News Courtesy of SearchEngineLand.com:
As reviews have grown in importance, so have efforts to game the system. The problem is growing on both Google Maps and Amazon, according to third-party analysis and reporting.
A report yesterday in The Washington Post found that the buying of fake reviews by merchants hoping to boost sales of their products is a widespread problem on Amazon.
The Post says “many of these fraudulent reviews originate on Facebook.” Accordingly, fake review solicitation becomes another variation on the “fake news” problem for the company.
Receiving positive reviews and feedback on a product or service is one of the driving factors in getting new customers. As consumers, we naturally consider the opinions of others when making a purchase. Unfortunately, companies will do whatever they can to gain an advantage over the competition. This includes practices that are deceitful.
You shouldn’t solely rely on reviews from one source. Instead, research a company and look for other reputable websites that have reviews. If you see an item with many positive reviews, filter out the negative ones and consider why someone would leave a bad review when the majority says otherwise. You may even want to go as far as looking up a reviewer’s history to see how actively they write on a particular platform.
It may also be worthwhile to use keywords like scam, terrible, awful, etc. in conjunction with a company name or product/service. Of course, there are fake negative reviews as well – which are designed to hurt a businesses’ reputation. Usually, a business that cares about how they are perceived will write a response or rebuttal to the negative comment. I commonly see some responses mention that they don’t have any record of that particular customer in their system. 9 times out of 10 that customer never responds back which leads me to believe it is a fake review.