October 18th, 2012

Buy Reviews on Yelp, Get Black Mark

By DAVID STREITFELD
New York Times

Businesses caught soliciting favorable reviews are increasingly running the risk of getting slapped with a badge of shame.

Like every Web site that depends on consumer critiques, Yelp has a problem with companies trying to manipulate their results. So it set up a sting operation to catch them. The first eight businesses — including a moving company, two repair shops and a concern that organizes treasure hunts — will find themselves exposed on Thursday.

For the next three months, their Yelp profile pages will feature a “consumer alert” that says: “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews for this business.”

Potential customers will see the incriminating e-mails trying to hire a reviewer.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/technology/yelp-tries-to-halt-deceptive-reviews.html?ref=business&_r=0

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