Could the days of egregious Yelp shilling really be over? The popular user-generated review site says its weeding out the fake positive reviews purchased by companies.

Yelp has implemented an alert system designed to protect real user reviews from getting muddled with what is essentially paid advertising. Once flagged, the page of the offending business will display a brief message to other users indicating that Yelp caught the shill tactics. Visitors will then get the opportunity to read evidence in the form of solicitations for good reviews. The warning will be lifted after three months as long as the business doesn’t repeat the offense.

Under the new system, “roughly 1 in 5 reviews are prevented from appearing on the review page because of suspicions it might be a fake.” So far, they have caught nine businesses soliciting positive reviews.

Now, if only they could stop the vast majority of users from being so insufferable, the site might actually be worth using.

[via Los Angeles Times]