Table of Contents_
If you tend to rely on Yelp to help decide where to order food from or what businesses to frequent, you may be worried about fake Yelp reviews. Do fake Yelp reviews exist? How do you deal with fraudulent Yelp reviews? That’s where we come in.
Before you can understand if Yelp features fake reviews, it can help to learn about Yelp and how it works. Yelp is a platform that lists restaurants and other businesses and allows them to be rated. Any Yelp member can leave reviews on the establishment they have frequented and these reviews are collated into an average of one to five stars. In case you’re wondering, this is why reviews are important.
Customers tend to use Yelp to gauge interest in a local business and to check in on other customers to read about their experiences. Additionally, the companies use Yelp as a source of advertising and drum up sales. For instance, restaurant Yelp pages will often feature official photos of the menu as taken by the restaurant owners.
Yelp is a part of the Internet and is therefore subject to fake and fraudulent reviews. It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of Yelp reviews are fake, though the company has instituted several measures to get that number down. Fraudulent customer feedback has also been rampant in recent years due to fake App Store reviews.
Yelp is a platform that lists restaurants and other businesses and allows them to be rated.
There are several ways to tell that a review is fake or fraudulent. Here are some of the things to be on the lookout for.
Take a gander at the reviewer’s profile photo. Does it look like a real person with real friends who could have actually visited this establishment? If not, the review could be fake and the image could be a stock image.
You should also open up the reviewer’s page and check out what other businesses they have reviewed. Are the reviews concentrated in one location? That could be an indicator the reviewer is the real deal. If the reviews are for businesses located throughout the world, warning bells should be going off.
Take some time to analyze the language of the review itself. Does it seem like a real person wrote it in their native tongue? If so, good. If not, it could be a fake review.
It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of Yelp reviews are fake, though the company has instituted several measures to get that number down.
Can you illegally buy Yelp reviews?
Yes. There are several ways to buy fake Yelp reviews for your business, but this is illegal and may backfire. We do not recommend engaging in this practice.
How do bad Yelp reviews affect your business?
Bad Yelp reviews can seriously impact a business, particularly a restaurant. If you get enough bad reviews, it will bring the overall rating down which could make potential customers think twice before visiting your establishment.
Can you remove fake Yelp reviews or complaints?
Yes. Contact Yelp’s customer service team and they will look into the review and place a freeze on it if warranted.
STAT: Boosting a restaurant’s rating on Yelp by even one star can increase its revenues by as much as 9 percent, according to a study published in 2011. (source)