New York regulators will announce on Monday the most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.
The yearlong investigation encompassed companies that create fake reviews as well as the clients that buy them. Among those signing the agreements are a charter bus operator, a teeth-whitening service, a laser hair-removal chain and an adult entertainment club. Also signing are several reputation-enhancement firms that place fraudulent reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Citysearch and Yahoo.
There were also fake reviews of dentists, lawyers, and medical imaging services.
I know that some persons pay attention to online reviews. I rarely do, because I get comment spam almost every day from “SEO” outfits promising to boost ratings. Granting that there are things that you or your web person can do to make your site friendlier to search engines, third party SEO consultancy is by and large a fraud and a scam.
If you must read online reviews, read the ones here.
Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.