Shiny Reputation Releases Warning Against Soliciting Fake Business Reviews

Share Article warns companies against the dirty habit of soliciting reviews, and reviews why.

Every business wants to look squeaky clean online. At some point, whether it be a strangely bitter customer, a person referring to old practices that hasn’t seen the recent changes or a legitimate gripe, someone will be upset by something and leave a poor review. It will happen with almost any business, anywhere. Times like this, or more desperate ones, owners will go to great lengths to rebuild their reputation, assuming that the intangible world of online reviews has a loose moral code., a group that offers public advice to businesses in need of review reparations, is here to explain that this is not the case.

Many review websites, such as Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook’s new application Nearby, and others, have made a strong effort to abolish the practice of soliciting reviews. While certain groups think this practice a harmless quick fix for a damaged background, they are far from correct. If it needs to be said, soliciting reviews hurts everyone. It makes a fool of the customer, discrediting their genuine opinions, and more importantly, becomes an easy out for the owner to avoid actual difficulties the consumers faced and gloss them over with false commendation.

Recently, Yelp and other groups have made a strong effort to destroy the plague of fakes, particularly in the last year, looking for reviews with simplified or strangely vague comments. Those that flat-out bribe their reviewers generally are caught sooner than most, but others that operate on a system of an ever-changing, smarter fake review group, are less transparent.

“The bigger Yelp gets, the more incentive there is to game the system,” says Eric Singley, its vice president for consumer products and mobile. “These notices are the next step in protecting consumers.” And protect them they have. While it seems like the reviews would be unnoticeable, Yelp has found patterns within the comments, and uses website and service monitoring to track them down. Internal filters, usually right at the time of review, decide whether or not the comment is a dubious charlatan or not. If called out, the price can be worse than any poor review.

Various review groups take serious action against an identified solicitation, being the most vengeful in practices. These sites are also affected by the legitimacy of the comments, and take full precaution to make sure repeat offences are far and few between. After discovering faulty reviews, Yelp will post a badge of shame to their profile for at least three months, stating: “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews for this business.” And while this rebuttal seems paltry, Yelp conducts sting operations in a private manner on sites like Craigslist, while TripAdvisor takes a different approach.

This site will not only publicly shame a company, but additionally will exile the company from their review profiles and slap them with hefty fines. While plenty of companies are downright flagrant in the public practice of asking people to write paid reviews, it seems they haven’t caught on to the resulting fines, public shaming, and ruination of reputation. would like to remind owners that server services that keep your computer in good shape, an honest practice online and in person, good old fashioned customer service, and just listening to the negative reviews that are posted will aid you in repairing an establishment or site’s background. Many companies have seemingly increased the competition with these fake reviews, but don’t let it drive a business I n the same direction—those frauds will be caught soon enough.

About Shiny Reputation: enlightens the world of business with free advice for honest online practice and rebuilding their internet credentials. Additionally, private consultation is offered to repair poor comments from Yelp users and other online reviewers.

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