Gaming the Citysearch Ratings
I am on the email list for a NYC restaurant that has been dunning recipients for votes on Citysearch. They stress that you can vote once each day from each computer, and request that everyone vote *every day* from *every* computer. I've pasted in the texts here below.
One, do most restaurants with email lists do this?
Two, one takes online ratings with a grain of salt, but do Citysearch ratings have any value at all?
p.s. I've had their barbecue, it ain't great.
Citysearch voting has begun! Vote for us in the barbeque category. This year they do not have a Cajun and Creole category.
You can vote ONCE a DAY at EACH COMPUTER in each category. The total number of overall votes determines the winner.
So VOTE DAILY. http://newyork.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/barbecue_food Thanks for your support!
Thanks for voting for us in the barbeque category on CitySearch. We are gradually moving up the ladder and your votes are making it happen. Include us in your DAILY schedule to vote at home and office. YOU make it happen!http://newyork.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/barbecue_food
Don't forget to keep voting DAILY on Citysearch. You made the difference if we win.
Don't forget to keep voting DAILY on Citysearch. You make the difference if we win. You can vote on EACH computer, ONCE a day. http://newyork.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/barbecue_food
Don't forget to keep voting DAILY on Citysearch. You make the difference if we win.
We've moved to the top of the CitySearch Barbeque Voting, thanks to you! So keep those votes coming to keep us there. http://newyork.citysearch.com/bestof/...
Restaurants (or businesses) that do not pay for any advertising on citysearch can be reviewed by citysearch users. Citysearch even places some of it's own editorial content for non-paying businesses. Also, the general info (hours, location, etc.) is certainly there for businesses that don't pay. I am in no way defending citysearch's value as a reviewing tool (I don't think it has much), but it is not the case that non-paying businesses are not subject to review.
Citysearch is a "pay for performance" marketing company. They make basic listings based on yellow page ads and only allow for reviews for restaurants that have paid for it. As the site is designed to provide reviews that will help advertise a restaurant, its easy to hedge the reviews, therefore this site should never be relied upon for legitimate reviews. Its like asking my boyfriend if I look to fat in that outfit.
I've gotten a couple of emails from local restaurants with a reminder to vote on citysearch, but no one is harassing me like that! I'm not sure I'd stay on that mailing list.
I find that citysearch is great for general restaurant info. And the search function is pretty good. I use this site for recommendtations, though.