Could Cecil the Lion’s killer ever recover on Yelp?

Posted in: Social Media

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After news broke that the beloved Lion Cecil was killed by Minnesota Dentist Walter Palmer, internet users banded together to express their outrage in the most vindictive way they could—by leaving negative reviews on his Yelp page.

Before yesterday, the small dental practice only had five reviews on Yelp. Since three of them were five-star reviews, the page showed a 3.5-star rating. For a small business, 3.5 stars aren’t great, but it won’t sink you.

According to most reviewers, the service was good, but the price was expensive. “Very kind staff- however prices are exorbitant. Would have continued treatment there but not affordable even with top-notch insurance,” one reviewer wrote.

But, in the 24 hours, since the internet discovered that Dr. Palmer killed Cecil the Lion, more than 6,400 negative reviews inundated the page, reducing it to a one-star average. However, if you add the 5,800 reviews that were filtered by Yelp, the true number of outraged reviews left for Palmer’s dental practice grows to more than 12,000.

Here’s a sampling of the reviews that came in:

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There were even some (sarcastic) positive reviews:

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Ultimately, poor Yelp reviews are a minor punishment for the grief people all over the world felt in response to Cecil’s death.

Still, we at Go Fish Digital thought today would be an appropriate time to announce our new Yelp Improvement Calculator—a tool that shows you how many additional reviews you need to reach a higher star rating on Yelp.

Here was distribution at around 2pm EDT:

Palmer yelp

With these numbers, River Bluff Dental would need either 7,348 five-star reviews or 17,145 four-star reviews to regain the 3.5-star rating it enjoyed yesterday morning.

These numbers are subject to change as Yelp decides which reviews to filter, but it still shows that Dr. Palmer has a long way to go before his reputation recovers (if it ever does, which is unlikely).

Of course, Go Fish Digital’s Yelp Improvement Calculator works with any Yelp page, not just for those who decide to kill majestic beasts for sport.

Photo: Vince O’Sullivan via Flickr Creative Commons

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