Writing fake reviews can heavily influence the purchasing decision of consumers. So, where do fake reviews come from? Here are a couple of sources:
- Vendors and service providers that sell positive and negative reviews.
- Former employees who retaliate against their former employers by posting negative reviews.
- When marketers and business owners create fake reviews to attract more customers.
- Employees, family, and friends who post positive reviews to support their friends/family business.
- Check the social profile accounts of the reviewers to determine if they are real people.
- Look for repeated unnatural mentions in a review, and you will easily spot a fake review.
- There are fake reviews that are hard to detect because they are convincing. These types of reviews maximize on tarnishing the target’s reputation.
How Can You Determine that Reviews are Fake?
A couple of websites with filters or systems can automatically detect a fake review. However, consumers and business owners can also learn how to spot fake reviews and report the associated business for lack of best practices. Consequently, companies sometimes buy reviews that are fake, just to boost their product and sales. But, if a company consistently provides excellent customer service, they’re like to get positive product reviews, without having to use shady tactics like buying fake reviews.
Below are steps that you can use to spot fake reviews.
Look at the Profile of the Reviewer
Take some time to verify the genuineness of the reviewer by checking their Twitter, Facebook, or website profile (if any). Look at the date when the account was created, and review the account’s activity, social accounts, and work information. Do the profile and the accounts activity belong to a real person? If not, you need to mark the review as a red flag.
Look at Specifics
Another indicator of fake reviews is the text’s lack of details. The review must be fake if the reviewer does not use specific details of the product or service and doesn’t describe their experience.
Watch Out for Repeat Brand Mentions
If the review appears to read in the tone of an ad copy written or a press release by a marketer, it probably is fake. Check to see if there are repeat and unnatural mentions of the product name, brand, or product model. For example, “I prefer using the new Toshiba Tecra A50-D laptop. It has Core i7 and SSD 256 GB.”
Check the Wording
If you want to spot a fake review, check for phrases and words that no other customer can use. For example, if you want to get a gaming laptop review and see “discrete GPU with 4VRAM,” the review might not be genuine. It is only marketers who talk this way, not consumers. If we know the importance of word of mouth, we also know that it is not a natural way a customer would talk.
Be Cautious of Black and White
Online consumers have strong opinions. But reviews that appear too polished or too harsh should establish their claim has a foundation. Real reviews do not edge on one side of the spectrum or the other. Therefore, people who write negative reviews should still say something positive about your product/service.
Reach out to the Review Website
You can reach out to the review site’s support staff or admins if you suspect the review is fake. After an investigation discovers that the review is fake, the website will take down the profile or listing of the business. Knowing all this should make you wonder exactly how negative reviews affect your business.
Alternatively, if you’re trying to get an app more exposure, check out our guide to getting more app reviews.
What happens if Google fails to remove a review?
Share the info with your friends, colleagues, and relatives. Next, come up with simple instructions on how to report fake reviews on Google. Then, ask your family and friends to tag the review. The more tags a review gets, the higher the search engine specialists will spot it and remove it. Alternatively, you can submit a valid request for the removal of the fake review.
How can you boost your company’s Google ranking?
If you receive negative reviews that you think are undeserved, reach out to any other customer and ask them to review their experience with your company. If you have many positive reviews, it will make a potential client ignore the negative reviews. This plan will increase the Google rating of your company.
How can you tell that reviews are fake?
A fake review uses an aggressive or tantalizing tone. These reviews also follow a particular order of certain keywords in different sections of the review. You might find positive reviews about another competitor when you dig a little deeper to see the reviewer’s profile. This trend is an indication that the reviews are fake. The reviewer’s account is likely fake if it is just a few days or weeks old.
STAT: According to one survey, 90% of consumers say that online reviews influence their buying decisions. (source)