Talk:Yelp, Inc./Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


Regarding this sentence:

"Yelp's smartphone application was listed among TIME's 50 Best Android Applications for 2013.[19]"

Although TIME is a very prominent publication, I typically use the rule-of-thumb of not including awards, unless their significance is established through inclusion in a profile story, especially when the award is a large list and the company is one of many mentioned. CorporateM (Talk) 01:02, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

I agree and I've removed it.-- KeithbobTalk 21:15, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

New source

This article says: "Mobile sees 30% of all Yelp's traffic (that goes up to 50% on weekends) and 59% of all searches." Since profile stories suggest mobile is a big part of why the website grew, that seemed like some potentially interesting data, though we would want to avoid flooding the article with traffic statistics.

It also mentions the OpenTable and SeatMe acquisitions if we need another cite to anchor those and has a straight-forward explanation of the review-filter's intentions: "Yelp's review filter, which is meant to weed out artificial reviews both positive (such as a friend giving another friend's business five stars) and negative (competitors slamming one another), has drawn much of the ire....Some sales reps at Yelp suggest that would-be customers often learn about Yelp during a sales call and decline to advertise, but then solicit friends to quickly write five-star reviews." CorporateM (Talk) 01:34, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

The 30% mobile traffic is already in the article but I've found some other tidbits in that source. Thanks.-- KeithbobTalk 21:46, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

More Sources

I've examined all of the above sources and cited most of them in a the article. A few were redundant and those I did not use.-- KeithbobTalk 19:06, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

History v. Features

I was going to put them into citation templates for you, but you're too fast! Another tid-bit I noticed is this snippet needs shortening IMO:
Yelp Inc. released a free REST- and JSON-based application programming interface (API) in August 2007.[17] The API provided access to business listing details, reviews, photos, and ratings and was used to add business information to a website, widget, or mobile application.[18]
Probably just something like "Yelp released an application programming interface (API) in August 2007, which gave developers the ability to use data from Yelp's business listings in third-party applications" would be much more concise.
CorporateM (Talk) 21:14, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Good catch, I summarized as you suggested and moved it from History to the Web Features section as its not an historic event. I will likely move a few other non-historic web developments if I find any. Thoughts?-- KeithbobTalk 16:30, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

10 years?

The source says:

  • Since launching nearly a decade ago, Yelp has been subject to endless criticism by business owners who accuse the website of manipulating reviews based on whether the companies fork over advertising dollars.

So I"ve changed the article text to:

  • Throughout much of its history, Yelp Inc. has been the focus of criticism from some of its business clients who have alleged that Yelp Inc. manipulates its website, user reviews based on that business' participation in Yelp's advertising programs.

-- KeithbobTalk 16:37, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Regarding this sentence:
Throughout much of its history, Yelp Inc. has been the focus of criticism from some of its business clients who have alleged that Yelp Inc. manipulates its website, user reviews based on that business' participation in Yelp's advertising programs
This is a bit awkward in my opinion. Participation in a program makes it sound like a club, rather than a product. The accusations are from small business owners, who are not necessarily "business clients". "Throughout much of its history" - well it's been a problem since the website was founded, but only became a major controversy with the recent lawsuits. It's also not as specific as it could be. Also, I believe some say it filters legitimate reviews without necessarily also drawing a connection to advertising.
You may re-write it, which is ok, but I would go with something more along the lines of:
"Small businesses often accuse Yelp of filtering legitimate positive reviews, adding negative ones to businesses that refuse to advertise, or offering to alter reviews if they purchase advertising."
Concise, simple and covers all the major allegations.

CorporateM (Talk) 18:32, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I think the duration of the criticism is irrelevant, and adding a time period hints at a boundary event that does not exist. The sentence looks good as a summary but I think "often accuse" is too vague to mean anything. "Have often accused" sounds a little better but I'm not sure why. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:23, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Agree that "Small businesses often accuse" is vague. Which business'? How often? Here's what the source says:

Since launching nearly a decade ago, Yelp has been subject to endless criticism by business owners who accuse the website of manipulating reviews based on whether the companies fork over advertising dollars.

My proposed text would be:

Throughout the company's history, business owners have alleged that Yelp Inc. manipulates its business reviews based on a whether or not a business owner purchases advertising.

-- KeithbobTalk 19:17, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

That works well enough. I agree with Wikidemon that a timeless reference like "often accuse" would be better; the above sentence "throughout the company's history... have alleged" makes it sound historical, when it is ongoing. But don't let me slow things down - we have lots of ground to cover and I don't want to micro-manage. CorporateM (Talk) 19:52, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

History structure

The first three sections of the History section (Concept & founding, 2005-2010, and Venture Capital) are each only 1-2 paragraphs long. I'm told our Manual of Style encourages us not to create really small sub-sections and a single Early history or similar section would be more along the lines of our usual norms. I'd suggest the longer Further Development section could be raised a level to a full three equal-sign sub-section, since it's a normal length. CorporateM (Talk) 21:30, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Over sectioning is a common practice sometimes used (in my opinion) to create undue emphasis and POV. Therefore, I've removed the subheadings, as you've suggested. -- KeithbobTalk 19:20, 5 October 2013 (UTC)-- KeithbobTalk 00:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

"Real reviews" feature

I'm reading the article top-down. It still bothers me that at the beginning of the History section we mention that the site was not successful until it was re-launched around the "Real Reviews" feature, but we don't explain what this feature is. The main thrust being that users no longer had to ask someone for a review, but could write or read them in an open, unsolicited format. CorporateM (Talk) 19:33, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Good catch, I've removed the content as none of the cited sources appeared to support the text that was there. What Simmons says in the NewsWeek YouTube interview [1] is more or less repeated in the Fortune source [2] That gave him and Simmons an idea for a convoluted automated system in which people could e-mail friends asking for recommendations on, say, local doctors, and the answers would be logged at a communal site for everyone to see. Levchin floated the duo $1 million to build out the plan. It went nowhere. But the co-founders noticed an interesting tendency among the early users. People were writing unsolicited reviews of their favorite businesses just for fun. Yelp switched tack. "I remember the moment that Russ said, 'There should be a way for you to write your own reviews without asking questions, Stoppelman recalls. So the founders found a way to improve the user experience on their web site and make their business more successful. That's fine, but I don't see this as historic or notable for an encyclopedic article and the prior text was inaccurate and gave undue weight to a minor point.-- KeithbobTalk 00:01, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
An older version had other sources that I think got trimmed accidentally:
  • Inc. Magazine: During its first few months, Yelp was a failure. It attracted few readers or writers beyond the founders' friends and family, and it did not impress the venture capital investors whom Stoppelman pitched at the end of 2004. After a few weeks of unsuccessful meetings, Stoppelman and Simmons went back to the office and set about trying to improve their product...
  • CNN Money: One day Stoppelman was looking for a doctor but had no clue how to find a good one. That gave him and Simmons an idea for a convoluted automated system in which people could e-mail friends asking for recommendations on, say, local doctors, and the answers would be logged at a communal site for everyone to see. Levchin floated the duo $1 million to build out the plan. It went nowhere. But the co-founders noticed an interesting tendency among the early users. People were writing unsolicited reviews of their favorite businesses just for fun. So Yelp switched tack.
I could probably find some others as well if needed. CorporateM (Talk) 01:19, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

The big picture

Now that most of the available sources have been added to the article and it is well rounded in terms of raw content, I'd like to step back and give an opportunity for editors with 'fresh eyes' to take a look at the article and make changes, give feedback and massage the article into the best shape in can be. I'd be happy to collaborate with others once they arrive but at present I'm not feeling inclined to further 'refine' or shape the current content without some additional collaborators. Hope this makes sense. Best, -- KeithbobTalk 14:24, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Good Article

Hi All. I'd like to help bring this article up to the "Good Article" status. GAs are really important to me because - when you get a good reviewer - they tend to hammer out any influence my conflict of interest may have and result in high-quality articles that I am quite proud of. However, I am not sure of the most practical way to bring the article up to GA using the process and pace we're going at now.

I was wondering if either (a) there are 2-3 editors with enough interest to hammer out the article with me to prepare it for a GAN over the next few weeks or (b) if editors would feel comfortable with my bringing a draft up to the Good Article standard, then requesting a merge to article-space after the draft has been GA-reviewed.

I understand that my participation is one of being cautious and some discomfort is right and proper. I just want to bring it up to GA and am not sure of the most practical way to do so in a manner that is considered appropriate conduct for an editor in my role. CorporateM (Talk) 19:20, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Proposed changes

An editor has been trying to insert some content several times that I think is more or less 100% inapt for the article. They haven't taken the invitation to use the talk page so I'll start.

I disagree with this edit[3] and suggest it only be allowed if it gains consensus. It's hard to know where to begin because there are so many small things wrong with it. To illustrate, the first sentence of the lede is modified as follows:

  • Yelp, Inc. is an American Internet company that operatesoperating a website with local search website, social networking and discounted deal content.
    1. A company's nation or region is highly relevant to identifying the company, and spot checking this, it is a convention on Wikipedia to mention the country.
    2. It's grammatically awkward to use a gerund as an identifying adjective in this way. "He saw the boy tossing a ball" is okay; "Yelp is a company operating a website" is awkward.
    3. operating a website misses the point. Every company operates a website, this does not define yelp. It's local search content (and user submitted business review, something that could be mentioned) does. Linking the term website is overlinking.
    4. social networking and discounted deal content. This is not a definitional feature, certainly not the presence of social network content (if there is such a thing — the network is the pipes, the content is what flows through them). As the article makes clear, yelp is not a social network service. It is a local business review service that uses some features of social networks to motivate frequent contributors. The link here is misdirected as well, pointing to the sociological concept of social networks rather than their recent online manifestation. Discounted deal is the wrong term for offering deals on sites, and this too is an incidental service rather than definitional feature of Yelp.
  • The rest of the changes are equally sloppy. It's a waste of time to go over all of them in this level of detail. Perhaps the bottom line issue is that this editor's work is just not as well written or carefully thought out as the article in its present form. They may have some valid suggestions for improvements, but they ought to be made in a way that improves rather than degrades the quality of the article here. I suggest that if the editor is determined to make improvements here they need to propose their changes sentence by sentence for review. Incidentally, the term "Internet company" that was not modified is probably too vague. What does that mean? - Wikidemon (talk) 16:03, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Yelp operates in markets other than the United States so it is problematic to call it an "American Internet company". My edit notes that it is based in the U.S.
You have repeatedly removed the fact that Yelp is a publicly traded company from the opening paragraphs.
I have added the fact that Yelp includes social networking aspects. This is covered in the body of the article.
I have added the fact that Yelp has also expanded into offering deals. This is covered in the body of the article.
If you don't like the grammatical use of a gerund you are most welcome to reword. I try to avoid works like "that" and "which".
Every company is not web based. So noting that this company's website is at the core of its business is quite critical. The Yellow Pages is also a company offering directoy type information. It was not built on a web based model.
I'm sorry you think it is a waste of time to discuss article edits, but simply mass reverting the edits of others is improper. I made various changes many of which are constructive. If some of them can be refined or are inappropriate I am happy to discuss. I suggest that if you want to make changes to the article you do so individually so your changes can be evaluated. Doing massive changes and rollbacks without isn't helpful. For example if you want to exclude the social networking aspect form the introduction we can discuss that. But simply rolling back lots of edits to try and own the article isn't helpful. Candleabracadabra (talk) 16:25, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Which one of these do you wish to discuss first? Certainly you have encountered WP:BRD. You [B]oldly inserted a lot of changes, which I [R]everted as detrimental to the article. So we are supposed to [D]iscuss the changes. Restore the article to its prior version and we can discuss what you are proposing item by item. The burden is on you to establish through consensus that these are an improvement to the article, and as I explained in detail for just a single sentence, they are not. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:49, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I have explained to you why your summary reversion is problematic. The edits were done for good reasons and are largely constructive as explained above. The Facebook article does not call it an "American company". This would be confusing and misleading. The same applies here. Urbanspoon includes reviews but does not have social networking aspects. This is a key aspect of Yelp, it is a distinguishing feature, and it is covered substantially in the article. The problem here may be that you are simply unfamiliar with Yelp? Much of this is covered in the article itself. I suggest you read it. The opening paragraphs should represent what is covered in the article. I am happy to discuss with you any change or refinement you seek. I am happy to compromise and seek only to make this article the best possible. It had a lot of problems that I have addressed. I am happy for any changes that continue to move us forward and continue the editing process. But moving backwards to an incomplete, confusing and misleading version isn't appropriate. Candleabracadabra (talk) 17:01, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm quite familiar with this article, the company, and its services. The current version of the article can certainly stand improvement, most articles can. This may be hard for you to take and I can understand the defensiveness, but your proposed edits are just not well written or thought through. The one point you highlight above, that Yelp uses social networking features to engage contributors, is indeed covered in the article. It may or may be a defining feature suitable for the lede. Probably not the first sentence of the lede. And it's a step backward, not forward, to imply that it is a social network, because it is not. I"m happy to help discussing proposed changes to the current version of the article to make it better. Several very good editors have been working on this article over the years, including recently, a paid editor hired by Yelp (you can read the discussion on this page). They've arrived at the current version through a long, courteous editing process, and I'm sure they're available to work with you as well. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:24, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

