— Google Portland (@GooglePDX) March 21, 2012
The policy is spelled out pretty clearly in Google’s help system:
Conflict of interest: Reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased. Even if well-intentioned, a biased review can undermine its credibility. For instance, don’t offer or accept money or product to write reviews about a business, or to write negative reviews about a competitor. Don’t post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with the place you are reviewing.
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Don’t offer money or product in exchange for reviews.
Unless you’re Google, or someone like Portland State University, which I assume is partnering with Google on this contest because the link in the tweet above leads to https://sites.google.com/site/portlandstatetablet/, which currently looks like this:
(click for larger version)
Can someone tell me how that’s NOT a violation of Google’s own policy? Google and Portland State are encouraging reviews and offering a tablet to get people to write reviews. Portland State is even saying, if you can’t think of a place to review, review us.
Why bother having review guidelines in the first place?