Welcome to the W.L. May Company Blog.
Offering information and fun for the appliance repair industry and interested do-it-yourselfers since 2013.

To shop for appliance parts visit our Main Page
Phone: 1-800-377-8881
Email: Sales@WLMay.Com

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Botto Bisto and Yelp

(Flickr User Jason K/CC)
What do you think about Yelp? You know Yelp, right? That is that website on the Internet that offers reviews of businesses. Yelp also sells advertising to businesses. Many business owners consider that to be a conflict of interest.

Allegations have been made that purchasing advertising on the site can cause higher ranked reviews to be shown more prominently, while less well ranked reviews will show up poorly. Yelp denies that suggestion and claims that placement of reviews on their site is determined by an algorithm that takes into account an number of features. Any bias implied by the purchase of advertising, Yelp contends, is strictly coincidental.

Some business owners have tried to address this perceived bias in court. Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court dismissed two cases against the web site alleging such behavior saying that manipulation of reviews is within Yelp's rights. Other companies have asked Yelp to not list their businesses on the site. Yelp rarely complies with this request as they argue that their service is not directly threatening to business and it is their policy not to remove reviews.

One tactic that many businesses use is to encourage, or even "bribe" customers to leave good reviews on Yelp. Yelp does not approve of this practice, saying that it violates their Terms Of Service. They have even been known to sue businesses who pay customers to post positive reviews.

What is a business owner to do? You can provide the best service in the world, but your reputation could be tarnished by an algorithm, or worse, by strong armed sales tactics (at least that is what is alleged).

A restaurant in Richmond, California has decided to use some reverse psychology on Yelp and it's system of reviews. Botto Bistro intentionally placed their business in a low rent neighborhood because they believe their food is so good it can overcome it's environment. They did not really want Yelp to come along and scare off potential customers from even giving their food a chance. To try to prevent Yelp from placing poor reviews more prominently than good ones, the restaurant tried to play the game. They bought advertising on Yelp but were not happy with the results. That's when the reverse psychology came into play. 

Botto Bistro feels their web site's FAQ informed their customers about their restaurant better than Yelp. They began to actively encourage their customers to leave Yelp reviews. They are even gave a 25% discount to reviewers, as well as entering them into a drawing for a free cooking class. The catch? The "bribe" was only for one-star reviews on Yelp. As you can imagine, the maneuver has gotten a fair amount amount of press. They have gotten a lot of bad reviews and have made it their goal to be the worst rated restaurant in the Bay Area. According to their web site, they have achieved their goal. As a result they are no longer offering the  discount-sorry!

The owners of Botto Bistro provide an example of a small business thinking outside the box and grappling with the challenges tech has brought to business advertising. Does their plan seem like a good idea to you? Or does it come across as more of a temper tantrum by the owners? Let us know how you feel about their idea in the comments section for this post.

           For more education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.