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  1. #1
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    Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    I've known about the Yelp "warnings" they post on specific company pages that have been caught red handed trying to solicit or fake reviews, but I never knew they actually post the evidence!

    This may not be news to most of you and probably has been happening for a long time, but I thought it was pretty interesting and a great example.



    After clicking "show me the evidence", it brings you this page with actual screenshots that Yelp employees have taken during their sting operation:



  2. #2
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    At least the business owner took the initiative to draft the review..lol I never saw the evidence part either but it is quite interesting to see them trying to keep things genuine.

  3. #3
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    Can you show us the link to it or at least the search query to get to it?

    I have seen some of their warnings before, but not that version.

  4. #4
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Schueler View Post
    Can you show us the link to it or at least the search query to get to it?

    I have seen some of their warnings before, but not that version.
    http://www.yelp(DOT)com/biz/quick-re...nc-westborough

  5. #5
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    Wow, this is pretty awful. It is straight out fraud.

    Not that many people actually read reviews, he could have just had someone state that nice website and I will keep his number handy. This way you have the review and a better rating without the fraud that goes with fake customers.

    Personally, I feel if you are going to go through the trouble, might as well get some real reviews. However, Yelp's hiding of reviews does frustrate many owners.


    Quote Originally Posted by RossP View Post
    I've known about the Yelp "warnings" they post on specific company pages that have been caught red handed trying to solicit or fake reviews, but I never knew they actually post the evidence!

    This may not be news to most of you and probably has been happening for a long time, but I thought it was pretty interesting and a great example.



    After clicking "show me the evidence", it brings you this page with actual screenshots that Yelp employees have taken during their sting operation:



  6. #6
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    Love it

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    $75 could have bought some kind of email platform (Mail Chimp would be pretty easy), get a review form together, and send out to past customers. Then we have the time spent emailing back and forth which could have been spent managing a nurture list. Basically there are a million different ways to split it and use the time, but this guy definitely decided on the wrong path.

    Good for Yelp for running the sting and getting this guy to fall for it. Sucks for that business.
    My rarely updated website (I should fix that) - https://www.ericrohrback.com
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  8. #8
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    Is this a newer policy (public shaming)?

    When doing this query on Google:

    Code:
    site:yelp.com "We caught someone red-handed trying to pay someone to write, change, or remove a review for this business."
    I'm only getting 6 results (on Google). So is it a new policy? Or they just don't catch many people?

    http://s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com/saph...JVDXWXMw/o.jpg
    http://s3-media3.fl.yelpcdn.com/saph...jA_7uxWg/o.jpg
    http://s3-media2.fl.yelpcdn.com/saph...sQ8OdkOg/o.jpg
    http://s3-media2.fl.yelpcdn.com/saph...MuP0DPhw/o.jpg

    Some of the actions were for paying to have negative reviews removed...

  9. #9
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    Only 6 results. Interesting. There will be many interesting battles in the upcoming years between consumers, businesses, and search engines/review sites. Reviews can make or break a business. They also can really empower consumers, maybe even give too much power for businesses that don't have a strategy to collect regularly to balance out the sentiment.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Re: Yelp warns its users - AND shows evidence

    @Eric - I agree wholeheartedly - it's shocking to me what some small businesses will think is worthy of spending money on. In my experience it's been a (totally inaccurate) assumption that these one time actions can lead to positive and sustainable results. I met a new restaurant owner that spent > $1000 on an ad in the local (print) coupon clipper, but doesn't have a website yet.

    With that said, there is one piece of this that continually frustrates me. I could be wrong, but the vibe I got from the ad this person placed is that he's received "legitimate" reviews from people and Yelp is filtering them all. SMBs generally won't understand the IT behind filtering - and when a legitimate customer leaves a review and it gets filtered, many of them feel like they have no choice but to ask for outside assistance. What this person did is totally wrong and I agree it should be called out, but there's a big difference between a legitimate business owner that is just frustrated with missing reviews (and no good explanation why other than "it's the way the filter works") and a business owner who is actively looking to game the system.

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