly as much and don't seem to interact on the site are a mixed bag. Some people will set up an account just to attack businesses or competitors and those that frequent the site and see these suspicious reviews can flag them as inappropriate or "spelp" (spam + yelp review). But, in the end, it is all what people choose to allow to persuade their choices over what businesses they frequent.
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