Richard Gorman Takes on Yelp.com's New Hygiene Scores
In Select Cities, Yelp.com Will Now Offer Hygiene Scores for
Restaurants and Diners -- a Development That Has Earned a Comment
From Richard Gorman
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/21/13 -- It is commonly accepted
that the U.S. Government is privy to a wide range of data and
information -- some of which remains confidential, and some of which
the Government is eager to share. The latest example of
government-approved information-sharing comes in the form of an
innovation to Yelp.com. Yelp has long been an Internet hotspot for
online reviews and ratings of local businesses, and in particular
local restaurants. Now, in select cities, user-submitted restaurant
reviews will share space with hygiene and sanitation scores, provided
by applicable governing authorities. This latest Yelp innovation has
won the attention of many online pundits, including Richard Gorman.
Gorman -- a long-time advocate of online reputation management, and a
frequent commentator on matters related to Yelp -- has weighed in
with a press statement. "As with all things related to Yelp, there
are two ways in which this development must be considered," offers
Gorman, in his comment to the press. "First, there is the level on
which this impacts consumers, and as far as that goes, it is
difficult to see this as anything but an advantage. Now, in addition
to finding out what fellow diners thought about a particular
restaurant's service or cuisine, Yelp users can also obtain official
information about sanitation and health -- ensuring that they can
avoid any red flags, and know just how high their favorite eateries
score in terms of health and cleanliness."
The flipside, according to Gorman, is what this means for businesses.
"For restaurants, this makes online reputation management even more
important," Gorman remarks. "More than ever, users are going to take
Yelp.com seriously, because the site now provides official government
information, in addition to user-generated reviews. And in addition,
it must be said that it is now more crucial than ever before for
restaurants to work on obtaining the best possible health and
sanitation scores! A bad rating posted on the restaurant's wall is
bad enough, but having it plastered all over the Internet is eve
The Yelp.com innovation will affix health inspection report scores to
the business pages for local restaurants, beginning in just two
cities -- San Francisco and New York. Yelp has made clear its
intentions to roll out similar features in cities across the country,
as soon as local authorities are persuaded to provide the pertinent
information. Philadelphia is rumored to be the next city to join this
The new feature is prominently featured on Yelp.com, on each
individual restaurant listing. The health score appears -- as a
number out of 100 -- in large, unmissable font. "Certainly, there is
no way for restaurants to hide or obscure their health scores, once
they are posted to Yelp," says Gorman. Users can click on the health
score to obtain a full history of the restaurant's sanitation
inspections, using this information to inform their decisions about
where to dine.
According to Gorman, the implications of this new development are
numerous. "To begin with, there are definitely some positive things
about this," he explains. "The most obvious point to be made is that
helpful, practically useful government data is being made available
to consumers -- and frankly, that is a big win for the Internet, and
a real validation of just what online technology can do."
Still, Gorman reiterates his words of caution for restaurants,
particularly those located in these cities. "
Sites like Yelp.com are
massively influential in shaping consumer behavior," he explains.
"What this means is that a bad Yelp review can all but kill a
business -- and a bad health score could prove even more dire.
Restaurant owners are urged to make online reputation management a
major priority, now more than ever before."
Richard Gorman is currently active on Google+.
Richard Gorman is a marketing trailblazer, a serial entrepreneur, and
a foremost name in the direct response marketing field. He is
best-known for his Direct Response blog, where he gives away millions
of dollars in trade secrets, to fellow online marketing
professionals. Gorman is also a technology pundit and commentator,
opining on matters related to e-commerce, online reputation
management, search, social media, and more.
PR Management, Inc.
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