Yelp’s FAQ page explicitly states that a user is unable to pay the company in order to preserve a pristine reputation. Why then is the FTC revealing 2,000 complaints that allege the company has been trying to sell exactly that idea? Yelp may say they separate the content and revenue side of the business, but they aren’t clear on what that means for businesses. Several sources from businesses who have spoken to Yelp’s sales team claim that Yelp has used their competitors to try and sell advertising space, threatening them with competition on their page if they refuse to pay. Meanwhile, consumers have privacy concerns as Yelp faces court battles over alleged falsified reviews.
The integrity of Yelp is about the only commodity the site has to attract repeat visits. The authenticity of the reviews posted there is important to consumers looking for new destinations for products and services. With a recent surge of fake and ineligible reviews hitting the site, CEO Jeremy Stoppleman has decided to speak authoritatively on steps Yelp has taken to stop these reviews from becoming commonplace. Yelp has begun issuing citations in the form of modal popups. These messages warn potential customers that the business they are viewing was caught faking reviews.
A new ruling from the Virginia Court of Appeals is forcing Yelp to reveal the names of seven anonymous users that left bad reviews of a carpet care business. The ruling looks at the legitimacy of online reviews that cannot be verified through traditional means. Yelp currently allows users full posting rights as anonymous, believing that everyone should have the right to express their opinions without identifying themselves personally. The courts, apparently, disagree. Drawing on a pre-existing statute, the Virginia court ruled that the reviews presented significant enough risk to the business that the owner was justified in requesting the user data. This case falls under well defined laws in the state of Virginia, but the rest of the US is still reeling from the verdict. Will this ruling forever jeopardize a user’s right to post a negative review of a business anonymously
A recent article from the LA Times reports the growing dissatisfaction with Yelp, a popular review site for restaurants, tradesmen, and local businesses. Yelp, Inc. held a panel of three reviewers and two business owners at the Pantages Theatre on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California. The meeting was held in an effort to explore misconceptions surrounding the company and to build relationships with business owners. However, the discussion quickly degenerated into an emotionally ridden criticism of the website’s aggressive advertising practices. One business owner, Craig Martin of Cafe 50′s in West Los Angeles, told the panel, “I have one-star reviews for my diner from people that have never walked into the place
Your online reputation is now protected by the new launch of Reputation Fighters. Founded by Pierre Zarokian of Submit Express, Reputation Fighters will offer the same quality service offered by the parent company for the last 14 years. Deeply involved in the operations of Submit Express, Pierre is known for assuring great work for his customers. Online reputation is incredibly important for small businesses because it reflects the amount of time, money, education, equipment, staff training and marketing you have invested. Unfortunately, many businesses fall victim to angry staff and crazy customers ranting about them online, whether the content is true or not. Most customers use online review sites like Amazon and Yelp to determine if they want to even set foot in your door to buy your products and services. 83% of consumers report that online customer reviews helped them formulate their decisions. Even one false review can dramatically decrease your sales, especially those placed on high ranking sites like RipOff Report. Reputation management helps reduce the impact of negative reviews showing up in search results
Ripoff report is now offering a postive reputation program called Ripoff Report Verified that gives firms 14 days to take care of new complaints before critical reviews are posted for an ongoing $90 per month. Businesses may be able to use this to have higher rankings in Google and Bing. Ripoff report is notorious for getting companies in trouble with bad reviews, fake or real. Owner Ed Magedson believes that there is “99% truth” to all the reports placed on the website and will not remove any reports placed therein. But other business owners say otherwise.