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Local SEO: ABC News Says Yelp Reviews Worth $200 (roflmao) !

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by B. Friendly, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2012/11/yelp-outs-companies-that-pay-for-positive-reviews/

    I think the $200 figure is bullshit. Mass-media lies. Tries to find a scapegoat, demonize them, "outs" them, etc... trying to make people feel fluffing-up your online reviews is illegal or immoral.

    You can't find a high-competition local business niche where the top listings DON'T have obviously fake Yelp reviews. The idiots at ABC say that "up to 30%" of the Yelp reviews are "fake". How about 80%?

    Also, deconstruct the quote above. Reviews are either "fake" or they are "truthful". Which means that "real" reviews are truth, and "fake" reviews are LIES, which are immoral. Stupid ABC doesn't have a clue about internet marketing. They should consult with both of their audience members in order to find out about it.

    Yelp reviews are actually a little more sophisticated than whether or not you use the word "husband" or "floor" in the body of the text. When purchasing, you need to understand that Yelp reviews have a "stick rate", and that no one gets 100%. Best number I've heard so far is 90%, and the highest price I've seen that has actually been paid is $40.00.

    Another thing to think about is that the IP Address gets translated to a city, so 10 reviews of a strictly local business from cities outside the local area are obviously going to look fake. It's possible that vacationers might patronize an auto repair shop in an emergency, but when 100% of that auto body shop's reviews are from outside the state area, well duh I think that's a pretty good indicator that the reviews are all fake. So when purchasing fake reviews, you might want to think about that.

    Finally, a fake Yelp review purchaser needs to think about whether they are going to write the text of the review and have someone else post them, or if they are going to delegate the job of creating the content to someone else. I think "B" is a bad idea, as non-locals cannot get the local "feel", and using none-English speakers risks having an obviously fake review posted against your business that will be difficult or impossible to take back or edit. Best I think to give premade reviews to someone, and have them "dripped" at a predetermined rate.

    Which is another topic to disuss: fake review drip rate. Obviously fake reviews happen quickly, and within a short period of time (say 30 days). Better to have them spaced out over a period of a year or so. Maybe 6 months, but not 3 months. I'd be interested in what other people think about this.

    As an ongoing effort, I'm looking for reliable Yelp review suppliers, as well as having technical conversations and information sharing on the current state of Yelp review faking technology (lol). You can find me on Skype by the icon in my avatar, or if that is too difficult you can send a PM and I'll spoon feed you my Skype ID that way.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  2. viralyoutube

    viralyoutube Newbie

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    the hard part is to find reviewers that dont get spam filtered by yelp. freakin a-holes
     
  3. jsherloc

    jsherloc Junior Member

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    Hey B. Friendly, great write-up on the Yelp "review scene". I too saw the ABC report, interesting and amusing like you mentioned lol. If people want to avoid "fake reviews", there are some things they can do to try to get their legitimate reviews unfiltered and to ensure new legitimate reviews have a high chance of "sticking" and getting through Yelp's automated review filter algorithm. A lot of these techniques are discussed here:

    Strategies That Can Help With Yelp

    It is interesting to note the differences between Yelp accounts for businesses, and personal Yelp accounts. As a business owner, you can actually leverage your personal account etc. Nothing will ever work 100% as their algo is just too "wonky". There are companies popping up now that will drip feed legitimate reviews for you as well. Basically you collect the reviews, specify where you want them posted and how often, and then the company automatically drip feeds your customer reviews to the popular business review websites of your choice.

    I'm curious to see how Yelp and other companies respond to these types of automated/dripfeed services...I wonder if they will have any TOS issues etc...
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  4. mikeads66

    mikeads66 Junior Member

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    Getting fake reviews to stick isn't too hard, but they won't end up helping you. You'd realize this if you knew knew how Yelp worked.

    "Fake Yelp Reviews" is a nonsensical service because it can't actually benefit you. Yelp doesn't work the way you think it does. Even if those reviews stuck.

    To be honest there isn't much of any strategies here. All they say is that you should complete your profile as much as possible and hope that it gets more things to stick. To be honest, it probably won't.

    There is a very good reason why Yelp filters out so many legitimate reviews, and it will always do so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  5. mikeads66

    mikeads66 Junior Member

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    double post sorry
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  6. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    Never claimed I understood how Yelp works, but that assertion is implicit in your post. So why don't you tell us all how Yelp works. We'd all be very interested in knowing. Take some time, and give us all the benefit of your wisdom, please. You'll increase your post count, and maybe increase your Rep+ which would be good for you.

    While explaining this to us all, please do explain how it is that virtually every top-ranking local business in every single major city have Yelp reviews that are obviously fake? And why are top-ranking local businesses all paying money in order to get those fake reviews. Are they all wrong? Do they not understand "How Yelp Works" like you do? Are you like that guy in the beer commercial, the "Smartest Yelp Man in the Universe"?

    Really? What might that be? I mean, besides the fact that they WORK, and people want them bad enough to pay money for them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  7. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    This is kind of a bit stretched in my opinion. In some very competitive markets there may be a lot of owners doing this, but at the local level I see, almost no one even worries about reviews, they know nothing about yelp. I have clients that come up first in the Yelp search restult that have no reviews of any kind.

    I do deal with smaller businesses, so that may be a factor, but I very seldom have to resort to any reviews for my clients. I have never faked one either. For most single owner or mom-and-pop service businesses this has been the case in my experience at least.
     