handling proposed changes

  • I'll get started with the first change here, to address that the company is American yet the online service is not.[4] It's redundant to say it's an Internet company (which is a vague and somewhat outdated concept), if you've already identified that the company's primary activity is to run an online service. Any objections to that or should we return to the status quo while we discuss this particular point? I'll get to a second proposal for the lede sentence in a minute. It's also best if we can get some wider input, as several experienced editors have been working on this article for some time. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Again, it is problematic to say it is an "American company". It operates internationally. Your change does not address this and is unacceptable. See the article on Facebook and other international companies. This is why we say where similar companies based or headquartered but don't use the problematic language you are trying to impose.
If you prefer using the terminology "online" to internet, I think that's probably okay. But it's important to make clear from the onset that this is a company with a web based business. Candleabracadabra (talk) 17:13, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay, the stable version of the article begins: Yelp, Inc. is an American Internet company that operates a local search website. We agree to replace 'Internet' with 'online' so unless anyone else objects we can make that change. We disagree about removing 'American' so it stays in for now pending consensus. We can do a survey to spot check American-based companies large and small to see if that fact is typically included in the introductory sentence, and whether there are any style guidelines or consensus discussions on that. I would argue that because we're covering the corporation and not just the service, the fact that the company and nearly all of its employees are American (San Francisco, I believe) is of primary importance. So a revised version would read: Yelp, Inc. is an American company that operates an online local search service. If you don't agree with that, we stick with the old version for now. I'd suggest that we add local reviews, as that's at least as fundamental as the search capability. The social networking features, elite member status, deals, advertising, and other features are important and can be mentioned somehow in the lede, we can address that next. I may be offline for a while so we can pick this up in several hours or tomorrow. It's best in any event if we can get some attention from others and not overwhelm them with a wall of text and an unstable article. - Wikidemon (talk) 17:37, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Let's work from the existing version. There are just too many problems with the old version as discussed above. What is your objection to saying Yelp is based or headquartered in the U.S.? That's how it is written in the article now. It avoids one of the many problems with the old version you're advocating.
I'm glad you agree that distinctive and important features of Yelp that are covered extensively in the body of the article should be noted in the opening paragraphs. I think we are making headway. Candleabracadabra (talk) 17:46, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
The existing version is this one.[5] I'm not advocating anything, just offering to go through the changes you are proposing. If you believe there are problems in the article let's address them one at a time. I have no objection to saying that Yelp is headquartered in the U.S. Whether to change the descriptor from an "American company" to simply "company" or "US-based company" or something like that is something we can review. Spot checking, I see that ExonMobile is introduced as an "American multinational oil and gas corporation". google is "an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products". Facebook is "an online social networking service." (doesn't mention the company in the first sentence). Salesforce is "a global cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco, California." (poor linking practice there). Amazon is "an American international electronic commerce company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington". Opentable is "an American public company that offers online real-time restaurant-reservation service." This article, like others about companies that produce more or less a single online service, is about two subjects in one, the company and the service. We could check some more or look for a style guide or wikiproject, but it seems that there is a preference for pointing out in the lede that the company itself is American, and that the service is (somewhat) international in scope. - Wikidemon (talk) 18:22, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Your spot check confirms that multinational companies are not referred to as being "American" or described in that way to another ccountry where they were founded or are based because it is misleading and confusing. TripAdvisor is I believe Canadian. I woudl support noting where its headquarters are, but sayign it is a "Canadian company" would be confusing and misleading since it operates in other countries such as the U.S.
Again, if you have suggestions or improvements please go ahead and be bold. But a mass reversion of a long series of edits carried out by various editors to correct various problems isn't helpful. You've acknowledged that the social networking and other significant features of Yelp, especially those already covered substantially in the body of the article, should be noted in the opening paragraphs. If you don't want the social networking and deal making aspect in the first sentence I suggest you find or suggest a better placement for it. What isn't appropriate is to simply remove everything and everything you aren't completely happy with while demanding that every edit is run by you for approval. You don't own this article and other editors are quite capable of making improvements. If you have no problem with noting that Yelp is headquartered in the U.S. instead of labeling it in a different and confusing way then we can move on to discussing what other issues you have. Specifically, what about the current version do you object to? Candleabracadabra (talk) 22:49, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
[addressing Candleabracadabra]. The only edits I've reverted are yours, which I dispute. I disagree with each and every change you're proposing (unless perhaps there is a good one I overlook amidst the clutter) because, frankly, they are weakly written for both logic and phrasing. Sorry to be so blunt here but you're forcing a dispute by trying to railroad this in. The burden on you is to gain consensus, not on me to prove to your satisfaction what's wrong with your prose, a futile task under the circumstances. If you're ready to start with the article as written and propose your changes at a manageable rate, we can do that. Otherwise we can proceed to the next level of behavioral or content dispute resolution. It would be best to just wait for other editors to show up before trying something like the mediation cabal or an RfC, and I'll create a fresh new section below where they might actually feel welcome rather than driving them off. I'll also add an article template to alert editors that there is a dispute over the current version of the lede, to avoid versioning problems. - Wikidemon (talk) 23:36, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Reboot — discuss proposed changes

An editor is proposing making some changes, mostly to the article lede.[6] I disagree (and explain above). It would be useful to have some wider input here. Any thoughts? - Wikidemon (talk) 23:36, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Sorry I didn't see this thread until now. I would have liked to participate in the discussion.-- KeithbobTalk 14:59, 12 November 2013 (UTC)


I don't feel that the nav templates at the bottom of the article are appropriate. I think they should be removed and the Webby and Pay Pal Mafia WP pages should be listed in the See Also section instead. Comments?-- KeithbobTalk 16:10, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Doing a little research I see Yelp is not mentioned on WP's 2007 Webby Awards page and I cannot find a reliable source for it either. If a source is found it should go in the article ie Yelp won the Webby Award for XYZ in 2007 and 2012...... etc. -- KeithbobTalk 16:48, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
It looks like they won in 2007 and 2011. I usually follow the rule user:DGG taught me of not including awards unless they are included in a profile story on the organization - not sure what the rules are about the templates at the bottom. CorporateM (Talk) 17:01, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
That's not really my rule, though it comes to the same thing. My practice is to include them if they are awards with their own article in WP, or otherwise of national significance. And I never include anything other than winning an award, except in some rare cases like the Booker. I'm not sure how to discriminate between true profile stories and stories prepared by poor quality PR that list everything indiscriminately. DGG ( talk ) 21:29, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
The Webby Awards used to be a very big deal, particularly through 2001 or 2002. Not so much anymore. Under the circumstances, I don't think the historical notability of the organization and the awards justifies the presumption that an award during the latter period is worth mentioning. Even for the old awards, I used a personal test when considering whether to add the template to the articles about winning companies. If the company was a solidly notable company in its own right, e.g. Microsoft, TripAdvisor, etc., I wouldn't add the template because it didn't add to a lay reader's understanding of the company to learn that it won the award. By contrast, a marginally notable subject like Jodi (art collective) was known primarily for winning the Webby, and then throwing the statue to the audience in disgust, where I believe it ended up being auctioned on ebay. That's a good place to put the template. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:39, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't mind award mentions if there is a reliable secondary source to back them up. If there is only a primary source then the award's significance may be in question. This award seems notable so if there is a proper source please include it, fine with me. What I object to is a "coatrack" style template. IMHO, if the subject of the article is not part of a nav template then its not really relevant. Add content and/or See Also sections but not extra templates. Ok, nuff said, I've removed both templates. If anyone objects they can revert and we can discuss further. Thanks everyone! -- KeithbobTalk 03:40, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
That's a good distinction, thanks. - Wikidemon (talk) 04:06, 13 November 2013 (UTC)


Another small thing; I think I may have mentioned this before without response, but I am not sure these two sentences under the "Employees and corporate culture" section are really needed. That particular citation they use (#28) is cited eight times and including these details seems promotional to me:

Recreational facilities include computer games, a pool table and snack area.[28] The company aggressively recruits new employees at universities.[28]

I think these would be true for most Silicon Valley tech companies. Also, long titles of sections are always a bit awkward IMO and we have a lot of long titles. Just "Corporate culture" seems like a better title for this section. CorporateM (Talk) 12:38, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

 Done If anyone objects they can revert and we can discuss per WP:BRD.-- KeithbobTalk 16:09, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! I also noticed nobody has corrected the dates for Yelp's expansion into certain countries mentioned here (an error I must have introduced). It's a very non-controversial correction, but I'm not sure whether it quite qualifies as an edit that would be appropriate for me to make or not. CorporateM (Talk) 16:46, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  •  Done-- KeithbobTalk 17:51, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Location of content

I did some more copyediting and continued reading through the History section and came upon this part:

Yelp is reported to have 108 million visitors per month and 42 million total user reviews.[44] Reviews trended 85% positive as estimated by the CEO[45] and were thought to come primarily from the 26–35-year old demographic.[46]

This is included in the 2005-2010 part of the History, but appears to be current (2013) and would be better-placed in the "Internet services and features" section.

This section:

In September, two economists from the University of California, Berkeley surveyed 300 restaurants in San Francisco, California, and correlated their evening reservations rates with their rating on the company's website. Using online reservation data from July 2010 to October 2010, they concluded that an upgrade from 3.5 to 4 stars caused an increase of 19 percentage points, in the sellout rate for 7pm bookings. [51][52] That same month, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School published a paper using data from all Yelp reviewed restaurants in Seattle, Washington during the period of 2003 to 2009 concluded that a one-star increase in a restaurant's Yelp rating led to an increase of 5% to 9% in revenues.[53]

Should probably be moved to an "Impact" sub-section of the Products-type section (or something). Although the survey was conducted on a specific date, it's not really a reference to a historical event, rather than an analysis of the effect Yelp reviews has on businesses. CorporateM (Talk) 13:40, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

One more small thing, I do think the NYSE magazine is a reliable source, but it is sourced 8 times and some of the related content probably is not needed.
  • The more than $110 million raised from the stock offering has helped to fund rapid expansion into both U.S. and international markets.[27] <- Kind of a generic statement. Funding is almost always used for expansion.
  • Recreational facilities include computer games, a pool table and snack area.[27] The company aggressively recruits new employees at universities.[27] <- Seems like pretty standard practice for most tech companies. Unless the source explains why/how it's unusual.
Hopefully I'm not getting petty here. I try to tread the line of avoiding excessive micro-management. CorporateM (Talk) 13:49, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
I've done a lot of organizing and clean up today. Take another look as many of these issues have been resolved.-- KeithbobTalk 19:47, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Location of content

Reading through the article top-down again and making some very minor copy-edits, I came across this paragraph:

San Francisco, where Yelp was founded, remained the most active city as of 2008. There was also significant adoption in 18 metro areas including Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., San Diego, and Los Angeles.[14] The site had more than 4,000 reviewed restaurant listings in San Francisco, some with hundreds of reviews each.[14] Yelp is reported to have 108 million visitors per month and 42 million total user reviews.[45] Reviews trended 85% positive as estimated by the CEO[46] and were thought to come primarily from the 26–35-year old demographic.[47]

It is included in the 2005-2010 section of History, but doesn't appear to refer to a specific historical event. Would they be better off in the "Internet services and features" section? CorporateM (Talk) 16:59, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

I've moved that and a bunch of other non-historical stuff that I was thinking needed to be reduced but now that its out of the History section and in an appropriate context I'm feeling better about that non-historical content which is now in the Services section. I've made a lot of bold edits today. If anyone disagrees with my direction or actions they are free to change or discuss here. Thanks!-- KeithbobTalk 19:27, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

External links

Hopefully I'm not wearing North and Keithbob out yet! One disadvantage of COI best practices is that it is very burdensome on volunteers.
One other thing is that there is an External Link to a story in The Register that appears to be from when Yelp was first founded. It should probably be used as a cite instead of an External Link. CorporateM (Talk) 18:08, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I've moved it to the talk page (see above) -- KeithbobTalk 20:02, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Hammering out a few things

User:North8000 offered to hammer out a few things with me to get the article GAN-ready. I wanted to start off with a couple corrections regarding the years that Yelp was introduced in some countries. CorporateM (Talk) 01:13, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Countries correction

  • I apparently made a mistake by saying Yelp expanded into Turkey in 2013 using WP:CALC and this Forbes blog, which says "six months ago" however a more reliable CNET source confirms it expanded into Turkey in December 2012.
  • I put that expansion in Spain was in 2013, though the source is clearly from 2011. Either a typo or an error on my part.

CorporateM (Talk) 01:13, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

    •  Done-- KeithbobTalk 17:50, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Comments by North8000

I'm a GA reviewer but wouldn't do the real review on this one because I did a burst of edits a while back. I just read the whole article.....did a few tweaks where the info was in the source. I think that most of it is really good but that the section regarding the review controversies needs some work. It has two different topics blended in a manner that occludes both. (companies paying third parties for reviews, and accusations that Yelp changes ratings/reviews for $. In particular, each time it started getting into the accusation that Yelp changes ratings/reviews for $, it segued into talking about companies paying other parties to get ratings. If there is reason to do so it should be explained. Otherwise those topics should be separated.

