Review Site Series: Deceptive Advertising on Review Sites


As we all know, advertising is what makes the web go ’round. But when can advertising become prohibitive?

Many review sites offer advertising packages to the businesses that have listings on their site. These advertising packages may include anything from top banner ads, side banner ads, and sometimes ads smack-dab in the middle of the page.

Many times, when you are searching for a business, you may find a highlighted business name just above the search results you are looking for. This may lead you to believe that this highlighted search result is the business you were looking for all along. I know that I have personally made that mistake a few times before.


At ReviewInc, we feel that placing an ad in the center of the business listing is a little distracting and misleading. When ads are placed on the top or sides, it is typically understood that they are advertisements. However, when they are included in search results or in the center of a business listing, it may lead the consumer to believe that the business associated with the ad is the one they were looking for initially. Smart if you think about it, but also somewhat deceptive.

So what are your thoughts on ad placement within a business listing on a review site? Do you think that it is bothersome or does it not really matter to you? Do you think that strategic ad placement is misleading or beneficial to businesses? Let us know in the comments below!