Yelp Starts Showing Evidence Of Review Fraud

Yelp now shows evidence of review fraud directly to their users, with screen shots and notes.

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Yelp, the popular local search engine, has added evidence of review fraud directly in the reviews section of local businesses. If Yelp blocks out reviews and places a “Consumer Alert” box, it may show a button to “show me the evidence,” which will take the searcher directly to the place the business owner is suspected of trying to pay someone to leave a review.

I covered this via a forum thread, which shares an example of the alert. I was able to locate this example and share with you high resolution screen shots.

Here is a screen shot of the “consumer alert” box that has the “show me the evidence” button:


When you click on it, Yelp directs you to a screen shot of the evidence, in this case a Craigslist job to pay people to drop reviews for this business:


The web version of this box acts slightly differently, enable the user to show the review but also click on the show evidence link. It reads:

We caught someone red-handed trying to pay someone to write, change, or remove a review for this business. We weren’t fooled, but wanted you to know because these actions not only hurt consumers, but also honest businesses who play by the rules. Check out the evidence here.

Show me the reviews

At the top of the evidence screen shot it says “our customer service team found this evidence of someone trying to purchase Yelp reviews. Below is a copy of their ad, as well as the email exchange between our team and the Craigslist poster.”

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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