Monday, December 9, 2013

Yelp - Why I'm Quitting

Yelp portrays itself as a community-driven organization that wants you to believe that it is all about reviewers helping customers make informed decisions about where to shop, eat, etc. But, in reality, Yelp is as cold a corporation as any other. They don't care about you as a user. Their objective is to take the free content you provide, then treat you however they want.

I was made part of their Yelp Elite program for two years. This is where you are invited to special get togethers. But, just as quickly as you are made part of that program, you can be pulled just as quickly.

So was the case this year. When I wanted to post a review of a Yelp Elite event, there was no page for it, as was usually the case. So, I posted my review on the Yelp restaurant page where the event was held. My review was quickly pulled, with a rebuke from the city's Community Manager.

When I questioned this, I was met with derision from that manager. Then, soon after, my Elite status was pulled. I personally do not think this is a coincidence.

When you post reviews of businesses for Yelp, TripAdvisor or whomever, you are providing content for free. They are getting you to provide them with the material that keeps their site going and growing. In exchange for that, you should at least be treated reasonably by that company. But, that isn't the case. You are essentially being treated as a sucker for giving them that free content.

So, why give them anything? There is no reason. And, I am not going to contribute to Yelp any more. Furthermore, I am pulling my reviews and photos from their site. I will instead be posting them here. My content should be going to my site. And, if there is anyone to receive benefit from these reviews, it should be me. I am the author of the reviews, so I should receive the clicks to the ads on my site, and receive the revenue from those clicks.

Why give something to someone when you can't even be treated with basic respect in return? There is no reason.

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