Yelp Will Now Warn You About Paid Reviews

Illustration for article titled Yelp Will Now Warn You About Paid Reviews

Think the overly generous five-star rating of that god awful burger joint in your neighborhood is a bunch of bull? If Yelp suspects reviews are paid for, it will now post a warning sign.

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Going forward, when Yelp discovers these acts of bribery, it will put up a red alert on that business's page. The scarlet letter of Yelp dirty dealings will stay there for 90 days. You often pull up the site and see these gushing reviews, and they make you suspicious. How often do you pull up a site and see these suspicious, gushing reviews? Turns out, Yelp is wary too. Good looking out, guys. [Yelp via TheNextWeb]

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DISCUSSION

Because Yelp reviews are so powerful, this also has the ability to completely destroy a business. If Yelp is going to put this giant flag on a business, they better have extremely solid evidence on the fact that the business is buying reviews, because they are giving a death sentence to that business, driving away any customer that goes to look at its reviews.

Over the past year, my wife's business has 31 "reviews". Of those 31, 10 Five star reviews have been filtered out by Yelp, and aren't included in the overall scoring of the business. These are reviews my wife knows are from customers who were extremely happy with what they received, but Yelp has decided that they are sketchy, and shouldn't be seen by others. So now it looks like they have less reviews than they actually do, and the overall score is lower than it should be because a large portion of the 5-star reviews have been removed.