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Qype has announced that it cut more than 2,000 fake reviews last month as it seeks to clean up its listings.

It said that around 3% of new reviews have been deleted since it declared war on unethical listings last year.

The move comes after TripAdvisor was banned from claiming all its hotel and restaurant reviews could be trusted, following complaints that hoteliers were posting fake comments to promote their own business and undermine the competition.

After a four month investigation, the Advertising Standards Authority stated that as it was possible for reviews to be posted without any verification TripAdvisor could no longer claim all the comments were honest or from real people.

Qype’s press release took a swipe at its competitors saying: “Unlike some other reviews sites, Qype does not rely solely on an obscure algorithm to weed out fake reviews.”

Instead it uses “up-to-date” technology to flag suspect items and a team of people to evaluate the evidence and ensure reviews are deleted if necessary.

But while this move should be commended, it is also surely the least its users should expect.

You would think that most savvy web users treat review sites with a degree of caution and probably use the likes of Qype as a starting point for their research before looking for further information elsewhere.

With a review posted to Qype every 30 seconds there will inevitably be some that slip through the net, and what of those that already exist within its database of 13.5m online listings?

Have they all been weeded out as part of Qype’s ‘war on unethical listings’? It's unlikely, but it is good to see that Qype is taking the problem seriously - and proactively.

David Moth

Published 24 February, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1684 more posts from this author

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Andy Williams

Andy Williams, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

As the article touches on, surly this is the least Qype should be doing.

Should it be such a big statement that a review driven site takes a firm stance on fake reviews?

Shouldn't this be standard?

over 4 years ago

Stephen Logan

Stephen Logan, Senior Copywriter at Koozai

The competitive nature of business can sometimes bring out the worst in people, so its important that review sites can keep on top of which comments are genuine and which aren't.

The recent 'trust' issue with Trip Advisor highlights the problems that these sites face when attempting to offer impartial user reviews. Clearly more needs to be done to tackle deliberately damaging or self-promotional comments, so it's good to read that Qype is taking a step in the right direction.

Human testing might well be the only way in which they can effectively weed out this form of gaming, at least until algorithms can be improved sufficiently. However, if they want to be taken seriously, then action is needed.

Whilst we as consumers can often see past the obvious marketing bluster of some reviews, this shouldn't be necessary; especially when some businesses are being boosted by exaggerated claims or damaged by malicious rivals. So kudos to Qype, but hopefully we'll be hearing more from the other big players on their efforts to stamp out a growing problem.

over 4 years ago

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Jose Jimenez

You can spot fake reviews pretty easily in many instances. I now spend as much time (if not more) checking reviews are genuine before making a choice. I use Qype and its a problem for sure so Im glad to hear they are doing something about it.

over 4 years ago

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Its encouraging to hear that Qype are clamping down on fake reviews. One of the ways they can compete with Yelp is to deliver more genuine reviews.

over 4 years ago

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AJPC Solutions

As a Premium Qype advertiser, I'm concerned that many of the reviews are now being commented on by other advertisers, stating that Qype is a con!

Although "fake" reviews might be removed, it's no use if the whole directory is swamped by loads of comments "dissing" the directory as a whole and detracting from the actual reviews.

These deprecating comments don't seem to be being removed, so I'd be concerned how much effort is actually being put into removing any non genuine reviews by the company.

The fact that the whole system of online business directories seems to be undermined by the review system that's supposed to improve it, together with Google's apparent desire to remove their relevance to its algorithm, makes me think the money would be better spent on AdWords (& therefore falling right into Googles' plan for world domination!).

over 4 years ago

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StylishSuds

I just signed up our company to QYPE for 6 months. Lets see how it will work out.

over 4 years ago

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John Bodicoat

This stinks. A crowd of us attended a function last year at which the supplier became drunk and their work was poor. Several attendees posted 1* reviews on Qype and in the last week have received notices that their input has been removed. Qype refer to T&C's. The reviews were all honest and submitted by attendees. If Qype is going to remove them at the request of businesses then we may as well not bother. I for one will have no further business with Qype.

over 4 years ago

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Mike Hill

Qype is a Scum company
i did advertise in Qype for free , and in the other day Geri (that's his fake name) phoned me, and convinced me to join them for £75 for
the first month, and if i'm happy, it will continue for the next 6 months. he told me that if i don't receive any advantage from it, i can stop the contract anytime.
for few days later, i received an eMail which quoting me for 12 months contract. i reply to them to say it's a mistake, and we signed only for 6 months, but no reply till today. after 30 days that i didn't see any business from them, i emailed them for canceling the contract, but no reply. tried to contact Geri, but he pushing me away, that he is always busy, and i should contact the business department. :| anyway, i phoned the Bank to reject any request from Qype to draw money from my bank account. and since than, Geri tried to phone me only after i stopped them from my bank account. but now it's my turn to ignore their calls. Geri !!! no money?? that's how it works. no service, no money. like Pizza.
what you don't get, you don't pay.

about 4 years ago

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Anton

Check the reviews of Piscari seafood restaurant in Eastbourne. All are fake. I bet a check will show the ip adresses of the agency that built the website for the restaurant. Its blackhat SEO and misleading advertising. I used to write reviews, but cant be bothered anymore.

about 4 years ago

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thetroot

Qype is a scam!!!

I was a new business and i got a call from a qype employee Sam and she said that Qype will send 10000 visitors to my website or my money back. I signed up for it and i never got any traffic to my website, i then called qype and another employee Harvey told me that the 10000 visitors was to my qype profile alone and not to my website at all!!!!!!!!!!!

When i explained that i was mis sold the product he said i signed a contract and it does not matter what i was told over the phone and i must keep paying qype even though they were not sending anyone to my business as Sam told me in the beginning.

Their sales calls are not recorded so the person that signs you up can tell you anything to sign. Also i never signed the contract. When this fraud of a business called me i was on the train and the 'man' that took my card details sent me the contract and then said ' you do not need to sign it, just send me a reply and i will click the button for you'

I admit i was stupid to believe the lies. Please no business should sign up with this people, they are a fraud, and they will say anything to get you to enter and when you realize that it is a scam, it is too late, you can never get out!!

I will be filling legal claims against them and i hope that no one ever falls into the same scam.

about 4 years ago

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Marion Hanson

I would just like to know how to remove my company listing from QUYPE. I have never asked to be on it - the address and telephone number are incorrect but I can't get them to take me off!
The worst thing is that our website is pushed below Quype's inaccurate listing.

I have phoned them and requested that my listing is removed but they won't do it.

M

almost 4 years ago

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Chadstone

I no longer write reviews on Qype as they removed a negative review of Jamie Olivers Recipease in Brighton. When I queried this they said that I had never been there. As I had written quite a nmber of reviews of varying scores on many other businesses I thought this was very strange. When I pressed tham further I was told that Jamie Oliver's had asked for it to be removed. I was disgusted, as this kind of behaviour negates the whole purpose of the site. I asked form review to be reinstated, which they said they could not do. I then recreated my original review. This was also removed after a few weeks. I don't trust Qype and tell everyone I know not to use it.

almost 4 years ago

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franck

Dont trust Qype -

All phone numbers have been disconnected - no reply to any emails.

Qype is own by Yelp now. Still no phone numbers or emails reply. I trying to stop them taking my money, but its hard. The bank is getting involve as cannot get in touch with anyone.

All my reviews have been remove from my Qype listing, not cool at all.

over 3 years ago

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