According to a study just put out by the Harvard Business School, the number of fake reviews on Yelp rose to 20% in 2013 from 5% since 2006.
So much for their slogan "Real People. Real Reviews."
Not that this is Yelp's fault; they were complicit with the studies as they happened. In other words businesses, the restaurants themselves or marketing firms, were writing or hiring others to fabricate positive reviews to boost their own online reputation enhance their ratings and increase their notoriety.
Vine Sollitto, VP of Corporate Communications at Yelp, told CNN "What we believe this particular announcement does, more than anything, is put those businesses on notice that this is not a harmless little exercise designed to boost your ratings. It's a deliberate attempt to mislead consumers, it violates our guidelines, but more importantly it violates the law."
Recently the Attorney General of NYC busted 19 companies for writing fake reviews and fined them $350,000.
Rest assured, here at Melange Media we couldn't be more genuine and honest with our practices. Instead of artificially boosting results, we foster only organic connections with your audience. It's these authentic gestures that cultivate growth and give your brand an identity, a voice standing out from the rest of the (potentially fake) white noise.
If we detect a fake review created against your brand, we ask Yelp (as well as Open Table, Foursquare, Trip Advisor, and all major ratings sites) to remove it. Though it is difficult to screen for fake reviews, just know that we are hyper-vigilant and train our eyes at your online reputation, giving you updates and analysis as they arise.
It's important that you understand that review sites are critical in maintaining your online reputation. At Melange Media we steer your brand to be as positive and sincere as possible.
Let us know how we can serve you firstname.lastname@example.org.