The consumer website Yelp.com has been receiving increasing push back from the business community for several years.It has clearly become a convenient way for an individual to humiliate a company without restraint. It’s like picketing a storefront without having to make the sign, create a clever chant, recruit friends or stand out front for hours on end.

So if the reviewer had a bad experience with a business and wants place to rant, Yelp makes it easy for that person to do so. Especially after a few cocktails from the comforts of their couch. Oh, and did I mention: without any personal accountability. But what if the ranting reviewer is not a customer of the business they are reviewing? I think it’s time we all discovered that it doesn’t matter. Apparently, anyone can rate anything at any time whether they have transacted with the business or not. With no ethics or accountability, how does Yelp continue to thrive?

A Seattle Times article from this week is reported from a business person in a nearby town.  The writer experienced extortion tactics from Yelp salespeople. If this is true, then companies with higher ratings are paying Yelp to make those ratings more visible to the public.  Conversely, companies with lower ratings would then not be paying for their placement.

If you are looking for a reputable business, wouldn’t you rather be attracted to the one that performs for their reviews rather than pays for them? Get in the loop….Localloop.