Yelp has taken a bolder step in its fight against review fraud.
For a couple of years now, it has shown a consumer alert on a business' listing page when that business was found to be encouraging review fraud.
Now, Yelp is linking to evidence it found that (allegedly) proves the business owner (or management) in question was attempting review fraud.
Yelp review fraud comes in 3 flavors:
- Paying people to write a fake review (for own business or a competitor)
- Paying or otherwise compensating a customer for a positive review
- Paying or otherwise compensating a customer to remove a negative review.
In each of these cases, if Yelp has the fraud evidence digitized, it will show a link to "Show me the evidence".
When clicked, visitors can see for themselves the lengths the business took to improve its rating.
In the cases we've seen, Yelp either received a copy of correspondence between a user and a business, or Yelp itself responded to a business on Craigslist, posing as someone who would write a fake review.
Paying to Write a Fake Review
Paying for a positive review from a customer
Paying a customer to remove a negative review
Don't try to buy reviews. There are better ways to improve your ratings:
- Extraordinary customer service
- Responding to Yelp reviews on your Yelp business page
- Patience with entitled Yelpers that don't deserve your patience
And then there's TalkToTheManager, which is just fantastic. We help you intercept negative comments in real-time before they go public, so you have a chance to fix issues in private.