Does Yelp Help?

YelpA few weeks ago I was in Atlanta for a few days, and I spent the last night at a hotel near the airport. I had a rental car, so I was able to go to dinner away from the mediocre hotel restaurant. As I always do, I searched Google Maps for nearby restaurants and found a number of choices. Then I checked out the reviews.

It’s wonderful that we can now read what other people thought about a place of business, like a restaurant, before we actually patronize it and spend our money there. The problem I find I have is that there are always adverse reviews, along with the good ones, and I tend to focus on the one-star ones.

Somebody always hated something – everywhere. And one by one I eliminate my choices, so that out of the 20 restaurants in the immediate vicinity of my hotel, I ended up with no candidates where I wanted to eat.

I have similar experiences with Amazon book reviews. No matter how good the book is, there is always somebody with a one-star review which skews all the other ones.

And hence the question and first world problem:

Does Yelp help?

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