Yelp Reviews Survey: Court Ruling Could Impact Majority of Reviewers

A court in Virginia recently ruled that online reviews site Yelp must reveal the names of certain reviewers who left negative comments about a local business on the site. Privacy advocates worry that could deter people from leaving honest feedback in the future. How many people have used Yelp to leave or read business reviews? And how could this ruling impact future reviews?

yelp reviews

Yelp Reviews

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 11% of respondents said they have posted many reviews of businesses on Yelp or similar sites. 16% said they have posted one or two reviews. And 74% have never left reviews or feedback on Yelp or similar sites.

Of those who have posted reviews, 70% said they have been mainly positive. 27% said they have left negative reviews. And 24% have left reviews that were mostly neutral. Those who have left multiple reviews were more likely to post positive ones than those who have just left one or two.

Review Privacy

Even though many reviewers on Yelp and similar sites don’t go out of their way to be overly negative, there still could be an impact on the reviewers if they don’t have the option to remain anonymous. 19% said they wouldn’t leave any online business reviews if their identity could later be revealed to the businesses they post about. 10% said they would not write overly negative reviews. 27% said they would just be more careful about what they post. And 43% said that the recent court decision wouldn’t impact their review habits at all.

Review Impact

So how much of an impact to these online reviews have on buying decisions in the first place? 15% said they often read online reviews on Yelp or similar sites. 29% said they sometimes read online business reviews. 18% said they rarely read online reviews. And 39% said they never do.

18% of those who read online reviews said they have a very large impact on their buying decisions. 62% said that online reviews somewhat impact their buying decisions. 18% said online reviews don’t really impact their buying decisions. And just 2% said they don’t impact them at all.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: MF146: Figure 5.14 from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on January 13 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.