Maritz Research did a study among 3,400 users of review websites such as TripAdvisor, Zagat, Yelp and Google+.
One of the reasons we started Spotted by Locals 5 years ago, was not feeling like we could trust reviews on websites where any logged in user (local or non-local) could write an anonymous review. Often, it felt like the owner had written a review (and that still happens a lot).
This is why we wanted to handpick our Spotters, and only hire them if they speak the local language and are convinced they truly love their city.
Apparently, quite a few people still feel they cannot trust user generated review websites. On average, 50% of reviewed users in the Maritz Research study say the information on review sites is correct.
TripAdvisor, Zagat and Open Table do comparatively well, but we think 59% is still quite a poor score amongst frequent users. A study amongst non-users might show even poorer scores.
Do you feel like you can trust user generated review websites?