Did you know in 2011 there was an estimated 10 million fake reviews?
There is news of an Australian restaurant taking on Tripadvisor over some bad reviews which she claims were made by someone trying to destroy her business. (Source : http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/australian-restaurant-takes-on-Tripadvisor-over-bad-review/story-e6frfq80-1226532022053). Another report claims that up to 10 million reviews could be fake as well, and that was last year, imagine how many more now. (Source http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/investigation-launched-into-tripadvisor-following-claims-up-to-10-million-reviews-could-be-fake/story-e6frfq80-1226129598836). I personally think there are more fake reviews than real ones, some are easy to pick, while others probably you would never pick. I’m sure companies have got better at writing reviews to make them and look more “real”.
Writing fake reviews for restaurants or hotels is as simple as pie and the internet gives you the opportunity to be anonymous, hiding behind a made up screen name. Doing a lot of reading on the web I’ve definitely noticed a large number of fake reviews and the number is far wider than most people think. Heck if I owned a restaurant or hotel I would write a glowing review (and make my staff as well) of my property, then maybe write a few average or not so good ones for my opposition, just to make my profile look legit. I once spoke to a restaurant owner who joked he wrote a bad review for his opposition and he received a few of those ticks for being helpful! The problem with the web is that it gives too much power to the individual, which can be a dangerous thing. Reviewing sites make it all so easy. Not only that, as a business you have to write fake reviews about your property. It’s probably the best and easiest marketing strategies ever, as it advertises to your niche market and for free! You have to be crazy not to take advantage of this, business is so cut throat as it is, and you need to take every opportunity to succeed. So many other businesses must be doing it; it’s just plain stupid if you didn’t. The amazing thing I see when I read some reviews that people comment they are amazed at other reviews, Things like “I can’t believe some of the other reviews on this place blah blah “. I’m not sure that they actually click (in their mind) that they are reading a fake review! Secondly who in their right mind gives free advice on a site when the only one who benefits is the owners of the site with extra advertising revenue when all you get is a gold badge or a rank of Gold member! Of course you’re going to write a review to benefit YOU!
I once bought a camera online at a site I’ve never heard of before but they had some really great deals. Long story sort is I had to claim a refund as the camera wasn’t in stock. I just happened to do a search on reviews of this site when one review site had pages on pages of people’s complains and issues with site and people still waiting over 6 months for a refund. If I had read this review site before I purchased I would of never of bought through the company. But to my surprise my refund came promptly and never had any issues.
Can you control or stop this? Nope, it’s too wide spread. Just like with piracy they tried so many different ways, taking legal action, when it’s too big a problem there is no way of stopping it.
It used to be don’t believe everything you hear, now it’s don’t believe everything you Google!