The problem with online reviews

Recently, I’ve been helping a friend who’s a local small business owner; it’s opened my eyes to some of the things that are going on in the online review business. You know the sites – the ones where you provide reviews of your local restaurants, services, and other establishments, and then others use those reviews to decide where to have lunch, get their car serviced, or hire someone to repair their roof.

In fact, online reviews are critical in many venues, including my own (which I’ll get to in a minute).

The problem is that online reviews can be gamed in both directions by all sorts of interested parties. Worse, the solutions to stop reviewers from gaming the results are often worse than the problem that they’re attempting to solve.

Read moreThe problem with online reviews

Footnotes & references

1: Criteria that they cannot divulge, because doing so would make it easier for the gamers to work around those criteria.

2: There are allegations that some give the businesses who advertise with them hidden preferential treatment in their ratings.

3: An idiom that means don’t blindly believe everything that you read.

4: Truly: I’d love to see your review up on Amazon – good, bad, or indifferent!