Would it be feasible to add any images? Right now the only one is the logo. If not, that's probably fine.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 01:38, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

There seemed to be support for the title "Integrity of reviews", which would better combine these two topics. User:Wikidemon previously removed a Harvard study here as being unreliable, but this is actually the best source available. Not only would I restore it, but I would put it in the Lead. In the meanwhile, the section has a lot of sources like a Forbes blog and a local press article written by "staff". Since we've been working top-down, this section hasn't been tightened yet. CorporateM (Talk) 02:02, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
My comment in removing it was "interesting, and possibly noteworthy at some point, but overall not a reliable source". The statement did not accurately reflect the source, and was added out of context. Here's a link where you can download the paper. Academic writings are generally primary sources, and no support was offered other than the paper itself that it is relevant, accepted, of due weight, its publication was noteworthy, etc. It was worded in a misleading way to say that 20% of Yelp reviews are fraudulent, and that this was a "study" by "Harvard Business School". In fact, it reports that 20% of reviews submitted to Yelp are fraudulent, not 20% of the reviews that make it past the fraud filter. Also, it is an unpublished working paper by two assistant professors ( + that as of the time of reversion had not picked up any significant coverage in third party sources. If and when it gets published in a journal it will at least be reliable, in that it has gone through a third party editorial process. For now it is self-published. Now, though, a number of news sources have picked this up (, so they may lend some weight and verification as to what the paper actually says. Academic writings about business are not generally too pertinent to the business. This one might be an exception because it's directly about a significant point of the article. Another context problem, neither the report nor most of the news coverage mention whether this extent of fraud is particularly high, low, or otherwise unique to yelp. Absolute percentages may be relevant if business owners are submitting their own fraudulent reviews. But if the source are organized spam rings, then the absolute number isn't very telling. As a comparison, say that 99% of all email is spam, probably true. But most spam gets caught by filtering at different levels, so only (say) 5-10% of the email people actually receive is spam. Neither percentage is an accurate reflection of a typical email, if a few people are responsible for the vast majority of spam. One thing I find a little more noteworthy is the action of the New York attorney general.[7]
Anyway, I think it's fair to group these two in the same section because they both concern integrity of reviews, nearby subjects, and they're often mentioned in the same sources. But North8000 makes a great point, it's confusing and probably misleading to treat them as the same. One solution is to have two subsections, or two adjacent sections. - Wikidemon (talk) 02:28, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Awww, thanks for explaining Wikidemon! I previously wanted separate sections, but user:Keithbob wanted to keep the topics in the same section. I have seen some sources about one topic that referred to the other, which suggests the sources believe the topics are similar, so there is some justification for it. If it were up to me, the lawsuits would be under History and the general phenomenon would be under Integrity of Reviews. However, I think it would be best if a disinterested editor made some executive decisions.
In stark contrast to the academic paper, there are some poor sources in this section that I think creates an UNDUE problem. A Forbes blog (cite 119) and a staff-written local news article (cite 114) come to mind. It's easy for me to trim the mundane stuff in the rest of the article, but it's a little more uncomfortable asking to trim the controversies in my position...
BTW - I think the article on Wikipedia sets a great example for the Lead (see the last paragraph of the Lead) - though they have a larger article so the Lead is more detailed. CorporateM (Talk) 03:01, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Not only are they in the same section, in some cases, they are blended into the same sentence/thought. They read like diversions / changing the subject. For example:

  • Throughout much of its history, Yelp Inc. has been the focus of criticism from some of its business clients who have alleged that Yelp Inc. manipulates its website, user reviews based on that business' participation in Yelp's advertising programs Yelp Inc. denies this and has expressed dissatisfaction with business owners who have solicited reviews from friends and associates or paid for "fake" reviews.
  • In August 2012, two New Haven, CT business owners alleged that Yelp had removed positive reviews after they declined to buy advertising. In October, Yelp implemented a system to "uncover companies that purchase[d] fake positive reviews".

In both cases it changes the subject from possible wrongdoing by Yelp to a completely unrelated topic of potential wrongdoing by their customers. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 03:21, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

The Lead of Wikipedia reads:
The open nature of Wikipedia has led to concerns about the quality of writing,[18][19] the amount of vandalism,[20][21] and the accuracy of information. Some articles contain unverified or inconsistent information,[22] though a 2005 investigation in Nature showed that the science articles they compared came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica.[23]
I would cover this in a similar way like:
There have been concerns over whether Yelp's reviews are authentic and fair. A Harvard study found that XX% of reviews are fake and many small business owners allege that Yelp tampers with reviews to favor advertisers, though the study also shows no statistical correlation between advertisers and more favorable reviews.
Not asking for this text exactly, but showing an example of how the topics could be combined. There are probably lots of ways it could be done that would be equally valid and it's unimportant the exact way it's done, as long as the jumpiness North is referring to gets cleaned up. CorporateM (Talk) 03:34, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
One is an allegation of "misbehavior" by Yelp, and the other discusses misbehavior by companies/customers. The only thing in common is that they affect the credibility of the reviews. IMHO I see no reason to combine the topics. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 12:02, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Ok, I would encourage you to be bold and split them up then if you're ok with that. So we can hammer out the next thing. CorporateM (Talk) 12:56, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
OK North has made some changes but its a bit "ragged" so I'm going to continue the process.-- KeithbobTalk 15:13, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Cool. BTW I self-described the way I left it as "ragged". North8000 (talk) 15:18, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that's why I used quotes for "ragged" :-) Your work was good, I hope I didn't sound like I was being overly critical.-- KeithbobTalk 16:04, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Everything is cool.  :-) North8000 (talk) 16:17, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Tone and weight

I realize there is always some defensiveness when a COI asks to trim controversial material. North might remember me heckling him quite a few times until he removed poorly sourced controversies on the Monster page. However, the section reads like
Small business A alleged that Yelp tampered with reviews. Small business B alleged Yelp tampered with reviews. Small business C alleged Yelp...
The vet complaint is clearly notable, because it started a series of lawsuits, but in some other cases it repeats similar allegations over and over. There are other things like "despite objections from the plaintiff's lawyer" - well the lawyer on the losing side of a court ruling will always have objections won't they?
When there are so many small things, I don't know how to correct them while avoiding WP:COIMICRO, the appearance of advocacy, etc. etc. and I completely understand discomfort with someone in my position micro-managing the text. I imagine it's just like how I cover most things on Wikipedia - by getting everything on the page at first, then looking it over to find out the best way to summarize it.
Looking to you guys to keep me honest and let me know if I step out of line, the best way for me to help, etc. Thanks so much for chipping in! CorporateM (Talk) 15:38, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Good point. That stuff was all in the article. I just moved it around. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 15:54, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

You did good Mr. (or Ms.) North, I think once the new arrangement gets settled we can go through and tweak things. I've already removed a few redundant things. However I think its important to note that complaints/allegations have continued to be lodged over time. We also need to apply the summary/weight principle equally throughout the article not just in this section. For example there has in the past been some tendency to give undue weight to minor changes in the company's website, mobile applications etc as if these were major events in the life of the company. Likewise, a local paper reporting two small business' who complained about Yelp in an investigative article for a small city is likewise not a significant company event. So we should avoid undue emphasis but likewise avoid over simplification of complicated or a series of events. -- KeithbobTalk 16:15, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

A good rule of thumb might be to trim those that are only reported in local papers like CBS Denver, Channel 3 Connecticut News and East Bay Express - the exception being that the original East Bay Express article that was heavily cited in the media should naturally remain. CorporateM (Talk) 16:21, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Here's what I mean:
All of these are individual allegations reported by a single local press article. Some are broken links or staff-written and they are not individually a significant part of Yelp's history. Considering we've trimmed content sourced to the WSJ, Inc, and Newsweek as insignificant, the same standard should be applied here. It's very coatracky and weighty. Meanwhile, there is plenty of other content in the section that covers it, like "Throughout much of its history, there have been allegations that Yelp Inc. manipulates the user reviews" and the individual allegation from a vet that received national attention. The sources suggest that it has always been a problem, but recently became more controversial, so proper weight is to follow suite. CorporateM (Talk) 12:52, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree and I've summarized most of them. However, I think we may need to do similar summarizing in Internet and Services section as well. But let's see I don't have any specifics in mind right now.-- KeithbobTalk 17:38, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Cool. I noticed there is one Harvard report that is no longer cited and another that is only cited once. I haven't read either yet, but I think we should mine those for all they've got at some point.
There is one item I actually think you trimmed excessively, which is the original East Bay Express article that actually broke the story. The article itself may not be all that reliable, but it being published became a significant part of Yelp's history after dozens of press articles came out covering the publication of the article itself. It's been a while since I did any in-depth research on the controversy, but I remember that really being what started the whole thing. CorporateM (Talk) 17:57, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Harvard pdfs--They are very detailed but keep in mind those studies are primary sources, published by the university. So there is some element of self-publishing there. Anyway I think the secondary sources, newspapers, have summarized them and the main points are in the article I believe. I read one and didn't see it as very applicable. If they are used I think they need to have inline attributions.
  • East Bay-- Iit wasn't the first, ABC reported it in Aug 2008.
    • -- KeithbobTalk 19:59, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I've removed the following:
Additional allegations were reported in August[1] and November of 2012.[2]
I removed this text, and related cites, because these are reported complaints from a total of three local businesses, complaints covered in local sources. There are, what, a million businesses in the United States? WP:UNDUE warns against excessive weighting, and I think news reports that don't address the national scope of Yelp (that is, focus on a couple of local complaints) are simply too minor, compared to what else is in (or should be in the article), to be given *any* weight. That goes, of course, for any local news report about how happy a business is with Yelp, or that Yelp responded well to a particular local complaint. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:45, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Good edit, thanks for the help. -- KeithbobTalk 03:32, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

New and old sources

Some secondary sources below for some of the primary sources we've discussed above CorporateM (Talk) 12:53, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

The East Bay Express article that started the recent controversy

"Ever since the Oakland-based East Bay Express published an explosive story... has been dealing with charges that the company has a bad habit of shaking down small businesses. "
"He was talking, of course, about the PR fiasco that ensued when the Emeryville, Calif.-based East Bay Express newspaper published a lengthy expose on the business reviews site, "

Harvard Studies


There is a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research called "Optimal Aggregation of Consumer Ratings: An Application to". It costs $5 to download. I can purchase it and email it if someone would like to use it. CorporateM (Talk) 12:53, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Small things

"In 2013, Yelp Inc. moved into its new corporate headquarters, occupying nearly 150,000 square feet on 12 floors of 140 New Montgomery (the former PacBell building) in San Francisco."

I know I'm nitpicking here, but should we really spell out the full address? ("140 New Montgomery")

Also, upon a re-read the section might need to be called "Operations" because only a sentence or two of it is on corporate culture. CorporateM (Talk) 12:31, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

 Done -- KeithbobTalk 03:35, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm continuing to do a read through making some very slight copyedits. A few minor things I came across:
  • "In September, the Federal Trade Commission investigated Yelp Inc.'s allegations that Google was using Yelp web content without authorization and that its consumer search engine was set unfavorably towards Yelp's website." The bolded spots were a little confusing to me. What is a "consumer search engine" and what do we mean about it being set unfavorably towards Yelp?
  • "The more than $110 million raised from the stock offering has helped to fund rapid expansion into both U.S. and international markets.[25]" Funding is almost used for expansion, but if the sources focus on it, it should be included. But the "rapid expansion" bit comes off as a bit promotional to me.
  • "Yelp Inc.'s second quarter 2013 revenue "exceeded expectations" but like other technology startups, the company was not yet profitable." Since this is a quote from the CNN story, it should probably be attributed with an "According to CNN" type thing.
CorporateM (Talk) 12:12, 15 November 2013 (UTC)


  1. If we take out the word "consumer" will that help? The prior text said that Yelp Inc accused Google of biasing its search engine so that consumers were more likely to be routed to Google Places rather than
  2. I believe the source specifically says the funding was used to expand into Int'l markets but I agree 'rapid expansion' shouldn't be there.
  3. Sure, an inline attribution could be there. But they are usually used when we are stating something controversial or that represents a limited point of view (ie an editorial or primary source). Do you feel that these are controversial facts or that they are not widely held opinions? -- KeithbobTalk 19:05, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Yah, "consumer" was weird and I wasn't sure what you meant about the searches "favoring" Yelp (haven't checked the sources). Just "expansion" would be less promotional than "rapid expansion" if you feel the the sources justify including the fund's use. If the quote is not attributed to who said it, taking it out of quotes would also work. I don't feel strongly about it.
Just things that caught my eye. I would encourage you to be bold and handle them however you think is appropriate. It would be a WP:COIMICRO issue for me to argue about it extensively. CorporateM (Talk) 20:31, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, I've tweaked them. Thanks. -- KeithbobTalk 17:07, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Features section

Ok, getting closer - I'm down to the Features section. I think this part may be misleading:

Each paid business listing contains a filtered 5-point rating, filtered reviews from other site visitors, and details such as the business' address, hours, accessibility, and parking. Site visitors can update business listings with moderator approval, and business owners can access and update their listing information directly.[54]

I believe every business listing has filtered reviews, ratings and details, but the current text makes it sound like only paid ones do. CorporateM (Talk) 18:06, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I would also suggest breaking up the Search Engine section. There are a few ways this could be done, but I would probably create a new Features section that includes the reservations, ordering and check-in features, etc., while placing the traffic and prominence information before any of the sub-sections with a 1 sentence summary of what the website is (a local reviews site). CorporateM (Talk) 18:22, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Preparation for submitting the article for GA reveiw

I'm going through the article with the intention of submitting it for GA review sometime soon. These are the steps I'm going to take. If anyone would like to help they are very welcome.

  • 1) Grammar and spelling checks.
  • 2) Ref Improve: All citations need to be uniform. Some problem areas I see are: Some have capital letters, some publication are not in italics. Combine duplicates into the ref name = format.
  • 3) Read through and improve format and flow where needed.
  • 4) Check sources and make sure the text accurately represents what the source says.

