The Yelp Problem

I don’t know about you but I often check out yelp!,  Google Local and other on-line reviewers when I am looking for new tires, a restaurant in an area I don’t know well, or a new plumber. Lately, though, with so many companies trying to game the system it calls into question how trustworthy these recommendations are. Recently, the New York  Attorney General successfully went after several enterprising companies who specialize in gaming yelp! and Google Local reviews.

I checked with yelp! to see how they were responding to this phenomenon. They assured me that they have complex algorithms and double checks to thwart these nefarious activities. What do you think?  I am not so sure.