Yelp Paid Review Alerts

Yelp’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.

yelp paid reviews

yelp paid reviews

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.

This has our team here at wondering, what if a unscrupulous business goes on Mturk, Fiverr or Craigslist and offers cash or incentives for reviews on competitor sites, how does this get handled? Only time will tell how Yelp will continue to battle against paid reviews, in the meantime we suggest DONT chance it.