  8. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    thanks for reminding me about yelp - In my efforts to look legitimate I haven't posted a fake review there for a few months. I just wrote a cracker of one.
     
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  9. mikeads66

    mikeads66 Junior Member

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    An interesting thing about knowledge is that it's possible to actually be further away from the truth than if you knew absolutely nothing. It's one thing to admit you don't understand anything and then work hard to pursue understanding, and a completely different thing to make up a bunch of half-ass assumptions with absolutely no proof to back anything up.

    You would be closer to understanding how yelp works if you literally threw everything you just said away and started over from scratch. That's how far away from the truth you are. You literally have negative understanding.

    The fact that I'm even telling you this is already a service in itself. But you want to be spoon fed even more. It ain't gonna happen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  10. ExtraWinner

    ExtraWinner BANNED BANNED

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    Now contact 10K businesses and offer them 50% off per Yelp review at $100 each.
    This article is not only allowing you to bump regular review price but also let people know there is something like Yelp review selling.
     
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  11. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    Well, in part yes it was "stretched" to illustrate the point, but on the other hand, maybe not so much. I did an analysis on what appeared to be a very competitive niche in a particular US City, and all 5 of the top-listed tire shops had CRAZY amounts of Yelp reviews, the highest being 80.

    I've seen Yogurt shops in Austin, also with disproportionate number of Yelp reviews, and it seems the local listings started from the most yelp reviews down to the least yelp reviews. Maybe it depends on industry. Maybe it depends on geography. Maybe Yelp is what Google pays attention to when everything else seems to be equivalent, IDK.

    But what I'm sure of is that intelligent people do not broadly dismiss an entire school of thought as if they were some kind of authority, in an environment populated by people that are at least, if not more intelligent than they are, without giving any kind of substantiation for their statements other than "because I said so". Typically, the people that do this are pin-headed, egomaniacal dipshits that couldn't find their ass with both hands, even after somebody superglued their fingers to their asshole. Not that I'm calling anyone names here, but that's how I react when confronted with the situation described. What's that internet meme?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcello_Truzzi

    Beyond the basic matter of standard online etiquette and accepted protocol, BHW is a learning community, and there is a certain obligation to share that knowledge. Self-appoint gurus that make wild claims and derisive comments to newbs that do not know "the truth" are found on WF. I think standards are higher here.
     
  12. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    Quit bloviating and tell us how it works, we are waiting with bated breath.
     
  13. jsherloc

    jsherloc Junior Member

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    Here are some actionable tips for increasing your chances of getting your legitimate reviews to stick, from that article:

    1.As we've discussed, ensure that you complete your public Yelp profile. Include a clear image of yourself and add your location.
    2.Connect your Yelp profile with your Facebook page. Publish your reviews on Facebook and Twitter.
    3.Invite people to become friends and create a large, active friend base.
    4.Follow other popular reviewers in your area and tag other member's reviews as "Useful", "Funny" etc.
    5.Bookmark your reviews and bookmark businesses and other member's reviews. Keep your bookmarks public.
    6.Log in from a mobile device with a local IP address and use that mobile device when leaving a review. Use that mobile device to "check-in" at local businesses.
    7.Only leave reviews in your local area.
    8.Make sure that your reviews are at least 150-300 words. Make sure your reviews are professional and very detailed. Adding some humor and unique personal stories or opinions to your review can help as well.
    9.Leave multiple reviews over multiple days. Do not write tons of reviews one day and then only leave one more review a month later. Stay consistent and stay active.
    10.Try to avoid using "extreme" ratings when you are using a new account. You might find that a 5-star review or a 1-star review gets filtered in some cases when using a newer account.

    Another thing the article discusses is using a personal Yelp account to become friends with people that have left reviews of your business that got filtered by Yelp. Getting customers, other local business owners, and your community active on Yelp can actually help your business presence (more unfiltered reviews) if done right, but they make it difficult to do in some ways if you're using a business account, weird I know. Also business owners should check out the "Yelp Top Searches" for their area, they'll get an idea how popular their given industry is on Yelp, and they can find out what type of "keywords/categories" they should be targeting within their Yelp business acount.

    IMO Yelp does this because there often IS a very fine line between solicited/pressured vs unsolicited reviews, and they know this and try to have their algo account for it, thus legitimate reviews are going to get filtered. Add to this fact that naturally a lot of people tend to leave negative reviews more often than positive reviews (we as customers expect things to go smoothly and aren't likely to brag about decent service), and it can cause business owners grief for sure.

    Also, geography is huge. In certain areas, Yelp is a MONSTER. I'm in the SF Bay Area right now, and Yelp is HEAVILY integrated into people's lives here. This is probably not the case in other parts of the U.S.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  14. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    Okay, this is a situation where I have 1/2 of a BRILLIANT IDEA, and am looking for the other half.

    So, like anyone else involved in Local SEO, I'm always looking for the best/fastest/easiest/cheapest/most reliable way to game the various entities in order to benefit clients, such as YELP, G+/Google Places, etc... and the problem of location, IP Address and the need to appear local has always been a problem.

    So the suggestion quoted above would be brilliant BUT, how does one get a "local IP address" when you are doing the Local SEO for a business on the other side of the country?

    Answer: Google Voice, or any one of several other VOIP services I know of.

    So, the other 1/2 of the BRILLIANT IDEA is how to use a VOIP phone line to browse using a local IP address in order to create some local reviews?