-- KeithbobTalk 20:54, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

A couple things I've been busted for during GA reviews that seem relevant to this article are having too many cites (some sentences in the article have four citations, which might explain why the short piece has 120+ cites) and using too many images. The Stoppelman image seems superfluous, but I found this free image on Flickr and a UI screenshot is common for website/software pages. I'm not sure the article covers the "major aspects", but I haven't actually done a lot of researching sources for this article in a long time. CorporateM (Talk) 22:00, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, as I go through sources I will remove the weak ones to avoid WP:CITEKILL. I started this process yesterday.
Images are good in an article and this one does not have any (except Stoppleman) and if the reviewer doesn't like the image it can be removed. Personally I don't find this image on Flikr or this one in Wikimedia commons to be useful for the article. But others are free to add them if they disagree.-- KeithbobTalk 17:46, 26 November 2013 (UTC)


Keithbob asked me to do some of the citation cleanup as non-controversial edits. As I run through it, I'll be using this space for any notes. CorporateM (Talk) 13:46, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

  • I trimmed a few sources that did not mention, or only briefly mentioned, the Yelp Elite, however I also noticed that Inc. and BusinessWeek have a lot of information about the Yelp Elite that could be added.
  • I had a hard time seeing which source directly supports this somewhat vague statement: "The website utilizes feedback mechanisms and preferred placement of reviews to motivate its user reviewers." Here's what the sources say:
  • The New York Times: "Instead, it structured the site to motivate people through the praise and attention that their reviews receive from others...Reviewers also benefit because they can see how other users vote on their reviews. Moreover, the site mimics the structure of a social network, so that active members can see information about and follow the work of other reviewers who interest them. Yelp has also started holding social events for its frequent reviewers."
  • CNN Money (this is an extensive profile story on Yelp in a major business magazine that is only cited once and could be used more extensively). "To get Yelp off the ground, they decided to mix business and pleasure, and started hosting Yelp parties at local establishments. The parties got people talking. (Flickr is littered with raucous snapshots from Yelp events featuring bar dancing and an endless train of women hanging all over the co-founders.) More important, the revelry got people writing reviews, building up the site's content. Today Yelpers seem to live on the site, messaging one another about their social lives, reacting to reviews, and planning get-togethers. That's the social-networking part...Yelpers flock to new places to earn a coveted "first to review" notation and often expect the place to be operating as though it were mature."
  • I removed a few blogs and low-quality sources that left some content unsourced.

 DoneI am still very sick and my brain isn't functioning very well at the moment, but I think I got the bulk of the excessive cites, formatting problems, poor sources, etc. Between the two of us we trimmed 123 citations down to 97. CorporateM (Talk) 14:55, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Nice work, thanks for your help with the grunt work! Wishing you a speedy recovery. Best, -- KeithbobTalk 17:18, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I've rephrased the social networking sentence. -- KeithbobTalk 17:35, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Problems with the article

  • The descriptor and link to local search (internet) has been removed
  • The phrase "urban guide" is included in quotes unattributed and based only one one source. It's not clear what this means. I'm not agains including it but perhaps not in the opening sentence where it isn't explained.
  • The company is multinational. To say it American is misleading. It has operations and employees in many countries. Compare with other multinationals. It's fine to say it is headquartered or based in the U.S. but we should try to be as accurate as possible.
  • The Google bit in the introduction seems like trivia. WHy is it so imoprtant that it wasn't purchased by another company? This happens all the time to lots of companies. It wasn't bought out by other companies as well.
  • The sentence about the purchase of seatme and qype is awkwardly constructed and has grammatical problems.
  • There are extraneous commas in the last sentence of the last paragraph of the opening section.
  • The way the company generates income (ie how it makes money) has been removed from the introduction.
  • The content in the opening paragraphs related to user reviews and Yelp events has also been lost from the opening paragraphs. This is at the very core of how Yelp operates.

The article has deteriorated drastically and needs a lot of fixing. Candleabracadabra (talk) 18:56, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

At-a-glance, I agree with Candle's bullets. I noticed there was previously a discussion about "multinational". I have removed this from an article previously. When it was contested I looked up some FA articles and found that indeed, they all have a pretty similar first sentence about being a multinational corporation with headquarters in city X. has features like mobile, social, etc. that are all worth including - some of the sources I read said Mobile was how Yelp got really big. But reviews are the main enchilada. In general every corporate page we should try to squeeze in something about how their money is made into the Lead. The "urban guide" is unsourced because it was cited to one of those types of sites that carry a database of stock company profiles (Yahoo! or something I think) that I removed in the citation trimming, but it's too metaphorical of a description for Wikipedia's purposes anyway. A good list of some areas for improvement.
Candle, why not just fix the problems? I must avoid being bold on account of my COI, but no reason for others to hold back. CorporateM (Talk) 23:45, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't think local search is a distinctive or defining feature. Agreed that "urban guide" isn't helpful, particularly out of the context of that article. It is indeed an American company, albeit one with international operations. Describing it as such is consistent with how Wikipedia covers comparable businesses generally. The failed google talks were just added, and I agree that this isn't significant enough for the lede. The seatme and qype sentence in the lede is indeed convoluted, and I don't think this belongs there at all as they are relatively small acquisitions. I've gone ahead and fixed the lede's final sentence. Yelp makes money two ways, selling enhanced listing services to the businesses it covers, and some big web / mobile ads, not sure whether they sell directly or through ad networks or whether that matters. Then a few ancillary things like deals. I think the first sentence points out that it's a review site. The linked article suggests that it's user-submitted review content but that could be made clearer. It's probably worth discussing how many of Yelp's sundry activities, like social networking and chat, upvoting, real-world events, the business window stickers, etc., are worth covering in the lede. Overall, I think the article is substantially better for the recent attention of experienced editors, but like everything here it suffers some entropy as people stop by and make changes that need to be tidied up. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:40, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Since the description is controversial ie urban guide, multinational etc. I think whatever goes there should be sourced. Let's avoid removing reliable sources without discussion. (I'll replace it pending the outcome of this discussion). There are many issues here. Let's discuss them one at a time.-- KeithbobTalk 17:04, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Online urban guide

The Yahoo Finance source says: "online urban guide" and I've reinstated the source and the original quote. I disagree with the idea that a corporate summary by a reputable source is not a valid way to describe Yelp Inc. in the lead but I'm open to other suggestions. What I would object to is subjective evaluations by individual editors. Let's follow the sources please. And since the lead language seems to be controversial (this is the 2nd discussion) please leave future sources in the lead per WP:LEAD. thanks!-- KeithbobTalk 16:55, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Some company profiles:

  • Yelp Inc. operates a social networking, user review, and local search web site. Bloomberg
  • Yelp, Inc. operates, an online urban city guide Business Week
  • Reuters
  • Hoovers
  • Yelp, Inc. hosts an online database of user-generated reviews of local businessesMarket Watch
  • -- KeithbobTalk 17:18, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Although all facts need to be sourceable, not everything in the sources is apt or even true. What is an "urban city guide" anyway? That brings to mind something like a tourist book or a directory, and that is not a good summary of what Yelp does. When describing what the subject of the article is for the lede, we don't necessarily source the summary but rather make a summary of the sourced content of the page. What Yelp does, and offers to people, is that it has a bunch of user-submitted reviews that people can search and read when considering which local businesses to patronize. All these other things are aspects, tools, or byproducts of that core function. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:19, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I would not consider the links provided to be reliable sources. They are from a database of stock profiles and such directory-oriented sources are very poor. Hoovers is routinely and wildly inaccurate on even basic information like revenue or number of offices. It should be removed wherever it is spotted. The Lead does not need to borrow exact verbiage from sources either, especially such poor ones, but should be written in whatever manner is accepted practice at Wikipedia and in a manner that is clear to readers and representative of the article. We use sources for facts, but in most cases they have a different editorial mission than us, so we do not rely on them for language, tone, etc.. CorporateM (Talk) 21:13, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
The quotes from the sources are "online urban guide" and "online urban city guide". However if those are not agreeable maybe we can find common ground on an alternative description. Any suggestions?-- KeithbobTalk 15:21, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
How about this? Yelp, Inc. is an American Internet company that operates a local search website.-- KeithbobTalk 17:30, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
That's definitely the best descriptor to use and can be included with a very helpful wikilink to local search (Internet) explaining what it is all about. Candleabracadabra (talk) 17:39, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Yelp is a crowd-sourced local business review website, not a search engine. Calling it a local search site is like calling Wikipedia an "article search tool". The content (reviews/articles) is the primary service being offered to users and the search is the most practical way to access that content, but it is just a feature, not the point of the website like a Google or Yahoo!. CorporateM (Talk) 20:01, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Including the term crowd sorucing would be useful. As it is now it says "business review website" which gives no real indication that the reviews are user generated. As far as local search terminology is concerned you are mistaken. And WIkipedia's article search and link usage is certainly very notable. From the article on local search: "Local search is the use of specialized Internet search engines that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a structured database of local business listings." That is exactly how Yelp functions. That isn't how the reviews are generated, but that's how it functions as a guide and for searches of businesses, so it's definitely useful to note. Candleabracadabra (talk) 20:31, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
The dual nature of a company that offers a single eponymous online service happens often, and Wikipedia is all over the map on whether the article title refers to the company, the service, or both (Yelp, Inc. versus, or perhaps even has two articles, one about the service and the other about the company. The service is more than a website, think, mobile app. Plus it's powered by a back end and body of content, two things that aren't part of the website proper. I agree with CorporateM on the particular issue that the local search capability is not so special or unique that it alone is a defining feature. That's a tool and a use case, not the subject of the site. It's closer to the mark to say that the body of reviews and ratings, in conjunction with the search feature (among others, like lists and links) serves as a guide, or compendium, or discovery tool for people to learn about and choose local businesses. So, how about something like Yelp, Inc. is [an American-based company that offers] an online service for user-submitted local business reviews, used as a guide and local search tool. Perhaps a little awkward still. - Wikidemon (talk) 02:32, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I believe the norm is to combine product and company articles, unless covering both in a single article creates WP:LENGTH problems. Whether "the topic" of the article is on the company or the product depends on which is more notable. In cases like this where both the website and the company are relatively equally notable, I usually default to the company article-format. Technically "the product" in this case is advertising, which itself is not very notable compared to the website or the company. I noticed the German Wiki has an article on "Yelp (website)" rather than "Yelp (company)", but either format would probably be fine IMO. CorporateM (Talk) 17:47, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

I agree with most every thing said above, except that descriptions of the company's services belong in the body of the article in my opinion. Per WP:LEAD the lead is a summary of the entire article and the first sentence is supposed to define (not explain) what the topic of the article is. Every company is complex and multifaceted but explanations of the facets of that company and its services belong in the body of the article not in the lead. That is why I selected "online urban guide". Now I know no-one likes that phrase but we need something equally simple, that defines the company (not the website). For example Google has dozens of consumer products but the lead says: Google Inc. is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products. I think we need something similar here. We should also be careful to remember that the topic of this article is a corporation, and that its website and related services are a subsidiary part of this article topic and should not be given undue weight in the lead. So those are my concerns and with that in mind I'm open to suggestions from others as to the precise wording.-- KeithbobTalk 16:27, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

PS 'search engine' is not a good term to describe Yelps web service but 'local search' is IMO as consumers search the Yelp site for a barbers or restaurants, they see the star rating and then read reviews if they want to. So in my mind the reviews are secondary and local search is an appropriate term to describe their service. Alternately we could say "customize search" or "specialized search" etc. I know Yelp wants to emphasize its uniqueness and social networking features and raise its cool factor in the public eye so it gets more and more reviews, but as an encyclopedia we need have a "disinterested tone".-- KeithbobTalk 16:27, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Yelp users do not look at the stars/reviews just "if they want to" - the stars/reviews are the primary purpose of the website and the search is explicitly a way of finding them. What else would you suggest users are searching for if not reviews and star-ratings? I'm not sure I understand your speculation as far as "I know Yelp wants to" - how do you know? Is there a source for that? I don't even know what Yelp wants in that regard and I am on their payroll (sort of speak). CorporateM (Talk) 17:01, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I doubt we can get good sourcing on the most common or important use cases, but they are varied. Some look up establishments for their star average, others read the reviews and comments or look to see what their friends say. For yet others it's just a business directory, listing their address and hours, whether they have an outdoor section or are child-friendly. They may get there by a "local" search, meaning show me all of the Mexican restaurants near my location, but they may also get there from a link from the Yelp site or off-site, or they may search for a particular establishment to check it out: a newspaper has a review of a particular restaurant or a friend recommends it, they look it up to see what everyone says on Yelp. When people do search, as often as not they're searching on google and then following the links to Yelp, not using Yelp's onboard search feature. Like I said this stuff about how people actually use Yelp going to be hard to source, and most sources aren't going to be very trustworthy. The fact that it has a search bar and that the search can be geographically constrained is hardly anything unique. The social networking aspect and "elite" level membership by contrast were truly innovative and important, though I don't think enough so to be at the top of the lede and arguably not in the lede at all. It's the mechanics behind why the site was so successful — not a fad or a cool factor, but a way of increasing engagement among the core people needed to build community and create content. That is also very common now but Yelp was one of the very first to figure it out, something that is well sourced. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:58, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Wikidemon's point-of-view: I find Wikidemon's comments to be more intelligent and knowledgeable than my own, perhaps sprouting from his apparent subject-matter expertise. Users of Yelp may use it for a variety of different things, such as basic listing information, reviews, and search. I noticed Yelp uses the phrasing of connecting people with local, small businesses. They use promotional language, but it serves as a nice umbrella. CorporateM (Talk) 00:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


Per WP:OTHERSTUFF we shouldn't make decisions based on what's been done in other articles. Are there sources that describe Yelp Inc. as a "multinational" company? I have not seen any including the company profiles cited above. However maybe they're out there I've just missed them. Can someone cite a few? -- KeithbobTalk 17:04, 6 December 2013 (UTC)-- KeithbobTalk 17:26, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

