The Verge: Yelp is adding a new tool to easily search for black-owned businesses

The Verge: Yelp is adding a new tool to easily search for black-owned businesses. “Yelp is launching a new tool to allow businesses on the platform to identify themselves as black-owned, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced in a blog post Thursday. Customers will be able to search the Yelp app for black-owned businesses they want to support. Over the last week, Yelp says it saw a huge increase in the searches on the app for black-owned companies across various industries.”

The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring

The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring. “Yelp knows its credibility is only as good as its reviews, so today, it’s releasing its first Consumer Alerts Report, which details incidents in which Yelp’s team intervened to cut off fraudulent reviews or activity. The report shines a light on behavior that one would likely expect happens on a review site — people trying to game the system — but only focuses on successful cases where either Yelp’s human team or software detected abnormal behavior.”

Yelp Testifying in Google Antitrust Hearing: Self-Preferencing by Dominant Internet Platforms (Yelp Blog)

Yelp Blog: Yelp Testifying in Google Antitrust Hearing: Self-Preferencing by Dominant Internet Platforms. “Yelp is testifying before the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust in the hearing titled Self-Preferencing by Dominant Internet Platforms on competition policy and consumer rights related to Google’s self-preferencing in local search results. You can read the full testimony here.”

CNET: For International Women’s Day, Yelp now lets you search for women-owned businesses

CNET: For International Women’s Day, Yelp now lets you search for women-owned businesses. “Yelp added a new feature in honor of International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8. The directory is adding the option to search specifically for businesses owned by women. In a release Thursday, Yelp reported an increased desire for the feature among its users.”

Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam

Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam. “Yelp has almost certainly been the most aggressive of the review platforms to take action against spam and review fraud. The company has historically and controversially tried to prevent any form of review solicitation….Now the company is stepping up efforts to stop ‘review rings,’ which have become something of a cottage industry online.”

TechCrunch: Yelp will let users personalize their homepage and search results

TechCrunch: Yelp will let users personalize their homepage and search results. “In other words, if you’re a vegetarian, or if you’re a parent who’s usually looking for kid-friendly restaurants, you won’t have to reenter that information every time you do a search. Instead, you can enter it once and Yelp will prioritize those results moving forward.”

Gizmodo: Yelp Will Now Show You Restaurant Hygiene Scores

Gizmodo: Yelp Will Now Show You Restaurant Hygiene Scores. “Yelp announced today that the platform will start featuring hygiene scores of restaurants alongside reviews, photos, and other information. As of today, the feature is available in California, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington, DC, but Yelp says it intends to roll the initiative out in other states soon. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of U.S. restaurants should have their hygiene scores listed publicly on Yelp.”

BuzzFeed: Yelp, The Red Hen, And How All Tech Platforms Are Now Pawns In The Culture War

BuzzFeed: Yelp, The Red Hen, And How All Tech Platforms Are Now Pawns In The Culture War. “Only a few hours after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ tweeted this weekend that the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, had refused to serve her, negative reviews began flooding the Red Hen’s Yelp page. First came the comments skewering the restaurant for political bias and underwhelming ambiance, and then — because this is the internet — came the user-uploaded images of swastikas. Within 24 hours, the number of reviews tripled from 5,000 to over 15,000, and by Sunday evening, the restaurant’s aggregate star rating had dropped from close to five stars to just two.”

Gizmodo: Yelp And TripAdvisor Team Up To Pile On Google Over Search Monopoly

Gizmodo: Yelp And TripAdvisor Team Up To Pile On Google Over Search Monopoly. “Google found itself in an uncomfortable position over the weekend, as 60 Minutes placed a magnifying glass on the company that accounts for 90 per cent of all search traffic and asked if it is operating as a monopoly. Following the broadcast, Yelp and TripAdvisor announced a new initiative designed to restore more diverse local search results that have been undermined by Google’s own first-party services.”

Science Blog: Yelp Reviewers Take A Dimmer View Of Nursing Homes Than The Feds

Science Blog: Yelp Reviewers Take A Dimmer View Of Nursing Homes Than The Feds. “The stars are not aligned when it comes to online reviews of nursing homes. A new study by the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology shows that Yelp reviewers give nursing homes significantly less favorable ratings than those found on the federal website, Nursing Home Compare, run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).”

Wired: Yelp Claims Google Broke Promise To Antitrust Regulators

Wired: Yelp Claims Google Broke Promise To Antitrust Regulators. “YELP IS ACCUSING Google, its longtime rival in local search, of scraping photographs of local businesses from Yelp and other sites for use in Google search results, violating promises that Google made in 2012 as part of a settlement to end a Federal Trade Commission investigation.”

Digital Trends: Hot Dog! Yelp Photo Classification Makes Food Shots Easier To Browse

Digital Trends: Hot Dog! Yelp Photo Classification Makes Food Shots Easier To Browse. “A picture may be worth a thousand words — but it can also be worth lunch. Yelp visitors often rely on photographs to determine their next dining spot, and now, updated artificial intelligence is helping to both prioritize the best images and categorize each shot.”

New York Times: Yelp’s Six-Year Grudge Against Google

New York Times: Yelp’s Six-Year Grudge Against Google. “Jeremy Stoppelman, chief executive of Yelp, the local search and reviewing site, would like this article to be focused on his company’s growth, or on how its reviews help independent businesses, or on pretty much anything besides what it is about: how Yelp became Google’s most tenacious pest.”

Arizona State University: Posting Yelp reviews to Facebook changes their nature, ASU study shows

Arizona State University: Posting Yelp reviews to Facebook changes their nature, ASU study shows. “There has been a lot of research on online reviews, but an Arizona State University professor’s paper is breaking new ground by looking at the actual words that people use in their reviews. He and his colleagues found that when the online-review platform Yelp started allowing users to post simultaneously on Facebook, it changed their nature. The result was a double-edged sword for the sites — more reviews, which Yelp wants, but more “emotional” language, which users say is less helpful, according to previous research. In other words, more quantity but less quality.”