Restaurant.com Kills Fake ReviewsWritten by Michael Levanduski
October 10, 2012 # 8:03 am # Industry News, Specials # 3 Comments
You may not have heard, but companies like Gartner have predicted that by 2014, 10 to 15% of all reviews online will be fake or irrelevant. These fake reviews are a big problem for businesses big and small, as they can do some serious damage to their online reputation. A reporting from May, by Mashable.com shows the importance of reviews online.
Before setting foot outside, about 45% of consumers have already chosen where to eat with the help of an online dining guide. Online reviews are a huge decider of what’s for dinner — 57% of patrons rely on them.
People used to think that there was nothing to be done about these fake reviews, and that they would continue to plague the reputations of businesses forever. Well, Restaurant.com may have just started a trend that could make fake reviews less of a problem in the near future, possibly ending them for good.
The online restaurant review and promotion website, according to a reporting from QSR Web.com, has started using what they are calling, “Verified Diner Reviews.” These will make sure that all reviews of restaurants are from those people who have actually dined there, making all of the restaurant reviews authentic and relevant.
From QSR Web.com;
To ensure the integrity of the restaurant review, all Restaurant.com Verified Diner Reviews meet the following standards:
- The diner is required to purchase a Restaurant.com certificate, and the restaurant must validate the certificate prior to the diner receiving an invitation to review the restaurant.
- The diner must complete the email review and short survey, including the assignment of a 1 to 5 star rating.
- Restaurant.com reviews are centered on the dining experience. For example, if the review is about the great deal or a bad date rather than the restaurant itself, it may not be posted. If it is about the food, the ambiance, the service, it is posted for everyone to see.
If this idea of verified reviews were to spread across all review platforms, or at least the more commonly used and checked ones, small and large businesses would have a significantly easier time managing their reputations online. The trend would help consumers as well, because the fake likes can also throw them off from going to a restaurant they may actually enjoy thoroughly. These fake reviews are often the product of wrongful bashing from other companies and competitors, and the businesses and consumers are the ones who feel the pain from this.
Anyway, whether this becomes a trend or not, Restaurant.com has done a great thing in the line of internet reviews. Any of the reviews on this site now will be those that can be trusted entirely, by businesses, marketers, and consumers alike. Since consumers rely more heavily on reviews than anything else in their decision of where to eat or where to shop, a way to manage reviews has been needed for a long time, and Restaurant.com has taken a first step. Hopefully, other review sites will follow suit.