We very much look to how Wikipedia articles as a whole present routine factual information rather than generating local consensus, when assessing article quality — that's basically what WP:MOS is. Sourcing a descriptor like this is going to be a lot trickier than simply counting adjectives among sources. Most American sources are going to be American-centric and won't bother mentioning that a company they are covering is American. It would be interesting to see whether foreign sources that are describing Yelp to an audience that they assume not to know about it before would mention that it is American. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:34, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
OTHERSTUFF is intended to prevent editors from using poorly-done articles to justify bad edits. In contrast, Featured Articles set a good example of how articles are done that are considered Wikipedia's best according to community consensus. In general, it is a positive thing to follow their example, not a problematic behavior. CorporateM (Talk) 21:26, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Which featured articles about Internet companies call them a multinational?-- KeithbobTalk 15:18, 8 December 2013 (UTC)-- KeithbobTalk 15:18, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Google and Yahoo both use the term multinational in their opening sentence. Unfortunately they use the phrasing "American multination" which is a bit weird. It woudl be better to say multination and note that the companies are headquartered or based in the U.S. Candleabracadabra (talk) 17:43, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
I would accept American multinational as a compromise.-- KeithbobTalk 16:32, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
If we copy the example set by Microsoft, it would be something like "Yelp, Inc is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California that... (operates the crowd-sourced local reviews and business search site, "American" sort of sounds like a patriotic or cultural reference, such as "as American as apple pie," when what we mean is that it is headquartered in America with operations internationally. However, I don't think the difference of whether to include the word "American" is important enough to be worth debate. CorporateM (Talk) 17:13, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Google buy out offer

Per WP:LEAD the purpose of the lead is to summarized the article. The history section comprises about 20% of the article and the Google buy out offer got a lot of press and was a significant event in the history of the company. Acquisitions of other companies are likewise notable events in the company's history. I think what is missing is a summary of the Internet services and features section which would include how Yelp derives its income. I also think the one sentence at the end does not adequately summarize the Controversies section and may need to be expanded but I'm open to input from others on that. Thoughts or comments anyone?-- KeithbobTalk 17:24, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Media tends to be faddish. No one is against noting that the company got a buyout offer from Google. It's part of the company's corporate history. But it's not a defining characteristic or major event with lasting significance in the company's operations, so it doesn't belong in the opening paragraphs. Candleabracadabra (talk) 17:45, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Heh - I didn't comment here because I had no opinion, nothing to add, and felt either way would be fine, but I find Candle's argument convincing. Often something appears important at-the-time, but is less significant in retrospect. For example, finding a finger in ones chili may seem like a big deal if its true, but is less important learning that the whole thing was a hoax promoted through the media. Many lawsuits seem significant when the accusations are first launched, but are less so when they are dismissed by the courts as trivial and baseless. There was a viral video that destroyed a pizza vendor's reputation (forget who) that seemed like a big deal if it actually showed how poor their hygene was, but as it turned out to be a hoax, it is less important than it appeared to be when the media reported on it. The possibility of an acquisition seemed like a big deal at the time, but is less significant knowing that it didn't go through. CorporateM (Talk) 22:59, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Me three. - Wikidemon (talk) 02:35, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, I'm open to this feedback. What are the major points from the History section that need to be summarized in the lead? The history section includes: founding, venture capital, int'l expansion, buyout offers, IPO stock offering, misc.acquisitions. -- KeithbobTalk 16:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Nonsense explanation of review filter

People keep adding this nonsense like this again and again: The review filter is designed to filter unhelpful, fraudulent or suspicious reviews. How can computer know what is helpful and what is fraudulent? If such computer program existed, they would have been selling it for e-mail filtering as a standalone product to be used in place of the spam filtering software. But this doesn't happen, because computer can't tell what is fraudulent. This is common sense, and people keep adding this over and over. Yurivict (talk) 07:21, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

I have a COI (redeclaring here for Yurivict sake, though I did not write the material in question). I think the problem is not with the description of what it is "intended" to do, but that the article does not currently include criticisms regarding its accuracy, as it sometimes filters out legitimate reviews and Yelp does not disclose the methodology. This is covered in reliable sources. Also, the problem with a dedicated Controversy section and the idea behind WP:CRITICISM is that it creates this sort of problem, where one section is hyper negative and the rest is very sterile. For example, the court defending Yelp's right to use the filter should supplement information about the filter, rather than being bucketed into a Controversies section. CorporateM (Talk) 17:43, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
User:Yurivict I understand your point. How about if we say: "Yelp Inc. analyzes its user reviews and filters out those it deems to be fraudulent or suspicious." ?-- KeithbobTalk 21:55, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

How should Yelp be described

First, I'll point out (as has already been done) that the RfC was not very well constructed. The editor who wrote it has already been referred to WP:RFC, and has written a better RfC on a different topic further down the page, so hopefully I don't need to say more on that.

On one topic, the merits of the proposed first sentence ("Yelp, Inc is a multinational corporation headquartered...also called Yelp."), enough editors commented to give a relatively clear picture. There is a consensus that this proposal is at least better than the current version. A couple of concerns were raised which may warrant further discussion, although they were not shared by most editors.

For other topics, such as the merits of using the phrase "online urban guide" (either in the first sentence or elsewhere) not enough editors commented to provide a clear picture. Sunrise (talk) 00:09, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How should Yelp be summarized in the Lead?

  • Currently the article states Yelp is an "online urban guide". I believe this metaphorical language should be avoided.
  • user:Candleabracadabra believes it should be described as "local search" (Candle please correct if I am mis-stating)
  • user:Wikidemon says that Yelp is a lot of different things (search, listings, reviews, etc.) (again, Wikidemon correct me if I am mis-stating).
  • The way Yelp describes itself is something like it "connects people with local businesses" which IMO is a good umbrella conceptualizing, but unusable as promotional (focuses on benefits/outcomes of use rather than what it is)

There has also been some debate on whether it should be called an "American company" being that it is headquartered in the US, but has international operations in many countries.

I have a COI. Would like to bring the article up to GA, but I think there are some disputed areas that we'll need to take slowly and get more editors involved to see where things head.

My approach would be something like "Yelp, Inc is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California, which operates the crowd-sourced, local business search, review and listings service also called Yelp.

Appreciate your input in advance. Since it is inappropriate for me to edit boldly, I would appreciate if a bold editor was willing to assess consensus of the RFC and make appropriate edits as they deem fit. CorporateM (Talk) 18:10, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Your wording looks reasonable to me and satisfies the concerns I expressed. The only change I would suggest is using "local search business" instead of "local business search". The local search article is relevant and useful for what this company does. Best of luck. Candleabracadabra (talk) 01:55, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Candle, does that work? (see above) CorporateM (Talk) 02:31, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Point taken. Can the link still be maintained? Candleabracadabra (talk) 02:47, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
The link was there on the word "search". I extended it (just now) to the whole phrase. CorporateM (Talk) 02:51, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree CM has found the best wording. DGG ( talk ) 05:39, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Agree with DGG. No concerns about suggested wording. LK (talk) 05:01, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I do not agree in the slightest. Not counting the slightly borderline accusations that candleabracadabra has made in this forum, the wording does not look reasonable enough to satisfy any of the concerns that were raised earlier. The link (given the fact that this is a link to a search page and not to a reliable neutral academic source) cannot be maintained, given the nature of the source it refers to, and that in itself should be grounds for it to be removed. To describe !Yelp Inc as the corporation that operates !Yelp, is going to make this sound unreasonably strange. The description should have something more that even the uninitiated reader would immediately grasp the meaning and true import of what is being described at hand, without having to be privy to previous information that users of the likes of candleabracadabra seem to take purely for granted. I'm sorry if this sounds un-duely harsh, given the casual manner in which this is being treated, but anyone will tell you that 'Online Services Guide' is a far better way of describing the service provided by !Yelp. Sonarclawz (talk) 10:08, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I like CorporateM's suggestion. I think "online urban guide" is unclear, but maybe the next sentence (or another) could begin "Describing itself as an 'online urban guide,' Yelp ...." To address Sonarclawz's concern, perhaps the last three words of CorporateM's suggestion could be omitted so it would read: "Yelp Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California, that operates the crowd-sourced, local business search, review, and listings service."
Also, small issue: the Chicago Manual of Style states that a comma is unneeded before "Inc." I looked up references to the company in the media, and in a press release that the company put out it appears that there is no comma. Also note that I changed "which" to "that" and added a serial comma. --Precision123 (talk) 20:43, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
  • The bot sent me. I think it would be best to call Yelp a user-generated local business listing and review database. I do not agree with "online urban guide," "local search," or "connects people with local businesses." I think the suggestion above, "Yelp, Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California, which operates the crowd-sourced, local business search, review and listings service also called Yelp," is very good. EllenCT (talk) 07:11, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Proposed text sounds reasonable. I like the suggested text Yelp, Inc is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California, which operates the crowd-sourced, local business search, review and listings service also called Yelp. since that is definitive and descriptive, it does not contain advertising/promotion-sounding rhetoric, and the description underscores the fact that Yelp is crowd-sourced on-line user-provided value. I recommend going with that. Damotclese (talk) 16:32, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
The RfC has been inactive for about 12 days and consensus should be reasonable enough to interpret. Based on Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment#Ending_RfCs it seems it should be closed, however seeing as those instructions aren't intended for an editor with a COI that should not edit boldly, I have submitted a request for closure. However, anyone should feel free to be bold and close it themselves, especially considering the backlog at requests for closure. CorporateM (Talk) 17:56, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi CorporateM, just an FYI for you. WP:RFC says: The default duration of an RfC is 30 days, because the RFC bot automatically delists RfCs after this time. Editors may choose to end them earlier or extend them longer. Deciding how long to leave an RfC open depends on how much interest there is in the issue and whether editors are continuing to comment My suggestion would be to leave it open for 30 days as comments are still coming in every few days. Cheers! -- KeithbobTalk 21:22, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Support/Oppose -

Support: "Yelp Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California, that operates"
Oppose: " the crowd-sourced, local business search, review and listings service also called Yelp." Per the comments above by User:Sonarclawz. The phrase "online urban guide" is sourced and compact way of describing the company website without a list of descriptors and telling readers Yelp Inc. has a website called Yelp.-- KeithbobTalk 03:17, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Comment - I was randomly referred here by a bot. This RFC is poorly constructed and unlikely to result in consensus. Please review the guidelines for RFCs. A well formed RFC should present a simple, neutral request without editorializing and without presenting anyone's viewpoints. If there are multiple requests, it's best to separate them into separate RFCs. Asking for responses to multiple requests in one RFC makes it very difficult to determine consensus. Likewise, editorializing the request and supplying others' positions is not only unnecessary but also biases the results. Long, complex requests such as this one also make it difficult for anyone to respond in a way that leads to a clear consensus. I recommend starting over. Jojalozzo 14:32, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Like everything on WP, RfCs are an acquired skill. In my experience the best RfC's are the one's that give a brief, neutral summary and make a clear proposal so participants can give a clear Support/Oppose !vote. RfC's that are complicated or vague tend to have weak participation and often end with no consensus. Also, the intention of an RfC is to bring in uninvolved editors and get wider community attention on a specific issue. Though involved editors can comment and !vote, they are not the target audience for the RfC. I hope those are helpful comments and insights for any future RfCs. Best, -- KeithbobTalk 21:45, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


user:Keithbob and I have had some differences of opinion regarding the appropriate images for this article in the past. Basically we both think the images the other person wants to use are promotional. We've agreed to seek a 3PO on whether the following images should be used in the article:

  • This image of the CEO in the History section
  • This image of a "People love us on Yelp" sticker
  • A user interface image sort of like this for the Features section

It's certainly not going to make or break the article, so 3PO seems like a fast, light-weight way to get a quick second opinion and just roll with it, though naturally others are welcome to chime in as well.

