Fake It Till You Make ItOne star in the world of Yelp and Trip Advisor can mean the difference between attracting new customers or losing them to your competitors. That’s made a lot of companies desperate.

So desperate, that some businesses are taking shortcuts to positive reviews by faking them. In fact, it’s so prevalent (and so obvious) that review sites have become experts at spotting the fakery.

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: If you fake word of mouth, you will get busted.

Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Michael Luca and Boston University School of Management’s Georgios Zervas have some compelling research to back it up in Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud.

Michael and Georgios get into the nitty gritty of what triggers Yelp’s fraud filter. They expose how reputation, competition, and star ratings make some companies’ fake reviews even more noticeable, and what Yelp is doing about it.

Need proof that faking word of mouth doesn’t pay off?

Download Fake It Till You Make It: Reputation, Competition, and Yelp Review Fraud here.

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