We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
4,345 posts
23 reviews
Save Topic
Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

The Attorney General in NY recently fined some businesses $350,000 there for writing fake reviews. The press release also mentions a Cornell study that a one star difference in a hotel can result in a 11% sway in room rates.

Do you believe Las Vegas businesses would write fake reviews or use "search engine optimization" companies?

Just wondering, sometimes I think half the posts on here are from shills.

…ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announ…

California
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
Level Contributor
42,689 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

I get calls on a daily basis from companies or individuals offering this service. I have no doubt this is used, mostly by smaller businesses. I don't think the hotel/casinos need to use this service as a tool.

What amazes me is how badly many of these individuals or small companies. go about it. We can usually tell right away when spammers or self-promoters make posts on this forum. If it was my job, using just a little common sense, I could do much better.

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
369 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

I think just because of the sheer volume of Las Vegas visitors it would be difficult for the large hotels/casinos to really improve their ratings. However, the law of large numbers won't protect you if there are only small number of people reviewing a particular business.

Even on this forum I would not be surprised is some of the posters are working for the businesses in question. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but it seems that some posters are overly enthusiastic about some upcoming projects of the casinos. For example, I was recently posting (on a similar forum) about CET's proposed "Grand Bazaar" that CET is threatening to build in front of Bally's, and a poster or two thought this was the greatest idea since sliced bread (perhaps it is legitimate opinion, but it seems like a fairly mediocre project to become enthused about).

San Diego
Level Contributor
5,123 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

Look at the list of restaurants in vegas on this site. The cheesecake factory is rated as one of the top ones.

really people, cheesecake factory? its just a fancy olive garden.

How could a chain place be better then these master chefs all over town.

The answer is simple, people are sheep and do what they are told. They like to belong to the group so if a lot of people like it then they will like it as well.

I think this is how these odd ball places get such great ratings, people dont want to feel like they are not part of the group.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
53,560 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

This thread? "The greatest idea since sliced bread"? I'm not seeing it..are you sure you're not a shill for MLife properties lol.

tripadvisor.com/…53167629

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
53,560 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

"How could a chain place be better then these master chefs all over town.

The answer is simple, people are sheep and do what they are told. They like to belong to the group so if a lot of people like it then they will like it as well."

Or it's simple life style, personal preference, and economics. The majority of people I know aren't really interested in going out to dinner where a "master chef" is in the place. Places like Olive Garden and Cheesecake Factory are what they know, and what they like. And there's nothing wrong with that at all.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa...
Level Contributor
1,761 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

Irish - Exactly right on the Cheesecake Factory. It's a nationally known place, but for many of us, we don't have one near us on a regular basis, so it's a treat in LV. Also, many of us aren't "foodies", so unless you take some time and research new places and know something about the chef or property, you're just more comfortable going to something you know.

With restaurant reviews, it's similar to the way hotel reviews are done TA. If a meal costs less and is quality, it's going to get good reviews because it's perceived to be as good or better of a value for the $.

Carlsbad CA
Level Contributor
1,746 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

I would expect a place like the Cheese Cake Sugar Meat Factory to be popular. Lowest common denominator food served in too large sizes. Its entrees are always on lists of the most unhealthy chain food in America.

Ottawa
Level Contributor
993 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

Ratings on TA are never going to be "quality" based, they're always going to be "value" based. It's why the #5 hotel in Vegas is a Staybridge -- tremendous value.

That being said, TA does catch astroturfing from time to time, and punishes vendors with significant down rankings and a note on their profile that they were caught. I haven't seen it on any Vegas properties, but definitely in other cities.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
Level Contributor
13,991 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

"Look at the list of restaurants in vegas on this site. The cheesecake factory is rated as one of the top ones.

really people, cheesecake factory? its just a fancy olive garden."

I see this in Manhattan all the time; there are LINES, and not short ones, to get into places like Red Lobster, Bubba Gump, Olive Garden and even freakin' APPLEBEES in Times Square. I chalk it up to people just not doing any research at all about their vacation destination ahead of time....

Texas
Level Contributor
33 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Fake Reviews, astroturfing, and search engine optimization

Ummmm......I'm guilty of giving In-N-Out Burger a 5 star rating & visiting there every trip. Funny thing is I might catch lunch there and hit Il Mulino or Bartolotta for dinner & love them all for different reasons.