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Paid Reviews Don’t Have a Place on Yelp



Let’s say you decide you’re ready to try out that new hairstyle you’ve been seeing in magazines so you do a quick search on Yelp to find just the right stylist. You think you find the place, but imagine how unhelpful it would be if all of those glowing reviews you’re reading were solicited from a business owner looking to artificially inflate their Yelp rating? Don’t worry, we don’t tolerate attempts to mislead consumers and we go to great lengths to recommend reviews on Yelp that reflect honest opinions of consumers.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our content and have a number of systems in place to recommend the most helpful reviews to the more than 100 million unique visitors who turn to the site each month. Our first line of defense is our recommendation software which works 24/7 to sift through the more than 47 million reviews that have been submitted to the site to recommend the most useful and reliable ones. In addition, we rely on our community of users to flag and bring issues to our user support team’s attention, we work with law enforcement officials when necessary, and we issue Consumer Alert warnings when we catch a business red-handed attempting to deceive consumers.

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Today we posted a new round of Consumer Alert warnings for a number of businesses who we have caught either trying to buy reviews, offering rewards or discounts for reviews or having a large number of reviews submitted from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address.

For example, we discovered a Craigslist post that offered to pay Yelpers for writing reviews for Edan Edan Salon in Los Angeles, as you can see from the below evidence (which we hyperlink to in the Consumer Alert on Edan Edan Salon’s Yelp listing). How do we know this ad was posted by the business and not some imposter? The phone number and email address given in the ad match those that were used to claim Edan Edan Salon’s free business owner account.

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It’s important to keep in mind that we don’t act in haste when issuing these alerts. Our team painstakingly gathers evidence and conducts stings. And if the offending behavior stops, the Consumer Alert warning will be removed from the business' Yelp listing after 90 days.

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