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Thread: SEO Gotcha! - New York

  1. #1
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    SEO Gotcha! - New York

    Last week New York authorities fined 19 firms a total of $350,000 (218,500) for posting fake reviews on websites.


    In a year-long sting operation, the city's attorney-general's office set up a fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn and asked for help from firms offering search engine optimisation (SEO) services that can help boost companies' online presence.


    Some of these firms created online profiles and then paid for reviews from freelance writers, some from the Philippines, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24299742

    Well, I guess it's a step in the right direction but there's not much can be done if the SEO firm is based in a country which doesn't have the same kind of consumer laws in place. Yelp isn't the only one suffering from fake reviews either - Amazon and TripAdvisor are full of shills too.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    It is nice to see someone official being pro-active, but it is a drop in the ocean. Bet those SEO people who got caught out have bought new domains to work from now. Not much else will change.

    I stopped putting reviews on Amazon after they didn't publish a couple which were mostly positive, four and a half stars, but pointed out some small negative aspects.

    A while back I bought some CDs which had reviews on Amazon, from a performer I hadn't listened to in a long while. Four CDs, all with good reviews, hard to pick without listening. Three were actually good, one was not - I'd pass it by if I found it in a charity shop.


    I used to see HITs on MTurk - write a review for a few cents. Just go find a review on a magazine site and parrot it across to another site. And there's a rating table to follow to give a formulated score. I've seen reviews where cameras score 16/20 - good features, ease of use, nice support online, etc., but they only score 1/5 for picture quality, and there's no weighting towards picture quality in the evaluation process.

    The real irritation is when you get some genuine info, but the people doing the reviewing don't have a lot of time to test. You might buy the "Which" best value selection and find it dies after a year. Even when the reviews are genuine, they can only guide you.

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  4. #3
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Yep, it's a drop in the ocean, but a little bit better than nothing.

    I'm surprised at your experience with Amazon reviews. I've done a handful recently and they've all been approved very quickly - mostly within a few minutes, even on a Sunday. The reviews have ranged from 1 star to 4 star. I still think reviews might be of some use if they're by a reviewer with a broad range of reviews, ie not all glowing (paid-for shills) or all negative (sabotage by a competitor). That said, I don't spend very much time reviewing anything on Amazon or TA. If I want to review something, I do it on one of my own sites and just post a few sentences on any third-party review site.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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  5. #4
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    That happened a while back - Amazon has put its house in order somewhat since then.

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