Alert For Fake Reviews on Yelp

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In an effort to crack down on fake reviews, Yelp announced a new consumer alert label in their blog last year that would appear on pages of businesses who were caught buying reviews (as shown below). “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews…” Consumers also had the ability to click on the alert and see the fake reviews.

Consumer Alert

Looks like Yelp has rolled out yet another review filter, “Consumer Alert: Something’s Fishy  Here…” The warning reads as follows:

“A number of positive reviews for this business originated from the same IP address, which may mean that someone was trying to artificially inflate this business’s rating. Our review filter wasn’t fooled, but this apparent effort to mislead consumers was serious enough that we wanted to call it out.”

Yelp Fake Review Alert

The value of Yelp for business owners has proven itself over time. Businesses are finally understanding the power of word of mouth and how online reviews effect business. There’s a great Info-graphic from Nielsen, Yelp Drives Local Purchases – that breaks down everything from who uses Yelp, what do Yelp users search for, to how often Yelp leads to local purchases.

Yelp’s states in their support center, that businesses should not “solicit” Yelp reviews. Be careful how you go about encouraging your clientele or customers to review your company. Most definitely stay away from “Online Review Computers” at your place of business, for fear of instantly being flagged with the new IP address filter currently in motion.

Are you currently represented on Yelp? How do you feel about this new “Fishy” filter being put in place?

 

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9 thoughts on “Alert For Fake Reviews on Yelp

  1. Avatar for Team Eminent SEOPam

    I have the Yelp app on my phone and its really good and makes posting and finding reviews real easy. I think so many people use it that you don’t have to worry about the reviews being fake or not. In fact almost every place I have been that I read a review first about there has been a huge amount of accuracy and I tend to agree with the reviewers opinion 95% of the time. So maybe if they are cracking down on fake reviewers of whatever topics it must be working very good. I personally love the site and it is my top app on my iphone.

    Reply
  2. Avatar for Team Eminent SEOMike Rogers

    So wait a minute… Can’t company “A” have a service write fake reviews for company “B” and therefor, making company “B” look dishonest even though company “A” is the real dishonest one?

    Why Google continues to rank Yelp at the top of the search results is beyond me. For may keyword terms that my site ranks on the first page of Google for, Yelp gets the top 3 positions! Are you kidding me?!

    This Yelp / Amazon / Google partnership is going to get all 3 of these companies in serious trouble if they don’t watch it.

    Reply
    1. Avatar for Team Eminent SEOChris Weatherall

      Sadly in a lot of formats the negative reactions get more attention and traction by the readership and all that momentum and activity can keep those rankings high. Remember the internet has a short temper and a long long memory.

      Reply
    2. Avatar for Team Eminent SEOJenny Stradling

      Mike, exactly what I say about Google’s algo’s – if all you have to do to get “hit” is have spammy links, can’t your competition just link to you from a bunch of crappy, low quality sites?

      Same thing with Yelp – right?

      Supposedly they have sophisticated algo’s that can detect IP’s and there are checkpoints in place…. but I am with you.

      Anytime someone can be “hurt” by negative actions by a competitor a large company, such as Google or Yelp, has to (OR SHOULD) put additional variables in place to ensure they can legitimately verify their algo’s. Otherwise it undermines the process and ends up hurting the actual hosting site (Google or Yelp).

      Reply

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