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Converting Visitors into Customers: Yelp Launches ‘Call to Action’ Feature

Online review site Yelp has a message to anyone who might try to enhance their business reputation by writing or buying fake reviews: don’t even try.

In one of its latest moves to combat review fraud, Yelp slapped consumer alerts on the pages of those suspected to be manipulating their ratings and reviews. “While our recommendation software (Review Filter) does a great job weeding out unreliable reviews,” writes Kristen Whisenand, Yelp communications executive, “our investigation team is also always on the job… We issued a new round of Consumer Alerts warnings in connection with a handful of businesses.”

(Check out: “Giving Yourself 5 Stars? The Cons of Faking Your Online Reviews”)

business reputation

This includes businesses that have already been penalized in previous rounds of consumer alerts. Whisenand says that while these alerts are normally removed after 90 days, Yelp won’t hesitate to continue displaying them. Alerts come with links to evidence of suspicious activity, as well as a message that reads: “We caught someone offering up cash, discounts, gift certificates or other incentives in exchange for reviews about this business. We wanted you to know because buying reviews not only hurts consumers, but also honest businesses who play by the rules.”

Those caught trying to fake their way to a better business reputation on Yelp include Chicago-based nail salon Azure Nails as well as LA-based Evergreen Carpet Cleaning. (Shame on you, guys.)

“It’s unfortunate that some people are so set on gaming the system (and misleading consumers) that the additional step of posting Consumer Alerts is necessary,” adds Whisenand. “That said… we’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that Yelp remains helpful to consumers.”

Is the authenticity of reviews a growing problem for your business? How do you feel about Yelp’s efforts to address this issue? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. Amanda

    People have to be able to trust that the reviews they are reading online are genuine. If reputable sites begin to get bogged down by fake reviews then they lose their credibility. That is why it is also important to trust that these sites have a system in place to make sure their reviews can be trusted.