Every­one is start­ing to open their eyes: there is neg­a­tive on­line mar­ket­ing every­one. Most peo­ple just pre­tend oth­er­wise.

The BBC is now all over the case.

In short, Yelp now ad­mits that 25% of all their re­views are fake.

Yup: 25%. One out of every four re­views you read on Yelp is cre­at­ed by SCOUNDRELS.

Les­son: don’t be­lieve every­thing you read. Be care­ful. Be skep­ti­cal. Be smart.

Then… ask your­self this: WHO is it that is mak­ing these fake re­views. What are they do­ing?

Are they hir­ing In­di­ans who would oth­er­wise be writ­ing fake SEO ar­ti­cles? (What do the In­di­ans think of the world econ­o­my?). “Do Amer­i­cans re­al­ly be­lieve this BS?”

There is an art to rec­og­niz­ing the fake ar­ti­cle.… and then, once rec­og­nized it, to game it to make it sound re­al.

For ex­am­ple, bad gram­mar is a clear give-away. But more sub­tle is, be­ing gram­mat­i­cal­ly cor­rect but un­com­mon phras­ings.

For ex­am­ple, an Amer­i­can would nev­er write, “The restau­rant ranks high in qual­i­ta­tive rat­ings in re­gards to both the ser­vice and the food.” Can’t you just hear that with a San­jay-ish ac­cent?

Lets try to see what gives that away as In­di­an.

In every day speech, Amer­i­cans don’t say things “rank high in” — that’s fake-speak.

In every day speech, Amer­i­cans don’t talk about “qual­i­ta­tive rat­ings.”

Good writ­ing, re­al writ­ing, must sound nat­ur­al.

Here’s a tip: make it fun. En­joy it. Can’t you tell that I just LOVE writ­ing out these ar­ti­cles for Neg­a­tive On­line Mar­ket­ing. Life is short, and I’m go­ing to do this any­way — so why not en­joy it?