Online reviews are increasingly growing in importance (You may be thinking, “duh”!). But not only are they extremely important for YOUR company, they’re just as important for when you’re not at work. You want people to trust what’s being said about where you work, but you also want to trust that the restaurant you go to tonight will really be that good!
What if I told you that some online reviews are FAKE? You may say to yourself, “I could see competitors writing bad reviews for their biggest rival” or “I’ve seen reviews where its obvious the employees write it”. Well those examples do indeed happen, but the latest craze is actually PAYING for positive reviews. Not all that surprised? Me either!
Most recently on a website asking “What would you be willing to do for $5?”, one man offered to write two positive online reviews for a company. On another site, one person said they would pay someone to write a positive review on TripAdvisor.
I could probably go on all day, listing off examples of people paying for reviews, but that’s not what I want you to take away from this blog post. I want to educate you on how to spot a fake review.
A group of researchers at Cornell University studied reviews and developed an algorithm that worked 90% of the time. Here is what they concluded:
“The fakes tended to be a narrative talking about their experience using a lot of superlatives, but they were not very good on description. Naturally: They had never been there. Instead, they talked about why they were in Chicago (for example). They also used words like ‘I’ and ‘me’ more frequently, as if to underline their own credibility.”
We can only hope that word spreads about these paid reviews and that more people become educated on how to spot them. We don’t want what was once a positive online strategy, to end badly.
Now you know how to spot a fake review! Get online and make me proud!