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Yelp's algorithm a mystery

February 15, 2009

Regarding David Lazarus' consumer column "Yelp's servings could use a dash of candor," Feb. 11:

Like many others, I use the business review website Yelp to look for new restaurants. I can understand that a "sponsor" might pay to have its favorite review placed at the top of its listing. What I can't understand is why Yelp would use a "secret algorithm" to place the remaining reviews.

As a user, I want the bulk of the reviews to be in chronological order. Marginal restaurants sometimes do improve, and vice versa. Yelp knows this. What is it trying to hide from us?

Bill Bennett

Newport Beach

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