Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Kip Tips

Best and Worst Sites for Online Reviews

Some sites go to great lengths to verify the authenticity of reviews. Others, not so much.


Some sites go to great lengths to verify the authenticity of reviews. Others are loosey-goosy, letting more fake reviews squeak through. Here’s how five of the biggest sites stack up.

See Also: Why You Can't Trust Online Reviews

Angie’s List Anonymous reviews aren’t allowed on this site, which has stiff verification policies. Critics must submit their name, address, phone number and e-mail with a review, and they must sign a form affirming that their comments reflect firsthand experience.

Expedia Only travelers who booked a room through the site can post a review of that hotel. Expedia says it takes “multiple steps” to verify its write-ups are only from paying guests.

Amazon Anyone who has used an Amazon account to buy something can submit a review of any item without proving he or she bought it. To help crack down on fake reviews, Amazon slaps a Verified Purchase badge on write-ups by people who actually bought the product (instead of receiving it as a freebie or at a deep discount).

Yelp Filters try to weed out phony reviews, but anyone can leave a comment about a business without proving he or she is a paying customer.

TripAdvisor The travel site’s open-door policy allows anyone to post a hotel review without a proof of stay. “We do not fact-check reviews,” the site says. Limiting comments to verified customers, it adds, would mean that travelers might “miss out on a wealth of other useful feedback.”