Friday, September 27, 2013

Leery of Online Reviews? I'm Guessing You Should Be...

Online Reviews can be Sneaky!


I came across a fascinating tidbit that sort of justifies my small factor of paranoia about online reviews:  That the NY AG went after and found a bunch of companies paying for faked, good reviews of their companies or clients.

Those companies that found themselves busted by the New York Attorney General's office were:

    A&E Wig Fashions, Inc. d/b/a A&E and NYS Surgery Center

    A.H. Dental P.C. d/b/a Platinum Dental

    Body Laser Spa Inc.

    The Block Group, LLC, d/b/a Laser Cosmetica and LC MedSpa, LLC

    Bread and Butter NY, LLC d/b/a La Pomme Nightclub and Events Space

    Envision MT Corp.

    iSEOiSEO

    Medical Message Clinic and HerballYours.com

    Metamorphosis Day Spa, Inc.

    Outer Beauty, P.C., Lite Touch Plastic Surgery, P.C., Staten Island Special Surgery, P.C., Sans Pareil Surgical, PLLC

    Stillwater Media Group

    Swan Media Group, Inc. and Scores Media Group, LLC

    US Coachways Limousine, Inc. and US Coachways, Inc.

    Utilities International, Inc. d/b/a Main Street Host

    The Web Empire, LLC

    Webtools, LLC and Webtools Internet Solutions Ltd.

    West Village Teeth Whitening Service, LLC; Magic Smile, Inc., aka Magic Smile

    XVIO, Inc.

    Zamdel, Inc. d/b/a eBoxed

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There seemed to be a few SEO companies in the mix.  As if we don't have enough problems with Google's changes favoring the big name companies, now we find, at least in that small corner of the world, what's come to light.

To me, this like cockroaches or spiders.  If you see a few, there's dozens not in sight.  I'm guessing this situation is the same all over.

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What was noticed by the AG were actual ads that some companies put out, looking for Yelp users with a certain number of friends on Yelp, with accounts older than three months.

I mean seriously?  Have you ever seen a bank robber use Craig's List to find a wheel man or accomplice?

The one thing I've seen online is that when I look up reviews, I tend to balance out the number of reviews a service has, versus the language or recanting of the reviewers experience.

In some cases, if I see just a few reviews, I tend to not trust them.

The organizations that have more reviews than they might have employees is always a good thing in my book.

So, between word-of-mouth and a smart approach to reading review sites, you should be OK.

{If you want to read the announcement: ag.ny.gov}
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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce