Tutoring News Post
Dear Yelp: McElroy Tutoring is still open for business, serving students in San Diego & worldwide.
Despite your recent update to our San Diego Yelp listing, the one that I've spent decades building, McElroy Tutoring is neither "closed," nor "permanently closed," as Google My Business now likes to put it: we have simply changed our home base.
Though I did in fact close my Pacific Beach office after 15 successful years, relocating our family from the beaches of San Diego to the mountains of Colorado Springs, I continue to tutor students worldwide remotely via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, phone, etc. — including many students from the San Diego area — and have done so full-time since my graduation from Harvard with honors in 2002.
What I don't understand is why McElroy Tutoring's 50+ San Diego Yelp and Google reviews can't simply transfer to my new Colorado Springs location.
While effective for physical restaurants and hair salons, Yelp and Google's location-based model for listing and rating non-traditional internet businesses is highly outdated and simply does not make sense — especially in 2022, when so many of us have relocated and made the successful transition to a work-from-home model. This is particularly true for an independent, online private tutor and consultant, for whom office locations and/or physical, in-person appointments are no longer necessary, thanks to the ease and convenience of cell phones, tablets, computers, and the free video chat applications such as Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime that have helped make remote learning so popular, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am loving my new home office here in Colorado Springs; though I have agreed to meet in person (homes, libraries, and coffee shops) with some of my local students, I have zero plans to return to a "real" office anytime soon. However, please rest assured that yes, McElroy Tutoring is still in business, and going strong as of February 2022, even if the 40+ 5-star reviews on our San Diego business listing are no longer available via Yelp search results.
It's a weird quirk of the system: if your business changes locations, then you can't take your Yelp or Google reviews with you, even if you are a one-person, internet-based business where location is irrelevant — and even if all those 5-star reviews took you decades to earn (as I always like to say, it's called "private" tutoring for a reason).
The takeaway? Don't trust everything you read on the internet. Yelp is a major pain for nearly every small business owner, and frequently gets its facts wrong. Not every business owner has access to a popular, competing website such as McElroyTutoring.com — one that averages over 1,000 daily visitors and appears frequently on the first page of Google searches — so I appreciate how lucky I am to retain my own public voice in this matter.
I'm still here for you, San Diego students...no matter what the Yelpers have to say.