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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Yelp Sues ORM Company for Fake Reviews and Incentivizing Reviews

    Yelp occasionally 'outs' businesses that have shady review practices. They just sued a reputation management company by the name of Revleap who has also gone by: “Yelpdirector” and “Revpley.”

    Wow, talk abut taking a stand and making a statement. Hopefully this will be a warning to other ORM companies that use shady tactics!

    Taking A Stand Against Misleading “Reputation Management” Companies

    We sometimes hear reports about “reputation management” or “small business marketing” agencies that promise (for a fee, of course) to help businesses remove negative reviews and gain more positive reviews on Yelp. Some of these agencies imply that they have a special relationship with Yelp or even lead business owners to believe that they are acting on behalf of Yelp.

    These offers are scams, but some business owners unfortunately fall for them and end up paying dearly, both with their bank accounts and their online reputations. Today we’re taking a stand to protect business owners from falling prey to these misleading companies by filing a lawsuit against a recurring offender named Revleap.

    Revleap, which has cycled through various names including “Yelpdirector” and “Revpley,” has spammed businesses with unsolicited messages claiming that they can get good reviews to stick and remove bad reviews. One thing Revleap actually does, it seems, is bombard their clients’ customers with surveys. Customers that respond favorably, and agree to post a review, are entered in a drawing for gift cards in an effort to deceptively boost their clients’ reputations...
    Above is just a partial quote. Click over to read the rest.

    And here is a copy of the actual lawsuit.

    I'd like to see Google bust some of these shady review companies too.

    Here's an article from IT World: Yelp sues positive review provider Revleap

    h/t Mike Blumenthal who posted it on G+ this weekend.

    What do you think???

    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  2. #2
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    Re: Yelp Sues ORM Company for Fake Reviews and Incentivizing Reviews

    I imagine it is in Yelp's best interest to go after companies like this. Yelp is only valuable to a entity like Google if their data is clean.

    I can only imagine what sort of mess would come from Google litigating TOS violations though.

  3. #3
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    Re: Yelp Sues ORM Company for Fake Reviews and Incentivizing Reviews

    Lawsuit is just a large entity bullying a smaller competitor.

    Reputation management is a legitimate service.

    Yelp is specifically alleging that soliciting reviews violates terms of service. Yelp suppresses reviews but doesn't delete it as they want the content for SEO purposes. Further yelp encourages owners to put a badge on their home page to help yelp's SEO and traffic but any spike in traffic even if it is a small bump will cause your reviews to be suppressed.

    Yelp also is alleging trade mark and cyber squatting. That is very weak. SEO businesses refer to google in their advertising. A used car dealer can use the Toyota name without permission. Legal test for this type of use is that using the logo and brand names should be nominal. By no stretch of the imagination is yelp's claim of confusion plausible.


    Some of the business tactics used by revleap may push the envelope.

    being entered into a raffle probably doesn't constitute direct payment.

  4. #4
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    Re: Yelp Sues ORM Company for Fake Reviews and Incentivizing Reviews

    I'm not defending Revleap at all - I looked at their site (I had also never heard of them) and it looks like a lot of the same empty promise baloney that's all over Local SEO/Reviews.

    With that said, I also think Yelp's lawsuit is ridiculous and empty PR on their side. You honestly think Yelp is out to help small business owners? Yelp suffers from a serious trust issue with small business owners, and this isn't the way you build trust.

    I would have had no problem with Yelp writing a blog post stating that there are NO companies that can influence Yelp ratings/reviews. I would have had no problem with Yelp specifically calling out companies such as Revleap that are making false promises. But suing them to "protect" small business owners? Nope, I'm not buying it. It's all about the PR.

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