The Fake Review Epidemic: Should You Trust Online Reviews?

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If you’ve ever been to another city or town and you don’t know where to eat, you’d probably consult your smartphone on what are some of the best restaurants in the area. Naturally, the first thing that potential customers do is check for the online reviews of a particular business establishment to see if it lives up to the general public’s hype.

Whether you’re buying a new shiny phone online, getting those new pair of sneakers, or looking for a place to eat, online reviews will always be one of the most “trusted” ways of knowing about the product’s quality. Learning about the advantages and shortcomings of a particular product or constructive criticism on what an establishment could improve on is an essential metric that potential customers weigh-in on before making a final decision.

Customer reviews on products, especially on E-commerce websites, are just some of the most critical metrics that distributors will have to think about. In fact, around 90% of customers will usually consult online sources regarding the quality of products and services in a particular business.

But in the last couple of years, customers have been skeptical when it comes to trusting customer reviews. Instead, most consumers are now relying on personal recommendations over online reviews.

Reviews are part of the marketing process, which means that most businesses would dish out a fair amount of funds to promote their business. Just like Search Engine Optimization, content marketing, and Pay-per-click marketing, there is also a business that offers employers review and writing services that will help get their ratings up. While there are reviews that are constructive and will weigh in on both the pros and cons of a particular business or product, most of these reviews will ultimately be biased.

Since some of these reviews could be biased, what are some ways of determining if these reviews are indeed authentic? Other than just relying on reviews, what are some different ways of assessing the quality of service of a particular establishment? Here’s what you’ll need to know.

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Uses Keywords

One of the most common types of fake reviews is when reviewers will use a lot of words that are related to the industry. While this is great with SEO rankings and other important metrics, this can often pass off as a bit “unusual” for a lot of readers.

There are also fake reviews that are written by a “professional” reviewer, which can be harder to spot. Most experts would suggest digging deeper into the person’s profile. If the person only gives around 5-star reviews without saying anything negative about establishments, there’s a big chance that they’re selling out to the business.

Look For Alternatives

Other than just relying on customer reviews online, it’s vital that local businesses look for different ways of promoting their local business. Even though reviews are still the right way of showing the public the quality of your products and services, you might want to consider having your business on a local business promotion mobile application that serves as a business directory. This is an excellent way of streamlining how small and local businesses interact with customers while giving them the publicity and promotions that they need.

Look at The Profiles of Those That are Reviewin

The review is fake if you see the following on the profile:

  1. It’s just been created recently
  2. There is no profile photo
  3. They’ve only been reviewing the place and other places that might be associated with the business.
  4. There’s no much consideration given to their profile

Look For Constructive Reviews

Most experts would suggest looking for reviews that aren’t scoring the place with five stars or 1-star reviews. In most cases, those that fall in the 3.5/5 category are some of the most honest and well-detailed reviews. Most of these reviewers will weigh in almost all the positive and negative aspects of the establishments. Right after you’ve searched for this type of review, you might want to cross-reference this with other reviews that have constructive criticism. This will help give you a good amount of insight into the venue.

The bottom line? You should still trust reviews because they’re a good source of information. Still, you’ll need to sift through reviews and look for those that do give information rather than just those that say, “It’s good!” Ultimately, you just have to take your time and ask around. Having multiple sources of information is better than banking on one source.

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