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TripAdvisor, struck again by false reviews of restaurants during the World Cup in Russia 2018


In the review pages, although a very good job is done digitally promoting those restaurants who deserve, often they give abusive practices.

These situations occur both by staff (who refuses to withdraw vindictive opinions expressed by a diner who has no reason or an unfair competitor) as by other businesses in the sector who take advantage of loopholes, technological innovations and any other trick they find to be placed between the first positions, in some cases undeservedly.

However, Contrary to what you might believe, This discontent among catering professionals is answered. pages TripAdvisor, Yelp, Zagat and even sections reviews the major search engines They spend many resources against online fraud.

IP Detect, algorithms to find recurring patterns in language, They jump alarms when the rate of occurrence of reviews is beyond the expected scales, reporting systems by users, pending moderation teams to the last detail ... There are many tools that use these giants of information to prevent restaurants can falsify its quality and popularity.

Nevertheless, in this race armamentística, review pages for restaurants always go one step behind the marketing experts black hat. If there is a chance juicy enough business and SEO algorithm, the latter will be breached using for it methods deemed necessary.

And just in recent weeks it has emerged one of those promising business opportunities.

illegal and unethical practices during the World

The World Cup which was held in Russia It has not only brought news of goals, wonderful plays and displays of sportsmanship and patriotism, I lived yesterday as France and Croatia in the final. They have also appeared on illicit arts news with some unscrupulous agencies have tried alter the lists presented by outstanding restaurants TripAdvisor.

Russian firm Bacon Agency It has offered to place any local restaurant located in one of the 11 Russian cities where the World Cup is held Russia 2018 between the 10 TripAdvisor highlighted by options for that city.

further, the agency highlights an important juncture that emerges from this and other international events: “What you can do [a restorer]if any Serbian or Swedish has visited your local or has left a review?”.

With the massive influx of foreigners, most of whom have little knowledge of Russian language, Russian restaurants have rushed to refill their electronic profiles with views in other languages. All for the sake of attracting Italian visitors, Spanish people, Britain and many other countries around the world than just babble two or three words in Russian.

Company services are not exactly cheap. exceed 500 euros (35.000 rubles), but they say can circumvent the anti-fraud measures imposed by TripAdvisor.

And not have to worry about the legal implications, because in reality they only act as intermediaries. Execution fake jobs are outsourced to freelance writers who worry that the views seem legitimate.

Although Bacon Agency has offered its services marketing black hat openly, something that rarely happens, They have informed Business Insider that no restaurant has hired its services. According to the agency, their regular work fits into other activities and this campaign was a pilot project to test the interest aroused such services.

Although there is interest, restaurants seem to be faking the reviews themselves, thus saving a good fortune, but exposing themselves to their accounts to be closed as soon as a moderating team detects suspicious activity. In the end, reports Bacon Agency, to be undetectable it takes a whole series of circumstances, specifications and technical capabilities:

  • Specific details about the restaurant such as decoration dining, Descriptive characteristics of staff, items available on the menu and many others.
  • Photographs real dishes, the parking, the location and the establishment itself.
  • Rotation systems correctly geolocated IP and even remote residential IP blocks needed to simulate reviews given by groups of friends, neighbors or families.
  • Accounts' aging’ with a history of valid reviews Y, to be possible, contributions in partner forums such pages. In addition there is a preference for old accounts, as the new are submitted by the review pages to restaurants a quarantine period in which the behavior of the account is thoroughly inspected and the use that is given to it.
  • advanced technical knowledge to set up differently browsers and operating systems (language packs installed, available sources, default screen resolution and so on) installed on computing devices that are used in the marketing campaign black hat.

Despite all taxes and controls to complex process, there are well-founded suspicions of some locals who have gotten away with it.

Peperonchino Cafe Restaurant, an Italian cafe located endowed 20 minutes from the Arena Baltika, football stadium Kaliningrad, It has been pointed out by Polina Ivanova and Natalia Shurmina of Reuters.

During the weeks leading up to the big football event, The number of reviews that the restaurant received shot. Not only that, its sister establishment, Cafe Peroronchino 2 He experienced a similar situation.

According Jeff Hancock, expert detection of fake reviews Stanford University (California, OF. UU.), “at any moment you begin to notice that analyzes arrive all at once, They appear similar in some ways and use the same kind of language, then the alarm signals should skyrocket”.

When confronted, managers Cafe Peperonchino they excused based on a new mobile app itself, fi system established and some other details. It does not help his case much of the profiles visitasen both local, and profiles TripAdvisor that were published Recent accounts with images taken from a photo repository.

Speculation could continue, but the only reality is that the local overcame his rather modest positions TripAdvisor's Day morning, passing the twenty-second position the top three.

And the questions that remain unanswered are: ¿Benefits at any price? When avoid review pages for restaurants these situations really?…

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.



  1. I have a theory in this regard: if Tripadvisor did not work the Black Hat from its dominant position, that is to say, if I did not engage in abusive and mafia practices, certain restaurants would not try to trick you so blatantly. There are ways and ways, and Tripadvisor uses a few transparent ones. If you favor fraud, there will be fraud. If you don't favor it… there will also be fraud, but much less.

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