Online Reviews: Yahoo vs. Yelp

I just noticed that someone left a nice review for me at  It’s from a parent who saw my Science Magic show at the Colville Library over the summer and enjoyed it. 

I took my kids to a Magic/Science show this summer at our local library. We are in a small town, so appreciate Jeff coming all the way to Colville, WA.  Very very funny for adults/parents and totally enthralling for kids. My boys both talked about what they learned for days after. Jeff seems to be a master at making learning fun!!!!
     Melinda S., Colville, WA


The fact that people who I don’t even know are helping spread the word about my shows is very cool.  It also got me thinking about online reviews.  They’re important now, and will likely be even more important in the future.  Why?  You can’t trust everything you read on a person’s website.  It’s not that difficult to have a fancy website, great photos, even professional video without substance to back it up.  So, more and more people are searching for online reviews. 


A recent survey shows that 83.8% said that they would trust users reviews over a critic.  I’ve been collecting online reviews for about a year and a half now, thinking that comments left outside of my own website carry more weight than quotes on my own site. The question is, where should you post reviews?

I’ve been guiding folks to leave reviews at as it shows all reviews. has an interesting process for accepting and posting reviews. Although it bothers me that many of my reviews – all posted by various fans and clients – are not visible on Yelp, I do understand their logic.  However, it’s more useful for me to use the Yahoo site.  It’s rather disheartening for a client to go to the trouble of creating an account, signing on, and creating a message… only to find that it won’t even be displayed.  Major bummer.  (Hey, where can we review Yelp?) 


The method behind Yelp’s madness is revealed here:   

“One question we occasionally get asked on this topic is why reviews sometimes “disappear” from a business page. While the overwhelming majority of reviews aren’t affected, we figured this might be a good time to offer some specifics on why reviews sometimes don’t appear on business pages (and why we think this helps make Yelp the most useful consumer review site around).

“Yelp has an automated Review Filter that many people are surprised to learn was put in place soon after our big launch in 2005. Of course, it’s evolved over the years; it’s an algorithm our engineers are constantly working on. Its purpose, however, remains the same: to protect consumers and business owners from fake, shill or malicious reviews.”

You can still view the hidden reviews, but you’ll need to look for the grayed-out “x filtered” text link above the “About this Business” subhead.  The “x” will include the number of filtered reviews; currently 8 in my case.  As only two of ten reviews are visible, that puts me batting .200.  Ouch. 

I went through my “filtered” Yelp reviews and reprinted them here.   

Great assembly! Fun with audience participation.  Kids and staff had a good time.  Message about anti-bullying was good.  Teachers have asked to have him back.
     -Tanya M., Olympia


Jeff is the best!  He does awesome, entertaining, comical, wonderful, educational and “green” presentations and his presentation was one of the best that we attended at the Libraries all summer long.  I highly recommend him.  I hope the Friends of the Bellevue LIbrary sponsor him again next summer and bring him back.  I was LOL at various moments of his program!  I can’t say enough compliments about him! Thank you Jeff – you ROCK!
     -Boni S., Redmond

Jeff just finished performing his Creative Conjuring show to a crowd of 160+ as part of our summer reading program. The show was fantastic and everyone had a great time! He handled the large crowd like the professional that he is and was great at redirecting the wilder kids’ energy.
     -Chrissy K., Seattle

He confirmed his show with me earlier in the week and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated his professionalism and thoughtfulness. I have tried to confirm with other performers in the past, heard nothing from them all week, and then end up anxiously waiting to see if they show on time. Not Jeff, he was on top of things. He actually showed up a little earlier than we agreed!

The show is a real crowd pleaser, with plenty of audience participation for the kids and peppered with jokes for the grown-ups. I can’t wait to schedule him next summer!
     -Chrissy K., Seattle

When I had the good fortune to book Jeff Evans for my library’s summer reading program, colleagues across the city began telling me how wonderful he was.

Things like:
“The kids just love him. They have the best time!”

“He’s so punctual and professional! You let him into the room and he’s ready to go.”

“I saw him years ago when he first started out and he was good — but like a fine wine, he’s somehow gotten even better every year. You’re in for a treat.”

After days of this I began to think my expectations couldn’t possibly be met, and yet he exceeded them. He arrived right on time, deftly managed the kids who tried to peek at his equipment, combined fantastic sleight of hand with tantalizing science, and even managed to pique the interest of seven-year-olds in the Dewey Decimal system.

I have nothing but praise for this act.
     -Anne C., Seattle

As a children’s librarian,  I truly appreciate performers who are both educational and fun.  Jeff Evans never fails to deliver.  He is a consummate professional, always reliable and on time.  Kids and parents alike love his quirky humor and amazing magic tricks.  Jeff is also flexible and able to perform anywhere–a school, community center, in the middle of a mall.  Two thumbs way up for Jeff!
     -Bernadette Salgado, King County Library System

I am a Children’s Librarian for the King County Library System, and hired Jeff  Evans for four elementary school assemblies to promote our 2009 Summer Reading Program — he was excellent on every level.  He was very prompt, professional and well prepared at all the schools, provided an engaging and informative performance, and was fabulous in terms of classroom management.  The performance seemed to appeal to all of the students, from K-5th grade.  I felt like he really kept them engaged in a focused way, and also was informative about the library program he was promoting.  Excellent choice for school assemblies!
     -Deborah S., Seattle


And yes, if you’ve seen my school or library show and would like to post a review, please do it on my Yahoo account.  Unless you’ve posted another review on Yelp, and in that case put it there. 

My question for YOU, my reader – do you have a particular review site that you like?  Which one and why?

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