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Yelp Outs More Businesses With Another Batch Of Paid Review Alerts

yelp-logoYelp’s battle against phony reviews and unacceptable tactics to earn reviews continues today with the company posting another batch of “Consumer Alert” messages on business profile pages.

This is the second time Yelp has announced that some businesses will be outed for trying to game its system. Back in October, Yelp put a message on eight business profile pages saying that those companies were “caught … red-handed trying to buy fake reviews.”

The alert being posted today is slightly different. It tells consumers that Yelp “caught someone offering up cash, discounts, gift certificates or other incentives in exchange for reviews about this business.”


Yelp says this message will show on the affected business profiles for the next 90 days. A Yelp spokesperson declined to say exactly how many businesses are getting this alert, but said it’s a “similar number” to the eight that were hit in October.

Among the major local search and directory sites, Yelp has historically been the most strict when it comes to what it will let businesses do to gain reviews. In short, almost nothing. Buying reviews via cash, discounts or gifts is a no-no on other sites, too, but Yelp discourages business owners from even inviting customers to write a review.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Search Engines: Maps Local Search Engines | SEO: Local | Top News | Yelp

About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He blogs at Small Business Search Marketing and can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt’s disclosures on his personal blog.

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Mystic Maggie

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1 comment

  1. M.G.

    Yelp is the biggest bunch of scumbags ever! They leave up phony reviews even after the company or merchant protests the review and they hide legitimate reviews in the filtered section. Their guidelines seem to only be applied at their discretion and usually against legitimate positive reviews. I was told that if I did an ad campaign with them they would clean out the filtered section deleting bad reviews and move the good reviews to the normal review section. Now that they purchased yahoo reviews their Nazi tactics will clearly be expanded!

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