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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Fake Reviews Starting to Get Mainstream Media Attention

The latter part of this otherwise lame ‘expose’ about deceptive hotel marketing practices from NBC’s 2/24 Today show highlights the issue of fake reviews.

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Certainly the issue of fake reviews is both more pervasive and more common than the report indicates. Our industry has been reporting on cases of fake reviews for a long while.

While there has been a few cases of state and national government enforcement (contrary to the reporting on NBC), it has been extremely light.

Services promoting less than ethical review practices have sprung up. Even in the hinterlands, fake, purchased reviews are showing on Google with the ability to purchase reviews available through a number of channels.

While Google, Yelp and Tripadvisor have implemented some measures to limit fake reviews, the efforts have only been partially successful. Given the increasing media coverage of the issue, it seems probable that the FTC and State’s Attorney Generals are likely to pursue more aggressive enforcement going forward.