Trusting Online Reviews: Detecting the Real from the Fake

Online reviews are pivotal for establishing a reputation in e-commerce, and are consequently worth their weight in gold. By creating positive feedback for your goods or services, you are indicating your reliability to consumers, and are more likely to attract new customers as a result.

User feedback is a great way of handing power to consumers, where customer satisfaction rightfully drives a company’s success, but can we believe everything we read? The short answer is no, especially with reviews for hotels, local businesses, and restaurants, where people can easily be compromised.

It is in a business’ best interest to boost its ratings, not only to draw in new customers but to optimize their rank in search engines. Companies have capitalized on this growing trend and been known to use employees to review their product or service, pay strangers for positive ratings, and even sabotage their competitors by posting negative reviews. Trustworthy reviews do exist on websites such as CubeReviews, which provides high quality information to assist with the buying process. By assessing positive examples compared to reviews you deem to be fake, you can utilize the effective information offered to buy with confidence, putting your mind at ease with a reliable purchasing process.

This is not always the case, where many top companies still experience fraud which is difficult to monitor. With aggressive strategies in place to filter out suspicious reviews, removing every fraudulent review is impossible, so it is important to understand why you can’t trust online reviews to help you detect the fake from the real, and here are some prime reasons why:

Open Market

There are countless fake review writers online who offer their services for companies, and by creating low paying jobs on freelance websites there is a scope for fake reviews to boost your initial feedback score. From a business perspective, if you can pay a menial amount and receive a positive review for your service then you probably will, but this is often to the detriment of the consumer.

Difficult to Detect

Researchers have created software to detect fake online reviews, and though the algorithm used does a fantastic job of spotting fakes, some will slip through the net when written well, so consumers aren’t always secured by software. If algorithms struggle to detect fake reviews, you as the customer need to rely on judgment, where you’re likely to gain an understanding of what’s real and what’s not over time.

Freebies

There are companies online who will offer free products to customers if they post positive reviews, a method of artificially creating positive feedback. By giving customers an incentive, this compromises the honesty of the review in question, since people have a motivation to say something which contradicts their true feelings.

30% of Online Reviews are Fake

Research suggests that are a large quantity of online reviews are fake, and though recommended sites contain a much lower percentage of fake reviews, it is Important to remember the widespread abundance of illegitimate feedback.

Employee Reviews

Companies have been known to ask their employees to leave positive reviews, which are bound to be positive regardless of their true feelings on the product or service. Biased reviews are everywhere, so remaining vigilant is very important.

I hope you have found this information useful, where understanding why people post fake reviews should reduce consumer naivety and ultimately improve consumer awareness and confidence. If you feel as if I’ve left anything out, do comment below to get the discussion going.

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