Nearly One-Fifth of Yelp Restaurant Reviews Are Phony, Shows Study
Earlier this month (Oct 2013) it was reported that business review website Yelp had sued an individual who won against the company in small claims court. Julian McMillian, a San Diego lawyer, had sued Yelp over an ad deal. Yelp is now asking for $25,000 from McMillian for allegedly teaming with other lawyers in a scheme to plant fake good reviews on each others’ Yelp pages.
That situation demonstrates just how serious Yelp is about protecting its image as an impartial source of business reviews. This, however, is at odds with business owners’ desire for good reviews, which can make the difference in thousands of dollars in revenue. With so many shady SEO companies promising good Yelp reviews, Yelp has implemented one of the harshest filtering systems in social media. It’s a system that often makes it the target of extortion claims from business owners who feel the company’s advertising practices conflict with its filtering goals.