1/2 Star for Yelp makes a large difference in the success of hotels and restaurants.

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Work by two economists at the University of California, Berkeley, Professors Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder, published in this month’s edition of the Economic Journal, show that there is a measurable difference in a half star rating from Yelp.

By gathering data from online restaurant reservations websites and cross-referencing it with Yelp ratings a distinct difference was apparent when the differences between two restaurants was only 1/2 star ratings. It’s important to point out that Yelp star ratings are rounded to the nearest half star based on an average of the review ratings. This means the difference between a 3.5 and 4.0 star rating may really be as slight as the difference between 3.74 and 3.75. The number of reviews appears to have a direct relationship on the diner’s decision too.

Yelp users don’t just review restaurants, they also review every type of business that you can imagine. How can you improve your Yelp rating? Give your customers positive experiences to rate and make sure you remind them to leave a review for your business.

I originally ran across this at TechCrunch, but the original article comes from the Guardian. If you want to get into the real meat you can get the article in PDF from the reasearchers’ page at berkeley.edu.

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