As business people, we all know the importance of receiving great reviews for our own business or leaving glowing reviews for the business that we want to see succeed. The reason we recognize the importance of these two things is because we also place value on the experience of others. When somebody has used a company and felt positive (or indeed negative) enough to leave a review, then we listen to their words and modify our behavior accordingly. If you find a great company online and they boast hundreds of five-star reviews, then you’re more likely to buy from them than you are from a more poorly reviewed customer. We’re absolutely correct to think in this way, but there’s one massive pitfall that many of us don’t even realize is there; the fake review. If you want to ensure that you’re spending your money with the right businesses, then being able to spot the difference between genuine and fake reviews is essential, so here’s how.
One of the first things to remember when searching for legitimate reviews is that not all review websites are created equal. Many of us tend to trust the review sites with big names, and a lot of the time this is a good policy. Brands like Open Table, Yelp, and Trustpilot tend to get the seal of trustworthy approval from most of us, but do they deserve it? Whilst the reviews on these sites are often genuine, there is one area in which they all fall down; how easy it is to have a bad review deleted. If your business receives a review that you feel is totally unjustified, then you can apply to many of the review websites to have that review removed. Some of the sites will launch a fairly thorough investigation into whether the review is an accurate representation of the facts, or indeed not, whilst others have a pre-programmed response. Yelp has been caught out on several occasions simply deleting negative reviews because a disgruntled business owner didn’t want them appearing online and knew exactly which buttons to press. So whilst you can rely on many of the reviews on these sites being genuine, you might be looking at a somewhat cherry-picked selection.
One of the ways that you can avoid getting an edited review is by looking for independent review sites. Businesses like the ones we mentioned above rely on customers to write honest reviews, but sites that do their own reviewing tend to have less reason to be biased. These sites are really handy if you’re looking for niche reviews, as you can go directly to one that is a specialist in your area. If you’re looking for reviews of iGaming sites then you can search for a site with pros and cons of all the online offerings as tested by experts in the casino field. In the case of these sites, experts will pick through safety and security features, bonuses, deposit methods, and more to ensure that they give an honest account of the iGaming website in question. In the same way, if you’re looking for reviews of a new smartphone, it pays to look for websites that specialize in this, rather than heading directly to google reviews, or the manufacturer’s website. On a dedicated smartphone review site, you can expect to see functions being tested, figures and data being reported and price comparisons too. These websites can only keep running and keep their own trustworthy image if the reviews that they publish are truthful and unbiased, so make use of them.
If you can’t find a dedicated site to review whatever product or service it is that you’re buying, then the next step is to scan the reviews on consumer review sites for clues. One of the biggest giveaways that so many of us don’t realize is the inclusion of too many pictures. In the case of restaurants, there is a real trend for ‘Instagramable’ food, so it’s expected that amongst the good reviews there’ll be a smattering of dessert photographs. However, if you see five or six reviews in a row with suspiciously professional-looking photographs of food, then the chances are, the restaurant is paying for them. Whilst you can expect to see a few photographs when looking through restaurant reviews, one place where you really should be suspicious is in the world of tech. When was the last time you were so delighted with your new keyboard that you took a photo of it? Exactly. If you wouldn’t have taken a photo for your review, then the chances are that most people leaving a genuine review wouldn’t either. Take a close look at companies that have lots of photographs appearing in their reviews, as it’s a common trait of paid-for positive reviews.