Worst Websites for Online Reviews

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

Turning to the Internet before booking a hotel or dining out is a given these days. But can you really trust the reviews you read online? Here’s how five of the biggest review sites stack up.

1 star out of 5

TripAdvisor ranks worst in our book. The problem: The site allows anyone to post a hotel review without proof of stay.

3 stars out of 5

Yelp fares better. The site tries to filter out phony reviews, but anyone can comment on a business without proving they are a customer.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

3 stars out of 5

Another so-so site is Amazon. Anyone with an account who has bought anything can post a review of any product. One plus: Reviews by shoppers who bought a specific product are marked as a “Verified Purchase.”

4 stars out of 5

Expedia get high marks because it verifies that a traveler booked a hotel room through the site before it allows a review to be posted.

5 stars out of 5

Earning even higher marks is Angie’s List. Reviewers must provide their name, address, phone number and email.

Read more about why you can't trust some online reviews.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for Kiplinger.com covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.