Generally, the consequence for taking a shortcut with your search engine marketing is some sort of disciplinary action from Google. But a law firm in San Diego is getting more than an SEO problem; the online review and business directory, Yelp, is suing the firm, claiming their employees posted fake reviews to the company’s Yelp profile.
The firm owner, Julian McMillan, believes there is no merit to the case and that the lawsuit is more about retaliation. “They’re an Internet bully and they abused their dominant Internet position for advertising contracts,” he told ABC News. “Here they are trying to squash my freedom of speech in small claims court, which awarded me back $2,700 for my advertising contract.”
Marketwatch suggests that the law firm in San Diego, McMillan Law Group, is not an isolated matter. Yelp says it has been stepping up efforts to squash fake reviews and taking on advertisers that they believe are getting reviews which are not genuine.
This is a serious problem for Yelp. Their core business model relies on consumers getting accurate feedback. Some believe Yelp, which went public one year ago (NYSE:YELP), may be trying to bolster their image with investors who have enjoyed a nearly 300 percent gain in their stock value.
Litigation in Place of Innovation
What is most odd about this strategy is that by suing companies, Yelp seems to be more interested in litigation than innovation. Spam is a part of life on the internet and it’s up to the internet brands to develop filtering techniques, which Yelp has attempted.
Last year, one of our clients reached out to...CONTINUE READING
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