Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What to do, need your opinion

Yelp recently contacted me and told me that I had to take the links to this blog out of my reviews or they would, (might), cancel my account.

"Hi Marty,

I'm writing because many of your reviews have been flagged by the community, and after evaluation, our Support team has determined that these reviews violate our Terms of Service (http://www.yelp.com/static?p=tos).  Because personal accounts cannot be used in any promotional manner, the links and references to your blog that you've included in your reviews are problematic and will need to be removed.

We'd appreciate it if you could remove the promotional links and references by Thursday, October 28, 2010. If they are not removed by this date, we'll unfortunately have to remove the reviews.

Please note that you are welcome to post a link in your profile under "My Blog or Website," but links or references placed within reviews or outside of that space appear as promotional content and are in violation of Yelp's TOS (http://www.yelp.com/static?p=tos).

Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California"

So I changed it from this:
See my full review and pics at my blog Marty's Flying Vegetarian Review:

To this:
Yelp told me to delete the reference to my blog.  Well, one of the ways I generate traffic for my blog is to write reviews and refer you there so please visit my Yelp profile where you'll see a link you may want to follow for more details and pictures of the place I'm reviewing.  It's sort of an interesting blog and without mentioning the name it's about a Vegan charter pilot with an identical name who writes about the meals he eats on the road...like this dining experience below:

Then they said this:

Thank you for removing the links from your reviews. However, many of your reviews still appear promotional in nature. User accounts should not be used to promote your blog or any other website you may be affiliated with. Please note that you are welcome to post a link in your profile under "My Blog or Website," but links or references placed within reviews or outside of that space appear as promotional content and are in violation of Yelp's TOS (http://www.yelp.com/static?p=tos).

We'd greatly appreciate it if you could amend your reviews so that they no longer promote your blog or other websites by Thursday, October 28, 2010, otherwise we may have to close your account. 

 So here's the question ... did you find my blog through yelp?  Should I keep posting to Yelp?  Am I posting to Yelp as a Vegan public service or to help generate traffic to the blog so that perhaps one day this might be profitable and part of something bigger?  Do I cowtow to corporate ball slamming?  Is it worth it to invest the extra time on every review to post to Yelp with no flowthrough, (backflow?  whatever it's called?)

 At least Urban Spoon encourages the publicizing of one's blog and ASKS for your blogs link.

What do you think?  Please tell me your opinion especially if you found and follow this blog as a result of seeing it on Yelp.

Thanks for your time.



Ali - YumVeggieBurger said...

When I first started my blog, I had already posted several reviews on yelp, so a lot of my friends told me I should use yelp to promote the blog, but I was afraid of running into this exact problem. I have a link to my blog in my yelp profile, and I've gotten a few hits through that, but not too many.

I'm not sure what decision you should make... it is too bad that you can't even mention your blog at the end of a review. I understand where they are coming from, because I can see how it might be a slippery slope type thing where letting a few people mention their blogs could lead to a flood of reviews that are not actually informative at all and serve only as advertising for external sites, thus ruining the whole site for everyone... But it's sad that legit reviews can't just add a line at the end since many people probably would enjoy reading a blog written by someone whose review they found helpful :(

I still post to yelp without including links to my blog, but only because I use yelp as an outlet for reviews that have no connection to the content of my blog... the places I review soley for their veggie burgers only get reviews posted on the blog, not on yelp. I do see it as a public service of sorts, because yelp has been so helpful for me in many ways... but if it would be too frustrating or consume too much of your time, then I'd say don't feel like you should have to continue posting there under their rules.

Marty said...

OK, so what I did was removed all references to this blog on the posts. Took an hour but everyone has an extra hour every day right?
I put the blog reference in the profile.
I'll still post to Yelp because either the restaurants I eat at can use a thumbs up and more business or vegans shouldn't step inside ... LIke Johnny Chi's in Westhampton.