Rumors have been swirling for awhile over the strong-arm "business" tactics used by Yelp sales reps in order to get positive reviews for restaurants or change negative postings.
The Register does a pretty informative piece on what's really going on behind the scenes:
"One restaurant owner was contacted 'five or six' times, and each time, the Yelp sales rep insisted that if he forked over $6,000 a year for 'sponsored link' status, the site would suppress user posts that put his restaurant in a less-than-positive light.
'They told me I had 60 reviews on my [Yelp] page,' said the owner, who requested anonymity, fearing repercussions from Yelp's famously outspoken users. 'They told me "No one is going to read all 60. They're only going to read the first few."' "
Wow. Who can you trust?!