• http://www.terracetechnology.ca/ Daniel Mills

    Yep. Google definitely tilting the odds in their favor on this one.

  • Durant Imboden

    Ratings without accompanying text can be legitimate, just as market-research surveys that use numerical scores (“Rank your overall purchase experience from 1 to 10″) or Netflix movie ratings (one to five stars) can be legitimate. Some people enjoy writing reviews, while others haven’t the time, patience, or inclination to do more than click a number or a box.

    To me, an “empty review” is a computer-generated, keyword-driven stub page at a site like TripAdvisor or CNet that has no actual review or rating, but merely an invitation to “Write a review.”

  • Scott Childress

    Agree with Durant on this. But star ratings alone are extremely easy to manipulate.
    Facebook’s foray into increasing the status of their Page reviews is a great example of this and the future of reviews in general is going to be interesting….I could get 20 people in a room to rank a business and tank their star rating in 60 seconds – and there seems to be nothing in place (on Facebook at least) to stop something like that.

  • bryan

    while reviews and ratings are not mutually exclusive, a rating is worthless without some insight into the customers’ actual experience. Without that, you might as well be a spambot imho

  • Rahul Kumar

    These ratings are not manually calculated. Customers rate any business with their experience and satisfaction. So, might be machine calculating this view is fake.

  • Pat Grady

    What % of Yelp’s are competitors posting negative reviews? Empty might not be so bad. :-)

  • Durant Imboden

    Sure, star ratings are easy to manipulate, but so are text reviews.

    IMHO, the most reliable text reviews are likely to come from people who are known to have purchased the product or service that’s being reviewed (e.g., hotel reviews by paying guests who respond to surveys from Booking.com or Venere.com, as opposed to hotel reviews on TripAdvisor that can be written by sock puppets, competitors, or anyone who has an axe to grind).

    Ditto for numerical or star ratings: Responses to surveys of known paying customers (J.D. Powers car-buyer surveys, for example) are harder to manipulate than surveys that anyone can fill out.

  • Australia66

    The question that springs to mind is, would Google penalize the authority of a review site where a significant percentage of the reviews contained: no text ,just a star and that star guide had no annotated or transparent accreditation details? Or are the rules for its own products different? I wonder Mr Matt C how it would hang?