I have a COI. CorporateM (Talk) 22:41, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Including an image of the co-founder and CEO is certainly appropriate and encyclopedic. I'm not sure on the other images. Is there coverage of the Yelp stickers in store windows in the article? Is there coverage of the user interface? I'm not sure whether these images are encyclopedic and informative. What are our options for images to illustrate what Yelp is? Candleabracadabra (talk) 13:00, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
In reviewing the article I think the user interface image is approriate to include and upon further consideration I'm okay with the "people love us on Yelp" sticker image too, although I don't have a strong opinion on it. Screenshots are useful to illustrate the functionality and what Yelp is, a local search engine with business listing and crowd sourced reviews. Candleabracadabra (talk) 13:03, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Assuming user:Keithbob is ok with it, I'd be happy to just take your input as a 3PO and go with whatever feels right to you Candleabracadabra. Are you saying to use all three? CorporateM (Talk) 14:08, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm an absolutely yes for the co-founder/ CEO photo, a yes for the screenshot to illustrate the product and functionality, and a weak yes for the window sticker as an illustration of the Yelp phenomenon and the type of promotion used for the product. I suggest you go ahead with the 3po. The more opinions and interest the better to reach a strong consensus. Looking on Wikipedia Commons there is also a Yelp RV and an image of the starburst logo (somewhat duplicative of the corporate logo already used). An image of a Yelp community event and Yelp headquarters might be useful. Candleabracadabra (talk) 14:22, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
We were both iffy on the sticker too. I see them at local businesses all the time and I thought we had something about them in the article, but I don't see it now. I've pinged Yelp to see if they have an HQ image they are willing to donate under a free license. CorporateM (Talk) 14:44, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
So I'm told their HQ is located inside this building, which wouldn't exactly make for a good HQ image. However, I went ahead and uploaded a user interface shot, which I just created myself by taking a screenshot of my own Yelp iPhone app. That can be found here if anyone wants to add it to the "Internet services and features" (btw, I would probably just call it "Features" but either way is fine I suppose) CorporateM (Talk) 20:02, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi Corporate M, It seems you are new to the processes of WP:RFC and WP:3O. You may want to read the guidelines if you haven't already. According to WP:3O a "Third opinion (3O) is a means to request an outside opinion in a content or sourcing disagreement between two editors." It's a very specific procedure for a dispute between two editors on an isolated talk page about a specific issue. You've muddled the agreed upon 3O by inviting other editors to comment and by expanding the issue to include other photos we've never discussed. Probably not your intention but that's what has happened. Anyway, now that we are having a general discussion about photos that anyone is welcome to comment on, I'll give my two cents on each one. 1) Photo of CEO currently in the article is good. 2) I oppose the pix of Yelp decals in a store window and I'm also opposed to an HQ image of Yelp stickers from the company as it's self serving and gives undue weight. 3) Same for the yelp mobile interface. 4) If they had a dedicated building a picture would be good but a pix of the PacBell building where they are one of many tenants is not useful, in my opinion. -- KeithbobTalk 21:39, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Any way of fairly involving other editors in a disputed matter is good. The policy is NOT BURO. (as for the issue being discussed, I have no opinion.) DGG ( talk ) 03:01, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Agree, getting additional community input is always good. My point is this is now an open discussion and it's not appropriate to characterize a random comment as a third opinion and call a consensus. Meantime, what do other editors think about the photos?-- KeithbobTalk 19:54, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

I only stated that a "third opinion" was provided and not that there was a consensus. If you desire a consensus, then it seems another RfC may be needed. I would suggest that you start it, to avoid any (potentially accurate) accusations that I have done so in a bias manner. CorporateM (Talk) 01:52, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi CM, I know you are in the difficult position of trying to move the evolution of the article forward while also self-limiting your involvement. Sorry if I sound overly critical. My concern was with trying to put a 3rd opinion hat on an open discussion. But anyway, I think we are way past that point now. I'm happy to have input from other editors and see what kind of consensus emerges about the photos. So far no one seems to object to the CEO photo but the others may need more discussion or input from other editors.-- KeithbobTalk 20:02, 3 March 2014 (UTC)


I find the consensus here to be very closely split between keep and rename. After reviewing the discussion, I could not come to a decision so I reviewed the article itself. The controversies appear to be well sourced and didn't see a reasonably straightforward path to rewriting the article will while keeping the content. So if folks want to argue this is a supervote, so be it. So for now, I'll note it is a very weak consensus, and won't be offended if anyone wants to request a review of the close at WP:AN NE Ent 14:16, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the current "Controversies" section be:

(a) Left as-is
(b) Renamed to "Integrity of reviews" or "Legitimacy of Reviews"
(c) Be distributed throughout the article
(d) Moved to a sub-section of the History section
(e) Something else

CorporateM (Talk) 14:15, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment: I have a COI (please don't count me as a !vote). My understanding of best practice and of WP:CRITICISM is that "Controversies" sections should be avoided and instead negative or controversial content should be spread throughout the article. I would do this by moving the lawsuits to History, the review filter stuff to User reviews (where the review filter is discussed) and the others to Advertising or in a Reviews sub-section. I use to create Controversies sections and I got beat with a stick every time until it got drilled into my head, by editors like user:keithbob here and user:DGG among others. CorporateM (Talk) 14:29, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Rename Controversies sections should be avoided if possible, and, if they cannot be avoided, they should at least be named in such a way as to represent the matter at issue. Though "controversy" is not a synonym for "wrongdoing", it tends to imply that. In this case, essentially all the material there relates to manipulation of reviews by either Yelp, or by the firm being reviewed, and does not fit elsewhere in the article. I think they'd be best handled by a section on Review policies, or possibly with section on Filtering reviews and on manipulation of reviews. (These are just my first thoughts of wording &I don;t think they're perfect--I don't think "Integrity" is a good choice because its too positive, and "Questioned Integrity" would be much too negative. Possibly "Questions on Integrity" ? ) I suggest it be expanded somewhat by what is known about their techniques and manner of operations, tho I doubt they actually publish their edit filters. (even we hide some of ours) That they do filter reviews is admitted (and most would consider it a positive feature) and that people try to manipulate them seems to be proven. DGG ( talk ) 15:55, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks DGG! What about something like "Accuracy of reviews?" I was looking at Reliability of Wikipedia as an example as I think many of the issues are reasonably comparable, even if not exactly so. Also, the other source of poor review integrity (or whatever we end up calling it) are things like consumer-written reviews on businesses that are not even open or for which the consumer has not actually visited, "revenge reviews" for bad experiences, business that do not have enough reviews to represent more than an anecdote, and/or businesses that just feel their rating is unfair, etc. etc. I recently flagged a review that was from someone that was unhappy not to get a job there. There are reliable sources on this, they just haven't been incorporated yet. CorporateM (Talk) 16:05, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
"Reliability of WP" is indeed a little self-promotional--it seems to be difficult to describe a positive quality without implying that something does or does not have it. And yes, how they deal with unjustified complaints is certainly relevant. DGG ( talk ) 17:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Cool, maybe someone in the RfC will come up with a solution to describe a section dealing with the accuracy/truthfullness/integrity of reviews without implying whether the reviews are or are not generally accurate/inaccurate, truthful/false, etc. Just calling it "Reviews" comes to mind, though such a section would be broader in including information about the reviews in general and not just about whether they are honest, tampered with, and fair. Other options might be "Review quality" or "Reception to reviews" or maybe "Impact of reviews". Eager to see what ideas come out of the RfC. CorporateM (Talk) 17:57, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Ooh User:DGG, Legitimacy of Reviews just came to mind! That would have more of a speculative, rather than positive tone, which is a more appropriate representation. CorporateM (Talk) 15:44, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Rename Agree that there should not be a "Controversies" section. These are POV magnets / coatracks and are discouraged by policies and guidelines. But that does not mean that you can't have a specific title with the word "controversy" or "controversies" in it. But IMO a good solution would be to just rename the section to "integrity of reviews". There is a lot of news and coverage regardign concerns in integrity of reviews, whether it by Yelp or the businesses, and that is in fact what is in that section. So I don't think that a heading that acknowledges that is out of line. North8000 (talk) 18:28, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep as is - I have removed the word controversy from several articles as it is often innocently misapplied to a section or mis-used as a tool to create a stigma about a topic. I normally prefer the word: reception. However, after careful thought, I believe it fits in this article. I would say though that the type of controversy should be specified in the title. Mostly I think the section title should say what's in the section and I think "Integrity of reviews" doesn't accurately describe it. However, I am open to other suggestions. I also oppose breaking up the section. It was broken up once and the parts of the controversy were then recollected, summarized and placed in a single section. When you read the section you will see that, for 7 5 out of the 10 years Yelp Inc's been in business, there has been an ongoing controversy about the core aspect of its business model: the user reviews and their authenticity. There have been several lawsuits and appeals and some are ongoing. I do not think this should be given undue weight by being emphasized in the lead or being the first section in the article or that this section should be expanded or overly detailed. (To this end I have been instrumental in paring down this section, as have others).[8] But it should also not be minimized by scattering it around the article and damaging the reader's ability to track the controversy and its development over time. At one point it was suggested on the talk page that the controversy section should be a subsection of the History section so this is something that could be considered.-- KeithbobTalk 20:32, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I am adding some of the discussed options (a sub-section in this case) to the RfC at the top. A minor clarification, according to Businessweek, the controversy began with this story in East Bay Express in 2009 (making it 5 out of 10 years of its history). The current article still contains some local news sources about individual allegations that may create the appearance that the debate gained prominence earlier than it did. As I discussed earlier, I don't think local sources should be used for a controversy about a multi-national corporation, with the exception that, that particular local source (East Bay Express) is the subject of multiple national sources and its publication should be added (currently missing) as part of the history of the controversy. CorporateM (Talk) 21:20, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
CBS reported complaints in August 2008 so you are correct it's 5 1/2 yrs.-- KeithbobTalk 21:33, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
CBS 5 is a local station for the San Francisco area, though it is affiliated with the national CBS network. I would still consider it a local source and not validation of the significance of the individual allegations, which are used as anecdotes to explain the broader issues. CorporateM (Talk) 22:32, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
A more recent controversy (from 4 days ago) is this one, again from a local CBS affiliate, but this one in New York. Interestingly enough, the controversy doesn't reflect either negatively or positively for Yelp itself, rather it illustrates what some of the ramifications are for both businesses and customers using the service. -- Atama 18:20, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I prefer the alternative a) Left as-is.Fox1942 (talk) 10:28, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep as isA duck is a duck and Controversies are Controversies.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 03:29, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Rename/Repurpose - I have a lot of problem with controversy sections in any article. It's almost never necessary to segregate controversies into their own section; in every article I've ever contributed to, controversies can be distributed throughout the article rather than grouped together into one place. They are usually discouraged because they often act like flypaper, attracting negative information and accumulating it unduly in such a way that it becomes more difficult to maintain NPOV. They usually break up the "flow" of a well-written article, artificially lumping disparate incidents together because they happen to reflect poorly on the article subject. And lastly (and most importantly), they represent a sort of indirect judgment from editors against an article subject, suggesting that the authors of this article think that these are "bad things" about the article subject that need to be singled out, rather than allowing the reader to make their own judgment. Yes, calling the section what it is, that is laudable. But it also calls into question the appropriateness of the section altogether. Is it necessary to include that content in that section, away from the rest of the article?
I think it's actually possible (and would be an improvement) that if we can't actually break up and redistribute the content of that section throughout the article, then perhaps we can rename it, or repurpose it. Aside from being examples of controversy, the incidents mentioned in that part of the article (both in "Allegations against Yelp" and "Allegations against business owners") are centered around user reviews. So would it not be more appropriate to expand the "User reviews" section above, and include the controversies in it? Or you could do it this way... Rename the last section from "Controversies" to "User reviews". Move what is currently mentioned under "User reviews" (the paragraph that explains how user reviews are encouraged and handled, and the following paragraph) to the top of that section, then leave the "Allegations against Yelp" and "Allegations against business owners" subsections as subsections of "User reviews", fully intact. It would mostly be a matter of semantics, but it does change the focus from implying "these are negative things about Yelp" to stating, "these are issues about the company's user reviews". -- Atama 18:25, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Leave As Is. I was called in by the 'bot. Looking at the text it appears to me that the information as-is is appropriate as well as informative. Spreading such information around the article dilutes the search results for people specifically researching difficulties with Yelp, and renaming the section also dilutes the ability for researchers to zero in on information they are searching for secifically related to problems with Yelp.
Also remember that "negative information" is relative. Problems with Yelp, I would argue, is positive information since what we wish to see is Wikipedia be encyclopedic and informative as well as accurate, and because Yelp does have difficulties, noting them in an encyclopedic fashion is positive, not negative. My suggestion: Leave as is. Damotclese (talk) 16:36, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
"Spreading such information around the article dilutes the search results for people specifically researching difficulties with Yelp, and renaming the section also dilutes the ability for researchers to zero in on information they are searching for secifically related to problems with Yelp." - That's one major reason why we do that. We don't want to guide people toward the "problems" of an article subject. This is an encyclopedia, not Consumer Reports. -- Atama 17:26, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Obviously Wikipedia is used as primary research for many people and as "go to first" research for people, and kiding information sprinkled around an article is less useful than organizing it in to a readable format. More information is better. Making said information findable is better. Damotclese (talk) 18:09, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
The fact that some people use Wikipedia for what it is not does not justify trying to turn this project into anything other than an encyclopedia. -- Atama 18:28, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Rename - "Controversies" seems fairly accurate, but "Legitimacy of Reviews" seems just as good and a tad more neutral. Floatsam (talk) 02:54, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep at it is - IMO Controversy seems more appropriate -→Davey2010→→Talk to me!→ 00:20, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


It appears somebody added a second infobox, so there are two infoboxes stacked on top of each other - a company infobox and a website infobox. Whether the website or the company should be the subject of the article is a bit ambiguous as both are relatively equally notable, however having both infoboxes feels a bit awkward. Alternatively if we want to keep both infoboxes, the website infobox could be moved to a section that is about the website. Thoughts? CorporateM (Talk) 16:12, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes it's peculiar to have two infoboxes stacked one on the other. My suggestion is that one either move the smaller one somewhere else in the article or delete it. Also the second infobox should be "" but there doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the title. I'll move it, as that does not seem to be a controversial thing to do. Coretheapple (talk) 14:26, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Coretheapple. I was thinking, if we're going to keep the infobox, we should fill it out, but maybe not with stuff like revenue and a logo that would be redundant with the company infobox. CorporateM (Talk) 21:49, 26 June 2014 (UTC)


Over the last couple of days, I have painstakingly culled through all 117 sources in the current article and prepared a draft at User:CorporateM/Yelp that uses only 85 sources, by removing press releases, blogs, primary sources, redundant/excessive sources, blurbs that can be replaced with extensive profiles, etc.; it also includes extensive copyediting, adding information available in the better-quality sources, an article-structure more in-line with our norms and manual of style, etc.. The amount of work involved to punch this out over a couple days was immense, including working until 2 am on my birthday. Yet, even then, I make no claims at perfection and have not even done any independent research yet (just used the sources already in the article). I still have a couple CN tags in there and a few sources I need to find a way to access, however despite the needed fine-tuning polishing, this draft should be getting pretty close(ish) to GAN-ready and I'd like to work with a non-conflicted editor in whatever format they are most comfortable with (maybe going one section at-a-time?) to get the currently live page closer to the quality-level of the draft. CorporateM (Talk) 16:32, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

