When people wants to buy online, it is natural to check on what other consumers have written about the product or service. What consumers do not know is that a great number of reviews on the internet are fake. So, who are writing fake reviews? Retailers, marketers, businesses who wants to increase their sales, businesses who wants to harm their competitors, writers using pseudonyms, people who gets a deal for giving positive feedback or someone who gets paid for writing reviews.
Can fake online reviews hurt netizens? Of course they can. You can waste your money by buying products that are not good. It can even endanger your health or safety.
How can you tell if an online review is fake or not? Here are some tips:
- Language – Notice if the review has more superlatives rather than description. Real reviews show information on how the product performed.
- Review the reviewer – If the reviewer does review for a particular company, it tells us that the reviewer has a vested interest. The reviewer could even add a photo of the product purchase for authenticity. Check the site. Some of them allow posts from people who actually bought in their site. Review their policies on this.
- Be sharp on the detail – If a certain reviewer can explain exactly why he or she did not like the product or service, then that review is not fake. If a review makes a general statement like, “It was terrible” or “I hated it ”, then the review was written to blatantly give a negative feeling to the reader.
- Too negative or too positive – Do not trust reviews that are a devastating 1-star or either a glowing 5-star. Honest reviews are most likely in the middle of the spectrum.
- Well-written reviews – Be wary if the review is well-written, and everything seems perfect. A marketing shill or someone with a vested interest could have done this. Especially if it is full of superlatives about the product.
- Keyword stuffing – Some online fake reviews will try to game search engine results to drive traffic to the site or in the product purchase page. This is done by repeating the exact product name again and again hoping that this method will help the product appear in the search results.
- Reviewer’s history – Check the reviewer’s history in the different e-commerce sites. This will show you how many reviews the reviewer has done.
- Reviewer’s ID – The reviewer’s user ID may tell us that something is fishy. A long line of numbers after its username is telling us that the reviewer is using multiple profiles and automated fake reviews-bot generated.
- Same text over and over again – Reuse of the same text taken from other reviews is fake. You will see the same thing over and over again. It could be bot generated.
Read online reviews and learn to filter the real ones. Give credit to the reviews that are balance and how the reviewer can truly describe the product or the service. Then you can now make a decision to purchase.