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.
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.”
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?