I've not really had a chance to focus on this, but I wanted to mention that I was not expecting an article draft, but a list of suggested sources. This sort of thing has come up at other articles (BP, for instance) in which COI editors draft sections of articles, and in the past it has been considered preferable to provide sourcing if requested and then for volunteer editors to actually draft the article after deciding which sources to use, how to weight the various sections, etc. etc. However I am glad that other editors have stepped in. Coretheapple (talk) 14:38, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Yah, sorry about that - that was my intention, but I saw no practical way to cull through 100+ citations through Talk page suggestions and it ended up needing less, rather than more, sources. I'm not sure this method is all that much easier either, as it is difficult for volunteers to adequately compare the two versions and even more challenging to assess whether it is representative of the sources. Despite having done 30 GANs, a majority with a COI, I still haven't found any better way to facilitate edits from Talk, especially to facilitate edits up to the GA standard, except like this, problematic as it may be. However, regarding the BP comparison, this section is the only portion I can think of where the COI is that intense and the subject that controversial, such that ideally it would be completely volunteer-written if anyone takes an interest. Also, I was rather exhausted by time I got to the bottom of the page and didn't necessarily vet that section as thoroughly just yet. CorporateM (Talk) 15:01, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
It's a delicate situation. I'm not sure what your COI is, but as you know, it won't do Yelp much good to see Gawker or something like that run an article with the title "Yelp Writes Own Review on Wikipedia"! Coretheapple (talk) 15:33, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Alright, I'll help. Doing the History section now. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:01, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • This was followed by sites in England and Ireland. - How does this differ from the UK site mentioned in the first sentence? Which came first, UK or Canada?
Good point, they are probably referring to the same thing. I have taken it out CorporateM (Talk) 15:16, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • In September, the Federal Trade Commission investigated Yelp's allegations that Google was using Yelp web content without authorization and that Google's search engine algorithms favored Google Places over similar services provided by Yelp. - so what happened?
 Done It looks like the anti-trust angle was not pursued, but Google did agree to stop scraping Yelp's data and using it in their own competing services CorporateM (Talk) 15:47, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Don't think you mentioned that Stoppelman was CEO before his reduction in salary — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:06, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
That's a good point - I am presuming he was CEO from the start as often co-founders of tech companies have a CTO/CEO type combination. But I haven't seen any sources that specifically identify when he obtained the CEO title. Not sure what to do about this. CorporateM (Talk) 15:55, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
His offical bio doesn't explicitly spell out when he was appointed CEO and their press releases do not include an appointment announcement. I could field the question to an expert at Yelp though and see if they can provide any context. CorporateM (Talk) 16:06, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
@Crisco 1492 For what it's worth, as a matter of original research, Yelp said he has always been CEO since the beginning. CorporateM (Talk) 21:50, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Then how about rewording it so that it doesn't assume one already knows he was CEO. Instead of "he resigned his CEO salary" you could write "the CEO, Stoppelman, resigned his salary". — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:22, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
 Done CorporateM (Talk) 00:37, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Alright, will copy the lede and history into this article soon. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:42, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Done. I note that the sales offices abroad might be worth mentioning, even if you have to cite a Yelp source. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:47, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Features
    • Yelp released an update to the iPhone app with a hidden Easter Egg feature called Monocle. - and this Easter egg was what, exactly? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:15, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
      •  Done It may be slightly too detailed now, but... I also removed as a questionable source and just stuck to WIRED. CorporateM (Talk) 01:35, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Trimmed and moved into the article. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:58, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
          • Thanks! I also did some searches RE international offices. I did find that their first international sales office was in London in July 2012[9], but it didn't seem that significant. OTOH, several sources talk about Yelp's young(ish) demographics and how heavily the mobile app is used and their company fact sheet has updated numbers for each. CorporateM (Talk) 02:48, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd try and keep the advertising section, or at the very least the key information in it, as part of the overview of the website, rather than its relationship with businesses.
  • attempt to facilitate a positive culture - feels like corporate double talk to me. Anything in plainer English?
 Done The source says they send messages to reviewers with thanks and praise for their contributions and I presume that is what I was reading when I wrote that. CorporateM (Talk) 03:15, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • They are seen as powerful due to the influence of their reviews and cultish. - so they're powerful because they're cultish? That's what it comes across as. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 02:55, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
 Done with some copyediting. CorporateM (Talk) 03:29, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Advertisers can pay to have a "favorite review" appear at the top of their profile, - Gives the impression that this is still possible, which is contradicted in the next paragraph.
 Done I just took it out. CorporateM (Talk) 13:03, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The New York Attorney General said - Name?
 Done CorporateM (Talk) 13:07, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Yelp incorporated the review filter two weeks after the site was founded and the team saw their "first obviously fake reviews." - I'd move this towards the front of the paragraph, after introducing the concept of filtering
 Done This paragraph was a bit awkward. I did some copyediting and moved things around. CorporateM (Talk) 13:28, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • A Harvard study found that there was no significant statistical correlation between being a Yelp advertiser and having more favorable reviews. - By whom?
 Done CorporateM (Talk) 13:31, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • vented frustrations - not very encyclopedic, and somewhat POV (i.e. this gives the impression that the the issues were unfounded)
 Done "expressed frustrations" CorporateM (Talk) 13:32, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Footnote 20 is empty.
  • Overall I found the tone of #Relationship with businesses a bit pro-Yelp, as the points against them were couched in terms which implied a lack of truth. #Alleged manipulation by Yelp is probably the worst of them. See WP:ALLEGED for discussion of this issue. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:25, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
The link you provided at WP:ALLEGED says "although alleged and accused are appropriate when wrongdoing is asserted but undetermined". CorporateM (Talk) 13:40, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Alright. So do you just want me to copy those sections over? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:49, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@Crisco 1492 I made some other changes that may address your concerns. For example, I think "to address misconceptions" makes the assumption that they are misconceptions, whereas small business owners I think genuinely believe Yelp is running an extortion scheme. The courts have supported Yelp, but the public has generally not and that POV seemed to have been shoved to the bottom. RE copying them over, only if you feel they are ready. BTW, do you think the Relationship with businesses/Features section should be left there or merged into the general Features section? I was going back and forth on it. CorporateM (Talk) 14:12, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep it separate, definitely. Thanks for copyediting. I'll go over it again and then merge it here. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:24, 11 July 2014 (UTC)


A few possible images to supplement the page:

  • CEO headshot - This image was in the History section previously
  • User interface - I had previously produced a user-interface image of the iPhone app, but there was no consensus as to whether to include it and it was deleted for not being used
  • Yelp sticker - there are some free images on Flickr of the "People Love us on Yelp" stickers mentioned in the Community section
  • Other screenshots - The website infobox parameter has a space for a screenshot of; also the review filter could be supplemented with an image showing the filtered reviews, etc.

There were some disagreements previously about which images are appropriate. I'm happy to go with whatever Crisco or someone else suggests and I'll do the heavy lifting of obtaining images, uploading/templating, etc. CorporateM (Talk) 15:54, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

  • One would think that an image of the current (and only, so far) CEO is appropriate for this article... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 03:30, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I've added the CEO image back, fixed a couple citation errors and nominated it for a GA review. Let me know if there are any other image I should add. In the meanwhile, thanks for all your help! I'll be eager to see any additional feedback the GA reviewer has. CorporateM (Talk) 14:01, 12 July 2014 (UTC)


An IP editor wants to give further details of Galbraith's involvement in Yelp and I object. There are currently two sources citing the Galbraith sentence. The first source is a dead link. The other is an editorial which I don't think qualifies as a valid source especially when the writer indicates he's not sure: "David Galbraith, who was also one of the co-founders — and, if my memory serves me right, is the guy who came up with the idea of Yelp, including the name." Does anyone have access to any reliable secondary sources that document Galbraith as co-founder or originator of the name. Needless to say Galbraith's web site is not a reliable source per WP guidelines. Unless reliable secondary sources can be verified the entire sentenced may need to be removed.-- KeithbobTalk 00:28, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

The further details in question are the small phrase "who instigated the local services project based on user reviews" added to the sentence "MRL co-founder David Galbraith, who instigated the local services project based on user reviews, came up with the name "Yelp". This detail: that Galbraith instigated the local services project at MRL Ventures, was part of the original sentence as added and which remained till recent edits.
The further details are therefore effectively just re-adding to clarify a minor edit that makes the sentence less clear (i.e. before the edit it implied that Galbraith merely came up with the name for Yelp and may not have worked on it, when the source clearly says he did much more.)
This is corroborated by both first hand photographs and early design of Yelp on David Galbraith's website which contrary to Keithbob's claims is a qualified source per wikipedia guidelines WP:BRD "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves" and proves, beyond reasonable doubt, the details in the Malik piece. Keithbob has previously argued that the Om Malik source is not a valid one because it is not 'mainstream', a curious contention since Om Malik is one of the most widely read and respected technology journalists (1.3 million people follow him on Twitter alone). This time, Keithbob's arguments are (a) that the piece is an 'editorial' (when in fact it was written as a result of the news of the Yelp IPO) and (b) 'the writer indicates he's not sure'. Malik does not say he was unsure about Galbraith's involvement, in fact he claims that Galbraith was one of the co-founders of Yelp. The portion which Keithbob claims indicates uncertainty (and that is ambiguous) relates to the name and original idea for Yelp.
The Malik piece is unusual because it is a case where a respected journalist had first hand knowledge of the situation, the history of Yelp and is a specific attempt to clarify it. So in many ways it is the best possible source there is and so the need for a secondary source is unnecessary per WP:BRD, although the Galbraith website source could be included if Keithbob requires. The dead link is indeed a red herring as it seems to be referenced in several other places where it should be been removed too. If one reads the Malik piece he says he is trying to avoid is the airbrushing of history. This is something which Wikipedia guidelines specifically state should be avoided "making sure that all majority and significant minority views that have appeared in those sources are covered" per WP:BRD and therefore removing the sentence would be a bad idea as it would make the whole entry less accurate. Given that none of the objections above other than the point about the dead link are valid, on thorough inspection, I propose the only change that should be made is removing the first source (CNNMoney), the dead link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments IP46. Just to reiterate my position in a nutshell. 1) The sources we have so far that describe Galbraith's involvement in Yelp are scarce and of poor quality. However, if appropriate secondary sources are found (including the CNN Money source if we can find a link and verify the content) I have no objection to content on Galbraith that is appropriately weighted (see WP:UNDUE) taking into consideration the minor amount of coverage he has received and his limited role in the context of Yelp's overall 10 year history. Given the questionable nature of existing content and sources I don't see that adding the new text ""who instigated the local services project based on user reviews" supported only by Galbraith's personal web site to be appropriate. I also have some concern that the IP editor's entire editing history is related to improving the perception of Galbraith on the Yelp article. [10] [11][12] [13] Comments or thoughts from other editors?-- KeithbobTalk 03:13, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your clarification Keithbob, however I don't see that any of these details would suggest amending the text as it stands. To take your points one by one. Galbraith was involved in Yelp in the early days, so obviously there are no recent articles pertinent to this portion of the article, which is the early days of Yelp and its founding at the Incubator MRL Ventures. If you or anyone else reading this can find an earlier piece about MRL Ventures' incubation of Yelp, please suggest it. Secondly, these sources do not appear to be poor quality ( Gigaom is one of the most trusted technology news sources and Galbraith website has not requirement to be high quality for information about himself - as per Wikipedia guidelines), in fact suggesting that Gigaom is a poor source, given its wide reputation would require specific evidence from yourself to justify that unusual claim. There is a minor amount of coverage concerning the early days of Yelp at MRL Ventures. Given the quality of the Malik piece, I would suggest to you that if you can find any historical sources that contradict this history then they would be welcome. I also have some concern that as Keithbob, you have repeatedly tried to block the inclusion of the Gigaom piece (one one of the few reliable sources about the early days of Yelp), using a variety of challenges (too 'mainstream', 'editorial', unnecessary requirement of secondary sources that don't exist, 'poor quality'), including the considerable effort you have gone to above to sift through what looks like several years of defenses of the inclusion of the piece which almost no-one else has ever contested. Although I do not doubt your integrity, this is extreme enough to the extent that some people could possibly perceive this as unduly weighted against any inclusion of Galbraith or the Malik piece. My intention is not to weight unduly the perception of Galbraith, merely to include the facts as per the sources vs them being censored. Given that all your concerns have been repeatedly addressed at length, and that we are talking about a seemingly uncontroversial detail in a single sentence that is backed up by first hand or reliable sources. Given also that the sentence, as phrased, includes non controversial details that confirm Galbraith's involvement, rather than, as Malik suggests, Galbraith was a co-founder, versus erasing all mention of Galbraith entirely or solely indicating that he came up with the name Yelp, as you have asked for, I would suggest that this topic be closed unless you can think of a better way of phrasing this. Comments or thoughts from anyone else? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

I've requested a random third KeithbobTalk 15:44, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Note [14] where Stoppelman relates the story of how the name was arrived at, also linked to by Stoppelman when he was on Reddit [15] (just to confirm that this was Stoppelman and not an impostor, here's a reliable source referencing that Reddit thread). These may not be reliable sources suitable for citing on their own, but should help clarify the facts and may be acceptable as ancillary sources. Galbraith is referred to as a co-founder of Yelp by The Guardian [16] and the Financial Times [17]. Hope that helps somewhat. Andreas JN466 23:02, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Am I talking to three people or one?

