How to spot fake yelp and tripadvisor reviews

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Figured I would share a tip on how to spot real verses fake online reviews.

With more and more businesses understanding the importance of online advertising, they are willing to spend money and try to bump up their reviews anyway possible.  These reviews can be created by relatives, friends, companies, or even the business owner.  So they may not be 100% accurate.  It may just be someone trying to do a friend a favor.  Yelp seemed more popular back in Colorado and TripAdvisor for travel destinations.

Here’s what I look for spotting real and fake reviews.

1) Number of reviews – but beware these can be pumped up.

2) Number of traveler photos – I really don’t care about the professional photos.  I look at the user photos.  If a restaurant has 280 reviews but 3 traveler photos then probably they are fake reviews. You see people snapping phone pics of their food all the time. If it is their favorite restaurant and they return time and time again….wouldn’t they post pictures online and shouldn’t the number of pictures to number of reviews ratio make sense?

3) What type of photos are online?  Is it all photos of the building or are people uploading pictures of their meals?  Some places are more for atmosphere and some are more for food.  What would you prefer?

4) Look at the profile of the reviewer.  How many reviews has this person done?  2? Probably not real or I would have a hard time believing it.  I like the serial reviewers that tend to review every place they go to.  You can easily check and see their other reviews.

Hope this helps.  Just another traveling tip.

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