I just received an email from a foodie I don't know advising
me that my negative review of 3-27-2011 had been "filtered"
so that it and other negative reviews do no appear in the normal
online listing; you have to specifically request the "filtered"
reviews, input confirmation codes, etc. to view the negative
Hardly confidence inspiring as to YELP!'s objectivity..
In any case, here is the review I originally posted there and
here.. (one note; Since I posted this, I have shut down my
monthly dinner group from lack of time to coordinate it).
I'm in my sixties as are my wife and our two friends who went there with
us Sunday night and it was really apparent that the oh-so-urban-trendy-
late-20s waiter couldn't be bothered with us because we weren't his sort
We intended to have a large number of small dishes so after several
fruitless attempts to get basics such as napkins and plates, we asked
for western silverware so we could cut up items and share them. This
twerp brought us ONE DAMN KNIFE and then turned his back on us and
walked off leaving us STILL without plates, napkins, etc. and with some
food already arriving
I got up, cornered the manager and ticked off on my fingers the multiple
requests for service that were being ignored, the extreme rudeness of
the waiter as well as the items we still needed. It still took close to five
minutes to get plates, napkins, water refills, etc. from the replacement
For several years I have run an oriental food group that hits the various
Asian restaurants around town (there are a surprising number of good
ones) and includes several well-known local food critics in its membership.
You can be assured that I have filled them in on this utterly lousy experience
and have done all I can to spread the word among my mailing list.
Good concept, lousy management and staff. We won't miss 'em..
Yep, as Alyx wrote, at the bottom of the page is a tiny link: (20 Filtered)
Click on that, enter the text as seen and you can see the filtered comments.
Weird how many folks from CA ended up there.
We were not pleased with the place from both the ambiance (or lack thereof) and the food quality considering the hefty price. As I said elsewhere, tasted garlic powder, etc., the next day. Not good.
Ahh... well, it DIDN'T get filtered when it was first posted so something changed.
I did skim the explanaition of how the auto-filter worked, but I didn't make that
association; thanks to both of you for clarifying that.
Got that now. That's a really unfortunate methodology as there are really
only a handful of people who consistently write reviews and, since most
people are motivated to write something after a bad experience like mine,
the negative reviews wind up being pushed out of public view thereby
giving a false impression of the quality of the place.
Sites like Yelp filter all the time.
Actual Yelp filtering information:
We try to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews among the millions that are submitted to the site. Not all reviews make the cut, and those that don't are posted to a separate "Filtered Review" page. Filtered reviews don't factor into a business's overall star rating, but users can still read them by clicking on the link at the bottom of the business's profile page.
We use filtering software to determine which reviews should be filtered on any given day among the millions that are submitted to the site. The software looks at a wide range of data associated with every review. We invite you to watch this short video for more detail about how it all works.
We intentionally make the filter difficult to reverse engineer — otherwise, we would be overrun by reviews written by people hoping to game the system. So while it may be tough to decipher how the filter works, the rules are actually the same for every business and every review.
The filter sometimes affects perfectly legitimate reviews and misses some fake ones, too. After all, legitimate reviews sometimes look questionable, and questionable reviews sometimes look legitimate. We think the filter does a good job given the sheer volume of reviews and the difficulty of its task, but it doesn't really matter what we think — consumers will only use Yelp if we do a good job of showcasing the most helpful and reliable reviews.
The filter continually reevaluates its decisions based on the information at hand. As a result, it's fairly common to see reviews come and go as the filter picks up new information. Either way, business owners should probably focus less on any one review and more on their entire body of reviews. Reviewers, in turn, should contribute to the site and give the filter a chance to get to know them over the long-term.
No. The software applies the same analysis to everyone. It sometimes affects more positive reviews simply because Yelp users write more positive reviews in the first place. In other cases, it affects positive reviews that appear to have been solicited by business owners (a practice which may seem like a good way to generate more reviews, but which tends to create an unintentional bias). In any event, the filter affects both positive and negative reviews — feel free to check out a random sampling of businesses listed on Yelp to see for yourself.
No. Businesses cannot pay for favorable treatment. You'll find plenty of Yelp advertisers with negative reviews, and any number of non-advertisers with five-star ratings across the board. The filter doesn't punish non-advertisers, either. Feel free to check out the many highly rated businesses on Yelp that choose not to advertise on Yelp.
We realized early on that some reviews were going to be better — and more reliable — than others. The filter establishes an objective standard against which every review can be measured. Even though it inevitably affects legitimate reviews from time to time and misses some fake ones, too, it helps protect the integrity of the site both for consumers (who will be less likely to be led astray by bogus reviews) and business owners (who will spend less time worrying about whether their competitors are writing negative reviews about them). We'd rather people think of Yelp as a source for reliable information from passionate and opinionated consumers than a platform for every single rant and rave.
I dumped my Yelp app after trying to post a negative review of a restaurant I ate at in Taos.
There were all kinds of po'ed people waiting and waiting for a table, then for a server and then for the food.
It took like 2-1/2 hours from start to finish and that was with reservations. I tried writing a review like 3 times and it never showed up. Whenever I would check back only glowing reviews would appear. Never a bad one.
Now I take my chances without consulting Yelp.
I'll still use YELP! for some basic searches, but I find that their
claims that the "filtering" does not artificially raise the status of a
company to be completely unbelievable. As a result, I won't be
bothering to write reviews that are suppressed.
I don't trust Yelp and this is one more reason. Besides which, opinions are like butt-holes: everybody's got one.
I found it astounding that there were so many five-star reviews of Street Food Asia. It's a formula place, with lots of shortcuts. Yes, they give you very large portions, but they charge very large prices. And the bottom line is that the food is just not that good.
Quantity over quality is not something I go for, as I doubt other commentors here do - it's like an all-you-can-eat joint. You know they're not putting out top-shelf foods. The Sunday buffet at India Palace is never going to bankrupt them - lots of carbs (cheap, easy to produce, fills you up) and lessor-cut meats.
Frankly, I think a lot of those glowing reviews are outright shills.. and
not just for Street Food Asia. Most people who write the occasional
review are literate, but reasonably basic in what they write. "Had X as
an appetizer, Y as the main course" but some of those reviews are
so breathlessly over the top that they have to have been placed.
I recently read of a service company that can be hired to water down
bad reviews by counter-posting positive ones. I don't think a local
small business would spend the money to hire them, but they can
certainly have every friend and relative say something nice.
Bottom line is that you need to exercise a little judgment about
online reviews and I think most people are savvy enough to sense
that there may be some puffery..
That's interesting ... and another reason to be cautious about what we read online.
eHow, examiner.com, WikiHow, etc., pay so incredibly little to writers that nearly all their "articles" are mash-ups of existing posts, that are often in themselves mash-ups. So you look up "how save someone who's choking" and find a lot of useless crap.
I lived in NYC for a while and when Mimi Sheraton (who used to be a NY Times food reviewer) said that such-and-such had the best burger in the city, you could be 100% certain that it was the best burger in the city.
Yes, there was a similar reviewer in the DC area who I occasionally disagreed with, but I trusted completely. ABQ is very fortunate in that it has several locally famous and trustworthy reviewers.. Larry, Andrea and Gil.
Our tastes may differ on certain dishes, but I know that they are giving me the straight dope as they see it and that's all anyone can ask.