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Why you shouldn’t rely solely on Google or Yelp for recommendations




Academic analysis of restaurant reviews shows that public reviews are not the objective truth they claim. Reviews posted on Google for the same restaurant in the same area average 0.7 stars more than Yelp. “The five-star rating scale is false simplicity,” said Brenthect, one of the authors of the treatise. For more articles, visit the Business Insider home page.

Pay attention to what you read on Google Maps and Yelp. Restaurant reviews are not the objective truth that looks the same.

A new treatise by Northwestern University scholars examines the gap in restaurant ratings on Google Maps and Yelp, two popular platforms for restaurant recommendations.

Many users eventually use Google or Yelp to look for suggestions on where to eat, but there are significant differences in how reviewers on each platform perceive the same store.

“I kept thinking about this. Why are we so dependent on evaluation?” Said Hanlin Lee of Northwestern University.

“Part of that is that the 1-to-5 rating scale is very easy to understand. It just analyzes the information.” This is a 5-star restaurant, or this is a 2-star restaurant, “she said. Told. “It’s easy and easy for us to understand.”

However, Google Maps ratings tend to be 0.7 stars higher on average for the same restaurant in the same location.

Ninety-three percent of restaurants analyzed by Li and her colleagues have a higher rating on Google Maps than Yelp, with a quarter of restaurants outperforming Google’s Yelp by at least one star.

For chain restaurants, the gap is even bigger. Outlets are rated on Google Maps by an average of 1.1 stars over Yelp. “For independent restaurants, the difference is much smaller,” Lee said. “On average, it’s 0.6 stars.”

Li’s colleague Brent Hecht said the treatise had a hard time clarifying why it happened. “Fast food stores know the fact that Google Maps is much more expensive than Yelp,” he said. “I’m not sure why.”

Differences in rating are important because each platform occupies an exclusive position depending on where you search for recommendations. “At Google, the highlight is the evaluation of Google Maps,” Lee said. “Searching on Apple Maps often highlights Yelp ratings.”

Google Maps reviewers tend to rank chain restaurants better than Yelp, probably because they are perceived as having better value. Li believes Yelp reviewers are responsible for more formal reviews of restaurants. Potentially, we are looking for more uniqueness.

“Everyone goes to another restaurant [on Yelp], Google Maps confirms that the information is valuable to those who go to restaurants, but Google Maps doesn’t place much emphasis on uniqueness, “she said. .. “

“For me, it reminds me that a lot of information is omitted on the 5-star rating scale,” Hecht said.

If you are looking for a good restaurant, both authors agree on a good way to move forward. “Check both platforms,” says Li.

Get the latest Google stock prices here.

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