  • Gex, France First edit is to the Galbriath sentence in March plus several entries to the current Yelp Talk page discussion above.
  • Newbury, UK Two comments on my User Talk page and three edits to the Yelp article, all regarding the Galbraith sentence currently under dispute here.
  • San Francisco, CA First and only edit is a comment on my User Talk page in regard to the Galbraith sentence.
  • I'm confused. Is this tag teaming or a world traveler?-- KeithbobTalk 15:32, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
I will request Arbitration instead, since the usual protocol for a third opinion is that you ask the other person first so your request is not valid.
While I do not draw any conclusions and urge others to draw their own, I am worried about what other Wikipedia editors have said about Keithbob (scroll down to the 'Oppose' section) during his application for Wikipedia Admin status, which was refused, and is officially archived here [18]
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Keithbob has asked me to look into this. I wouldn't put much store behind the opposes at his request for adminship - they are mostly based on an interpretation of CheckUser data that was later found to be invalid by Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee. (See here for a more in-depth explanation.) Also, Keithbob does have a point about the different IP addresses - it is hard to work out whether you are dealing with one user or not when you are dealing with several IP addresses, and we have enough problems with sockpuppetry as it is. For this reason, it would be very helpful if you could register an account (and there are many other reasons to register as well). Finally, as CorporateM and Otr500 have said, it's best not to focus on the editor and instead focus on the content and on the sources, as that's how disputes get resolved. Making allegations is not going to help; what you need to do is work together to find a solution that you can both be satisfied with and that fulfils Wikipedia's content policies. Best — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 12:45, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Abstain Per WP:COIMICRO. However, I think it would be best if both of you cooled-off the COI/sock accusations and focused on content/sources/consensus. Best regards. CorporateM (Talk) 00:10, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I came upon this by happenstance. I am commenting because I spent a lot of time reading "stuff" that in the realm of Wikipedia should have been avoided.
The second sentence of the lead of Wikipedia:Third opinion states, "When two editors do not agree, either editor may list a discussion here to seek a third opinion.". I am not sure what "protocol" is referring to. With what I understand about protocol, within Wikipedia, it is governed by consensus. Given what I have read I do not see the request as invalid and question how this conclusion was arrived at.
What is all the verbiage about concerning the "opposing comments" from other editors during a request for Admin? There may be "concerns" but I can not determine what they are? I wasted my time going to a closed admin request to determine what would surely be an explanation to clarify "concerns". I saw a request for admin that was opposed by 32 people, with 35 supporting, and 4 neutral. It list 5 neutral but one changed to oppose. One and maybe two of them might have swung towards support. While not a "clear" consensus for possible approval for admin, it certainly gives an inclination that with improvements in these two areas, while not stumbling in others, Keithbob might be a good admin and, from what I read, a good editor.
    • Here is my problem (s) and my opinions: BLP and COI problems were of concern in the nomination yet in this instance, on this article and talk page, without "any" particular specific "concerns" it seems to me Keithbob's reputation is being called into question. While that certainly is to be expected in a "Requests for adminship" it is not protocol to do this here as it may be deemed at the very least as disruptive as presented. It didn't prove a point, as I had to read a bunch of comments that were concerns on certain behaviors but I had to go back on this talk page and read a lot more to find the hidden premise that I "think" was being implied. The result after all the reading that has nothing to do with the issue at hand, is what in the world is trying to be proven and what has any of this to do with the price of tea in China?.
It was stated "I do not draw any conclusions and urge others to draw their own", and I can't figure out what Keithbob's failing an admin nomination has to do with the article or the issue at hand. It appears advancing COI is the goal. If this is so and in connecting the dots a conclusion has been drawn, and for some reason there is beating around the bush.
Concerning the Sock or even if Meat puppetry accusations: Making such "wonderings" (am I?) are seen as accusations as stated and these are serious so "if" founded on true concerns there are remedies that should be followed. Just "putting it out there" is pointless and disruptive.
I hope you both take this as constructive criticism. General accusations, even hidden ones (as I see it) are not constructive. I danced around a lot of reading for no reason so agree that unfounded accusations should cease and hope it is understood why I replied. Otr500 (talk) 05:38, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi, David Galbraith here. I agree with CorporateM and note what Andreas says linking to Jeremy Stoppelman's post on Quora which is exactly my recollection of the history. (The FT and Guardian pieces which say I was co-founder while technically true are an anomaly based on a conference billing - hence the only references as such in 10 years. I don't describe myself as such because I only worked on Yelp in the early days). The sentence: MRL co-founder David Galbraith, who instigated the local services project based on user reviews, came up with the name "Yelp" is accurate, and possibly the references are more contentious. So might I suggest as a compromise, that sentence but with Jeremy's accurate recollection as a reference for it, instead. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Divadwg (talkcontribs) 08:20, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Potential source

A lot of the new source in San Francisco Magazine is redundant with what's already in the article or anecdotal, but there is quite a bit of useful information. I've tried to distill the useful information below and may try to incorporate it through a Request Edit if nobody else does:

  • "[Yelp] launched in Mexico in March, Japan in April, and Argentina in May [2014]."
  • "Currently available in 27 countries and 15 languages, it clocks some 132 million monthly users, 20 percent of whom read and write restaurant reviews" (I think the 20 percent stat is interesting)
  • Much of the story is anecdotal, but a lot of sources do talk about how a small business owner can have this emotional roller-coaster obsessing over their reviews and it should probably be in the article if it isn't already
  • "Yelp, as it happens, was born in a restaurant. In July 2004, Max Levchin, the cofounder of PayPal, was celebrating his 29th birthday at the Slanted Door with Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, two former PayPal engineers who at the time were part of Levchin’s startup technology incubator, MRL Ventures. Over lunch, Stoppelman and Simmons talked about their idea for an email service for sharing local-business recommendations with friends. A month later, with $1 million in initial funding from Levchin, Yelp made its debut. That October, it logged its first restaurant review, a four-star assessment of a Bay Area establishment called Cafe Brioche. Eight months later, the site had 12,000 reviewers based mostly in the Bay Area. Among them were the so-called Yelp Elite, a group of prolific reviewers who, in exchange for bulking up the site’s content, were plied with “exclusive” parties replete with free booze and food and “Elite” badges on their account pages."
  • "Then, as now, much of the site’s revenue came from selling ad space to small businesses: In 2011, local ads counted for 70 percent of its $83.3 million in sales. Once a business has garnered several reviews, a sales rep will encourage the owner to “claim” his or her page; if the business complies, the rep will then offer it a $300 to $500 monthly sponsorship, which allows the owner to advertise elsewhere on the site."
  • "For a lot of chefs, these sponsorships just add insult to injury. Not only do they get to see their livelihood vivisected every day, but they also get the questionable privilege of underwriting the carnage. Unsurprisingly, many business owners see this as a thinly veiled form of extortion, and some claim that their ratings have fallen or favorable reviews have been buried after they declined to buy advertising. In 2010, several businesses across the country filed multiple class action lawsuits that accused Yelp of extortion and fraudulent practices. In response, the company claimed that the disappearance and reappearance of positive and negative reviews was simply a function of the site’s automatic filtering system. Although the largest lawsuit was dismissed in 2011 (the plaintiffs are still appealing that decision), allegations of shady sales practices continue to run rampant."
  • "Many chefs interviewed for this story also complained of how easy it is to game the system: Anyone can review a restaurant, regardless of whether they’ve actually been there or of their relationship to the owner. The company does have some standards: Under its terms of service, users agree not to write fake or defamatory reviews, compensate or be compensated by someone to write or remove a review, or “threaten, stalk, harm, or harass others.” After one chef-owner didn’t renew a tenant’s lease, a big review calling him a fascist landlord appeared on the Yelp page of one of his restaurants. “So they removed it,” the chef-owner says. “But short of that, you can say terrible things—‘I saw rats on the dinner plates, cockroaches coming out of people’s ears.’”"
  • "It’s not only chefs and restaurant owners, of course, who have a psychologically fraught relationship with Yelp—the same could be said of any small-business owner."

Some of this is already on the page, but this source may provide a better (more direct) citation. CorporateM (Talk) 23:57, 5 August 2014 (UTC)


User:Erachima mentioned in the GA-review that the Lead needs work. I noticed that it does not contain an adequate definition of the subject, that it includes a trivial list of individual countries the company expanded to and has other issues. The Lead seems to have been a debated issue in the past, in particular with respect to the best way to define Yelp. I've taken a crack below that I hope will smoothen things out and meet the GA standard. Any thoughts?

<b>Yelp, Inc.</b>is a multinational corporation headquartered in [[San Francisco, California]]. It develops and markets a set of software and services to provide consumers with information about local businesses. The company develops, hosts and markets and the Yelp mobile app, which publish crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses. Yelp also trains small businesses on how to respond to reviews responsibly, hosts social events for reviewers and provides basic data about businesses, such as hours of operation. From 2010 to 2012, several features were added allowing users to order food delivery online, view health inspection scores or make reservations. As of 2014, had 132 million monthly visitors and 57 million reviews. The company's revenues come from businesses being reviewed on the site choosing to advertise. Yelp has had a difficult relationship with business owners reviewed on the site, who often feel their reviews are unfair, fraudulently write reviews on their own business, or accuse Yelp of manipulating reviews.

Yelp was founded in 2004 by former [[Paypal]] employees at startup incubator MRL Ventures. It was initially an unsuccessful email-based referral service, but was re-launched on the basis of unsolicited online reviews. It grew quickly and raised several rounds of funding. It had $30 million in revenues by 2010 and had collected more than 4.5 million crowd-sourced reviews. From 2009-2012, Yelp expanded throughout [[Europe]] and [[Asia]]. In 2009 it entered negotiations with [[Google]] for a potential acquisition, but a deal was never reached. Yelp became a public company in March 2012 and became profitable for the first time in 2014.

CorporateM (Talk) 07:10, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Request Edit

An IP address recently added a blurb: "This is similar to the strategy that Google uses with its multi-billion dollar Adwords campaign. CEO Stoppelman also noted that Yelp has seen an uptick (in traffic presumably) as a result of a recent Google algorithmic change." In addition to being a bit of weird, uncertain speculation, this also seems to be a copyright issue since the source states "Stoppelman noted that Yelp has seen an uptick (in traffic presumably) as a result of a recent Google algorithmic change."

My suggestion is that we just trim it down to "Yelp was profitable for the first time in the second quarter of 2014". CorporateM (Talk) 07:27, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

  • I dunno... rewording to avoid the copyright issue and sourcing the statement to the source explicitly (X writes that...) might work better. Seems important. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
@Crisco 1492 I thought it was more of an off-hand comment than something important. I didn't see any comments about changes in Google's algorithms benefiting Yelp in other sources like Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider. However, if you'd like to keep it, how about: "Yelp was profitable for the first time in the second quarter of 2014 as a result of increasing advertising spend by business owners and changes in Google's algorithm increasing traffic." CorporateM (Talk) 13:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • The new wording works. Succinct. Use it to replace what text? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:36, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

"In the second financial quarter of 2014, Yelp reported that the company had become profitable for the first time since being a publicly traded company. This is due to the significant increase of paid advertised results when a user searches a particular keyword. This is similar to the strategy that Google uses with its multi-billion dollar AdWords campaign. CEO Stoppelman also noted that Yelp has seen an uptick (in traffic presumably) as a result of a recent Google algorithmic change. [39]" CorporateM (Talk) 04:41, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Alright, but I recommend merging the new text with another paragraph, as it is only a single sentence. Also, could you prepare the ref as well, so I can just copy this? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:04, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Yelp was profitable for the first time in the second quarter of 2014 as a result of increasing advertising spend by business owners and changes in Google's algorithm increasing traffic.<ref>{{cite news|url=|publisher=WebProNews|title=Yelp Becomes Profitable For First Time Since Going Public|first=Chris|last=Crum|date=July 30, 2014|accessdate=September 1, 2014}}</ref>
CorporateM (Talk) 13:10, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Harvard study

An IP address recently removed the 2011 study from Harvard professor Michael Luca that found no statistical correlation between paying advertisers and more favorable Yelp reviews. Based on their edit summary, I think they removed it because the original paper is labeled as a "working paper." However, this study is cited in a plethora of secondary sources, such as NPR, Fast Company, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Certainly if we required such a high calibre of proof that a point of view couldn't be included because it wasn't published in a peer reviewed journal, we would have to delete the entire article. Can I kindly request that someone consider restoring the sourced content? CorporateM (Talk) 12:40, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I've restored it. Working papers are OK if they have been widely cited, as this one has. Coretheapple (talk) 18:21, 9 September 2014 (UTC)


A few misc requests

A couple more recent sources/news items I'd like to add to keep the article up-to-date. Suggest adding something like the following:

  • "In 2014, Yelp websites were launched in Mexico, Japan and Argentina.[3]"
  • In 2014 a US law was passed that prohibited businesses from using "disparagement clauses" in their contracts of terms of use that allege they can sue or fine customers that write negatively about them online.[4][5]
    • Where do you want this? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:01, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
@Crisco 1492 My suggestion would be at the end of the introductory paragraph of the "Relationship with businesses" section. That's where I've lumped some of the content related to the relationship between reviewers and businesses. CorporateM (Talk) 01:06, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks!! CorporateM (Talk) 01:15, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ WFSB Staff (September 26, 2012). "Local restaurant owners claim manipulating reviews". WFSB Channel 3 Connecticut News. 
  2. ^ CBS Staff (April 13, 2013). "Yelp Reviews Go Through Filter Some Claim Isn't Fair". CBS Channel 4 Denver. 
  3. ^ Marx, Rebecca (July 28, 2014). "The Toxic, Abusive, Addictive, Supportive, Codependent Relationship Between Chefs and Yelpers". San Francisco Magazine. 
  4. ^ Ryan, Laura. "Congress's Fight for Your Right to Yelp". Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ Gross, Doug. "Yelp without fear, says new California law". CNN. Retrieved September 16, 2014.