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Amidst many controversies and legal battles, online review site Yelp is determined to add an extra measure of legitimacy to its online reviews.

That’s why the company is partnering with open data provider Socrata to distribute important restaurant inspection information and help improve public health conditions in communities around the world.

Previously, Yelp worked with local public health departments to add restaurant inspection scores of eateries in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The scores were based on a scale of 0 to 100.

This time, however, Yelp is hoping to distribute inspection information on a much bigger, more global scale. As a new member of Socrata’s Open Data Network, Yelp will be able to work with Socrata’s government users and get these critical ratings into the hands of consumers around the world. It will expand on Yelp’s previous open data standard – called LIVES (Local Inspector Value Entry Specification) – in order to provide and display accurate restaurant health inspection scores on Yelp’s restaurant pages.

(Check out: “YELP HELP: The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Yelp Business Page / Listing”)

“We’re thrilled to be working with Socrata and its network of partners to make this valuable information more accessible to the millions of people that turn to Yelp every month,” said Yelp CEO and founder Jeremy Stoppelman.

Added Socrata CEO and founder Kevin Merritt: “We are very excited to launch this partnership with Yelp, the global leader in crowd-sourced reviews for local businesses. With this behind-the-scenes data integration, millions of people will be able to benefit from better health information, which will ultimately improve their lives.

“Extracting restaurant inspections data from government databases is not always easy. Additionally, the majority of cities throughout the US are not yet publishing their restaurant inspection information in a format that can be consumed by ‘business-to-consumer’ solutions such as Yelp. The strategic partnership between Socrata and Yelp, as well as their new solution, is a first in that it helps governments unlock this data while normalizing and presenting it to everyday consumers in a way that is easy to understand and in a context with which they are familiar.”

If you’re a business owner who’s running a restaurant, the Yelp-Socrata partnership makes it even more critical for you to step up your health and hygiene game, as well as proactively monitor Yelp ratings of your restaurant. A bad review or low inspection scores can scare potential diners away and inflict damage on your business reputation. With ReviewTrackers as your review management tool, you can listen to and respond to what diners are saying about you on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and all other major review sites. Sign up for a free trial today to get started!

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.