Fake Yelp Reviews
If you’re going through Yelp reviews to choose where to go out or eat, you’re likely to be misled or even conned, says Mr Keeley, author of a recent study showing that at least 36 percent of the reviews are fudged or bias. The research concluded that the worst offenders are restaurants trying to negate negative write-ups, that chain restaurants are the least likely to make fake reviews, and that restaurants take the low ground by posting damaging reviews for establishments who are in the same area and competing over the same customers.
Every effort to ensure the veracity of their content, sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp doesn't change that they remain easy prey, concludes John Keeley, a School of Management professor of marketi and advertisement.
The study was cited in a recent published Journal prompted by the a recent initiative called "Clean up our Image" uncovering manipulation in the reputation management industry. This investigation led to 25 companies agreeing to stop using fake online reviews and facing fines of €310,000. After its results were reported on additional blogs and business news sites, Keeley's study triggered a response from Yelp’s president for comms and affairs on the site’s homepage. This study “confirms something we have long known: businesses that don’t have a good reputation online will try to create one by submitting phony reviews,” it reads. Yelp says its filter sifts through its more than 40 million reviews, rooting out the 35 percent found to be fraudulent or submitted by the businesses themselves.