How to Spot Fake Yelp Reviews

Are Yelp reviews fake? It’s a question that’s been asked a lot lately, and with good reason.

Yelp has been accused of allowing businesses to post fake positive reviews, and of removing negative reviews that don’t meet their “content guidelines.”

So what’s the truth? Are Yelp reviews fake?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the evidence and see if we can come to a conclusion.


1. Why are Yelp reviews fake?


Some businesses feel that they need to post fake positive reviews on Yelp in order to counteract any negative reviews that may be posted. Additionally, some businesses will post negative reviews about their competitors in an attempt to make them look bad.

There are a few different reasons why someone might write a fake review on Yelp. In some cases, the reviewer may have been paid or given some sort of incentive to write a positive review. In other cases, the reviewer may be a friend or family member of the business owner, or they could be someone who was given a discount or freebie in exchange for their review.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all fake reviews are created equal. Some fake reviews are easy to spot, while others are much more convincing. Additionally, some businesses may hire professional services to write fake reviews for them, which can make it even harder to spot the fakes.


2. How to spot fake reviews?


When reading reviews, take note of the following signs that may indicate a fake review:

-The reviewer only has one review.
-The review is short and contains few details.
-The language is exaggerated or overly positive.
-The reviewer uses fake names or generic names (e.g., “a foodie”).
-The reviewer’s location does not match the location of the business being reviewed.
-The review contains grammatical errors or typos.
-The reviewer promotes another business in their review.
-The timestamp on the review is from several years ago or recent months ago.


3. The consequences of fake Yelp reviews


When business owners or their employees write fake Yelp reviews, they are risking a lot. Not only could they get caught and fined, but their business could also suffer from reputation damage. Your reputation is part of your brand, and by addressing the presence of fake Yelp reviews, you are taking control of brand management.

If customers catch on to the fact that a business is writing fake reviews, they will likely lose trust in that business. In some cases, customers might even leave negative reviews in response to fake ones.

All of this can lead to a decrease in customers and revenue for the business. So, while writing fake Yelp reviews may seem like a quick and easy way to boost a business’s reputation, it’s actually a risky move that could backfire in a big way.


4. How to remove negative Yelp reviews?


There are a few ways to remove negative Yelp reviews, but before we get into that, let’s first understand why someone might want to write a fake Yelp review in the first place.

There are two main reasons:

1. To punish a business: Maybe they had a bad experience and they want to warn others, or maybe they’re just a troll who gets satisfaction from ruining someone’s day.

2. To boost a business: This is usually done by either the business owner themselves or by someone they’ve hired. The idea is to create the illusion of popularity by artificially inflating the number of positive reviews.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about the first type of fake review. But if you’ve been targeted by the second type, there are steps you can take to have the review removed.

The first step is to reach out to the reviewer directly and try to resolve the issue offline. If that doesn’t work, you can flag the review as inappropriate and request that Yelp remove it. Yelp will then investigate and determine whether or not the review violates its guidelines.

If you believe that the review is fake but doesn’t violate Yelp’s guidelines, you can try blasting social media with positive reviews to drown out the negative one. This method is less likely to be effective, but it’s worth a shot if you’re desperate.


5. How to delete a review?


It’s really not that hard to spot a fake Yelp review. But if you’re still unsure, here are some tips:

-The review is written in poor English
-The reviewer only has one or two reviews
-The review is overly positive or negative
-The date of the review is from a long time ago or recent
-The reviewer is from out of town

If you see any of these red flags, it’s likely that the review is fake. So how do you delete a Yelp review? Unfortunately, you can’t delete reviews yourself. Only the reviewer can delete their own review. However, you can report the review to Yelp and they will investigate it.


6. How to report a fake Yelp review?


If you think a review is fake, you can report it to Yelp by following these steps:

1. Go to the page of the review you want to report.
2. Click the 3 dots in the top-right corner of the review.
3. Click “Report Review.”
4. Select the reason you’re reporting the review, then click “Submit.”


7. What Yelp’s content guidelines say about fake reviews


Yelp’s content guidelines strictly prohibit businesses from offering any sort of incentive in exchange for a review, whether it be positive or negative. This guideline makes sense when you think about it: if businesses were allowed to offer incentives, they could easily game the system by paying people to write positive reviews, which would give them an unfair advantage over businesses that were playing by the rules.

In addition, Yelp states that reviews must represent the “genuine opinions of users” and must not be “written for any purpose other than to share accurate information about someone’s firsthand consumer experience.” This means that businesses cannot write their own reviews, and employees or family members of a business cannot write reviews on its behalf.


8. What business owners should do about fake reviews


-The first step is to identify the fake review. Common signs of a fake review are an unusually high number of reviews, reviews that are short and lack detail, and reviews that are from users who have few or no other reviews.
-The next step is to report the review to Yelp. Yelp has a process for business owners to flag reviews that they believe are fake.
-If you believe that a Yelp user is writing fake reviews for other businesses, you can report this to Yelp as well.
-Finally, try to get organic positive reviews from your customers. The more positive reviews you have, the less impact one negative review will have.

If all this seems too much, an online review management company may be the best solution. These professionals can help you maintain a positive online reputation and eliminate the business risks associated with negative or false reviews.

Catch up on more news from RPI!

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