Yelp is introducing two new COVID-related profile attributes, the “Proof of vaccination required” and “Staff fully vaccinated” attributes, the company announced Thursday. Users will be able to filter searches using these attributes and the “Proof of vaccination required” attribute will be visible in search results.
“We’ve put additional safety measures in place to proactively monitor content for businesses that select one of these attributes, whether it’s the identity attributes or the vaccination attributes,” Noorie Malik, VP of user operations at Yelp, told Search Engine Land, “And so we’re proactively looking out for any hateful, harmful content on these businesses.”
Why we care
Given the rapid spread of COVID’s Delta variant, these attributes may help customers feel safer when visiting a local business, which can help businesses continue to operate as more safety-oriented consumers shy away from in-person activities, like going to a cafe or bar. Yelp’s “additional safety measures” may also help to curb any potential blowback from bad actors seeking to leave reviews based on their stance about COVID vaccines as opposed to their firsthand experiences with the business.
More on the news
- Reviews from customers that criticize a business’s vaccination requirements violate Yelp’s COVID Content Guidelines. So far this year, the company has removed nearly 8,000 reviews for violating these guidelines, according to the announcement.
- Since January 2021, Yelp has placed over 100 Unusual Activity Alerts on business profiles in response to businesses attracting public attention over their COVID health and safety practices. This has resulted in the removal of nearly 4,500 reviews for violating the platform’s content policies.
- Yelp has also introduced several diversity attributes for business profiles, including the Asian-owned, Black-owned, Latinx-owned, LGBTQ-owned and women-owned attributes.