The differences and individual diversity of online consumers blend into a powerful altruism and sense of community when it comes to the kinship of sharing experiences through online reviews. Opinions about your products and services posted in an online review are the reviewer’s contribution to this virtual community and the review reader (potential consumer) places great value in the opinions and guidance offered. But the system can be flawed with spam and fake reviews. In general online consumers tend to suffer from ‘truth bias‘, assuming these fake reviews are true; that is until they find contradicting evidence.
As a business owner, learning to use a more critical eye to seek out these charlatan reviews, flag them as false, request their removal (provide all necessary information to substantiate your claim) and continually encouraging your customers to leave honest reviews will help weed out the imposters. Professional online review management can make an incredible difference here by allowing you to address false-negative reviews before they are published. Let’s start here by learning how to spot fake reviews:
Check the Source
Investigate the review author by clicking on the name or profile link, this will pull up the reviewer’s profile and other posted reviews. A profile on social media will show if the account belongs to a real person. Authentic reviewers will most likely have an online presence with other reviews and interactions on other sites. Google and online retailers like Amazon provide verified reviews from consumers with confirmed purchases.
Short and Poorly Written Reviews
Dummy reviews posted by fraudsters, outsourced from other countries, and are typically sloppy with numerous errors like typos, improper wording and lack of capitalization and punctuation. These reviewers are paid by volume to disparage or hype businesses and their products, without any actual interaction or experience with them. Keep in mind that not all reviews with typos are erroneous, genuine reviewers make mistakes too.
Excessive Use of First Person Pronouns
In an effort to sound more genuine or sincere, phony reviewers tend to overuse first person pronouns like ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘myself’. What they don’t realize is that this can come across as overly persuasive, pushy and desperate to convince the reader they are the real deal.
Lacking Insight and Detail
Honest to goodness reviewers tend to use concrete words describing an item, restaurant, hotel or service. They may mention an employee by name in the review, good or bad. Whereas, the fake reviewer, whose lacking actual insight, uses more verbs than nouns. These often-vague descriptions lack detail because the experience they are writing about is fictitious to them.
Other Signs to Watch For
While we all like to think we could spot a fake review from a mile away, the truth is that it can be hard to judge a reviewer’s trustworthiness at a glance. Here are a few other signs to watch out for to help you determine the legitimacy of questionable reviews for your business and others in your industry:
- Separate reviews contain suspiciously similar, staged photos.
- Look for positive reviews for your competition from your negative reviewers.
- Check the timestamp when you notice numerous new ratings and reviews in a short amount of time.
- The review sounds scripted or like an infomercial containing every possible keyword for the product or business.
- Seeing the exact same review more than once or a slightly different version of the same review.
Online reviews and ratings instantly connect consumers worldwide and will either elevate your business and bottom line with valuable positive reviews or cripple your potential with harmful negative feedback. Help from a professional reputation & marketing company will ensure you remain competitive online as you build and maintain your authority and online reputation. YouReview offers an easy to use, comprehensive set of tools and features to generate positive feedback from your happy customers and filter negative, fake and Spammy reviews. Our seamless methods allow your customers to leave reviews without feeling pestered. Our easy, fully automated review gathering and publishing process features:
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