[video_popup width="805" height="454" video_link="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqi-jjbEKcs" video_image_link="https://www.tnooz.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Good-and-bad.jpg"]
Online user reviews are still one of the key decision making parameters for travellers. Number of online reviews are significantly increasing, that's both good and bad news in itself.
Olery, an online reputation management company estimates that by 2014, about 10% of travel reviews on the web could be fake.
Yelp, the local business listing and review service, is aware of fake reviews that get "seeded" among genuine reviews written by end users.
Yelp weeds out fake user reviews from its system by a combination of manual and automated processes.
The company's support team looks out for business owners who are trying to "buy" fake reviews [Read how HotelOracle sells reviews for TripAdvisor]. When Yelp has evidence on the activity, it is also flagged to users when they visit the profile page of that business.
Reviews that are missed out from above manual process and others which appear to be fake are segregated and flagged by Yelp's review filter.
This review filter is automated, works 24/7 and it scans the 42 million reviews in the system to distinguish legitimate and fake reviews. Only reviews from "established users" are then displayed in the business profile pages. According to Yelp, these are the trustable reviews.
However, Yelp says that it keeps refining its review filter. So, the list of reviews that is displayed in a business' page today might be different tomorrow. Yelp doesn't disclose the variables that goes into defining a "established user", its Yelp's secret sauce.
The video is a few years old now, but it's good.
NB: At Tnooz, we have written a lot about fake review management, and its impact. Here is a series of four articles on fake review optimsation: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
NB 2:Good and bad image via Shutterstock.