ReadWriteWeb covered, a number of changes the company had announced to its way of doing business. It was responding to complaints, and a class-action lawsuit, that alleged it had spiked bad reviews in exchange for fistfuls of Krugerrands from the businesses its users reviewed. Conversely, it was alleged, if a business owner did not want to pay, its negative reviews would be visible.Last week Yelp announced, and
One element that was not much covered was Yelp's concurrent announcement that it had assembled a Small Business Advisory Council.
"(I)n an effort to more formally integrate feedback from the business community, we've created a Small Business Advisory Council whose members will provide Yelp management with guidance and perspective regarding the concerns of small business owners," Yelp's CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman wrote on the Yelp blog.
It seems to have taken a lawsuit and its attendant bad publicity to get the company to reverse its policies on promoting or withholding certain types of reviews and on making filtered posts visible. Perhaps the company has decided having a number of involved small business types busting their chops a little every day would be preferable to one goliath and unpredictably-timed crotch shot that does great damage to their credibility.
Small Business Search Marketing blog quoted a letter sent out to small business owners with Yelp accounts.Matt McGee of the
The Yelp Small Business Advisory Council "will be composed of 10 members representing diverse geographies and industries. The group will serve for an annual term. In addition to regular correspondence with Yelp's executive team, the council will be relied upon to provide valuable input on changes to Yelp."
They are apparently still soliciting members for the council.
Bottom photo by Marcelo