Weird and fascinating... Check out this very long detailed detective work Chad Henkel as Nifty Marketing did about under-cover Googlers that are "Top Reviewers" and have been doing tons of reviews.

Exposed: Google+ local top reviewers are….Googlers? | Nifty Marketing

Ya, it didn’t surprise me in the least. “G+: the wave of the future” (or something), is being sandbagged in certain markets. Deep in the books of Google Lore – employees are being paid to make Google Plus successful by being hyper active in certain markets that Google has offices in. Their year end bonus is tied to Google+ performance! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

OK. Seriously though. It was an interesting find here at Nifty. The data I managed to scrounge up is even more interesting.

"Yes – that is correct – 8 of the 10 people who were listed as Top Reviewers for San Francisco businesses were Google Employees. Of those 8 – they dominated all but 10 spots in the Top 50 default businesses I reviewed."

"This tells us one of two things – either the Googlers are super hyped about their own product and love it enough that they just have more reviews, or they are incentivized to make it awesome and Google+ is driven in these markets by their own employees."

"This chart shows the total aggregate percentage of Googlers in all cities examined. On average ~25% of the reviews you’ll read on G+ local are from your friendly neighborhood Googleman!"
We know that on many, many levels Google is trying to boost Google+ acceptance as well as to boost review counts.

I recently started this thread where Google is setting up mall booths across the US and bribing consumers for reviews with Google swag and even $500 shopping sprees. Google Bribes People at a Mall Booths to Write Google Reviews?

I'm wondering if all this effort is more about boosting G+ adoption or more about building review count to compete with Yelp???

I just commented over at Mike's:

No matter how you cut it, between consumer bribes and possibly incentivized employee reviews - Google is sure pushing hard on the review front.

Wish they'd put that much energy into improving the platform all those precious reviews sit on!