Looking at 240 fiction book titles reviewed by the New York Times, investigators found that positive reviews, not surprisingly, always increased sales by anywhere from 32 to 52%. For books by established authors, negative reviews, also not surprisingly, led to a 15% decrease in sales. For books by relatively unknown authors, however, negative publicity had the opposite effect, increasing sales by a significant 45%. Follow-up studies affirmed the reason: Even bad reviews drew attention to works that otherwise would have gone unnoted. Moreover, the “negative” impression bad reviews created seemed to diminish over time.
Economists at UC Berkley have published a study in the Economic Journal that suggested Yelp ratings are having a significant impact on restaurants.In previous articles about paid for reviews, there is some intimation that restaurants and other places are buying Yelp reviews and this might be why:
They found that a restaurant with a rating improved by just half a star – on a scale of 1 to 5 – was much more likely to be full at peak dining times. Indeed, an extra half-star rating caused a restaurant’s 7pm bookings to sell out on from 30% to 49% of the evenings it was open for business. The Observer