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Consumer Alerts: These Shady Practices Don’t Fool Yelp

Today we’re releasing a new round of 136 Consumer Alerts to let people know that we’ve detected attempts to manipulate ratings and reviews on Yelp. While our automated recommendation software is constantly sorting through Yelp’s rich data in an effort to highlight the most helpful reviews, our skilled team of detectives tracks down efforts to deceive consumers, such as offers of money to remove bad reviews. We then alert consumers about this activity by placing a pop-up on the affected Yelp pages for a minimum of 90 days.

Some of the offenders this time around include:

  • Arizona Rug Company – a carpet and rug company paying customers to remove their negative Yelp reviews
  • Significance Orthodontics – an orthodontics office incentivizing 5 star reviews on Yelp in exchange for a free whitening pen
  • 5 Star Moving – a moving company offering $30 credits for 5 star Yelp reviews

This is all part of our Consumer Alerts program, which has caught hundreds of attempts to artificially inflate ratings through a number of tactics, and part of Yelp’s larger Consumer Protection Initiative. Our Consumer Protection Initiative is continuing to grow and more announcements are on the way. In the meantime, if you’ve spotted some suspicious behavior, please let our investigators know.