Yelp Lets Restos Bite Back

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best_of_yelp.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Mega popular - and controversial - user review site Yelp.com announced last week that it will begin allowing businesses reviewed on the site to publicly respond to reviews left by customers. This is big news for businesses (including restaurants, who comprise the lion's share of spots reviewed on the site) who feel they've been unjustly maligned by unsatisfied customers - and big news as well to users who would prefer to keep the site completely free of business feedback.
It's a Yelpy Yelp World
Alas, perhaps the lawsuits got to Yelp. Cracks in the surface of the user-only MO of the site began to appear last year when Yelp made a suite of tools available to business owners interested in having a voice on the site. And now, with the introduction of the public response feature, Yelp is officially inviting restaurants and other businesses to bite back, so to speak - a fact that's infuriating some of the site's most hard-core users. And so, it seems, the Yelp controversy marches on, a fact that looks to do little to curb the site's soaring visitor figures .

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