Thursday, February 26, 2009


I'm trying to find something nice to say about Citysearch as a restaurant review site, and the best I can do is it's a national site that gets a lot of traffic and often pops up high in search results.  The usefulness of the site for Howard County establishments, however, is low.  It's hard to accurately search by neighborhoods, much less the whole county.  The rankings don't make much sense -- in the search results it seems everything gets 4-1/2 stars.  The reviews are rarely recent and not well distributed.  The Mango Grove has 29 reviews (the most I found for any restaurant), but the Iron Bridge Wine Company has only one.

Some reviews are "native" to Citysearch and others appear randomly aggregated from other sites like TripAdvisor, ChefMoz, and others.   For example, the listing for Cafe de Paris includes 8 reviews, including one from TripAdvisor, but none more recent than 2007.  But if you look up Cafe de Paris in TripAdvisor, you'll find 8 more recent reviews, including two from this year.   

Citysearch aims to cover other topics like bars, hotels, shopping and more.  The results there are just as dubious, as far as I can tell.  I just can't find much to recommend it, and I hope Citysearch covers other towns and city better.  It doesn't do much for me.

Who do you trust when it comes to restaurant reviews? Who does the best job of covering Howard County restaurants? I hope my blog is a help, but there are certainly lots of other resources available on the web. This is one of a series of Restaurant Review Site postings that aim to find which are really the most reliable when it comes to local coverage.

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