There is nothing you do online that isn’t tracked, traced, quantified, and qualified. Including paying for people to give your business positive reviews.
I have been saying this for a very long time “DON”T BUY REVIEWS”
Perhaps you have felt it unfair that your competition was doing this and getting away with it. Maybe you’ve been tempted yourself because you have seen how they have risen in the search rankings as a result of raving reviews.
Well your patience and honesty is paying off.
Yelp – Who was one of the most respected online directories and authorities for businesses, allows consumers to openly write business reviews.
A good review on Yelp is a boost to your business.
A bad review can be, well, BAD!
As part of a business’s reputation management activities includes combing the web and paper publications to ensure good things are being said. If not, then this is a good opportunity to fix what is wrong and make it up to the unhappy consumer.
Also by encouraging people to review your business in honest and constructive ways help you to maintain a positive ranking.
But not all business operators have that depth of honesty and have been participating in false review shenanigans since the day they found out reviews actually did boost their Organic Search Engine Results on the SERP (search engine results page).
Yelp made the announcement that people are getting caught and will be publicly outed by having this image posted to their business page.
“…we’ve put on our detective hats, tracked down these rogue solicitations and are now giving you a heads up. Starting today, when we’ve determined that there have been significant attempts to pay for reviews…”
If you are caught the sign of shame will hang on your business account for about 90 days or longer for other violations of their agreement.
There is also a future plan to be even more creative with how they publicly shame the violators.
How did Yelp catch people writing fake reviews?
They set up a ‘sting’ operation.
Yelp has what they call an elite reviewers. People who are very active with their reviews and have been members of the Yelp community for quite awhile. Some of the elite had notified yelp that they had been approached by various businesses to purchase positive reviews.
As a result a Yelp reviewer posed as an elite and sure enough were approached by several businesses offering everything from $5 to $200 for a positive review.
Is this going to start a new trend in negative SEO? Now all your competitor needs to do is openly solicit positive reviews for your company from some shady characters and BOOM!
Stay on top of all the noise by organizing and implementing active reputation management procedures in your company.