Companies that write their own glowing reviews are set to be named and shamed to highlight their dishonest behaviour. This will surely damage their reputation and cause irreparable damage which they may never recover from.
Referrals based on reviews count for a massive 70%+ of a businesses new business. In the past these referrals would have happened by word of mouth but in todays internet world these are now done on the internet.
Until recently it has been simple for opportunist business owners to enhance their company’s online reputation by simply writing fake reviews. This, of course, is fraud but is seen as an easy route to enhance their reputation. It can also be used as a way to harm their competitors by posting fake negative reviews.
That is now over and these businesses are to be named and shamed by the major review sites and have their profile marked for all to see.
Review websites have started to launch new initiatives to rid their sites of fake reviews and name the guilty. Yelp are the first to roll out the technology and it is expected that Tripadvisor and other major review platforms will follow suit shortly.
Any company that publishes fake reviews, or pays for them will have their profile branded with a stamp that informs the consumer that they can’t be trusted.
Review sites such as Yelp, Qype and Tripadvisor can be brilliant platforms to help consumers with purchase decisions. By crowd sourcing public opinions, you can build up a realistic view on whether you want to use the company or not.
This only works if the reviewers are honest and objective. Any business that writes it’s own glowing reviews or pays people to do this undermines the credibility of these sites and pulls the wool over the eyes of potential customers.
If a review site finds evidence that an establishment such as a hotel, restaurant, tradesman or any other business has added their own reviews or paid for reviews, they will have a ‘mark of shame’ added to their profile for the whole world to see.
So how do these sites tell if the reviews are fake?
- An algorithm that is capable of detecting fake reviews. When people are lying, this changes the way they use language. This algorithm automatically spots and flags this
- If a profile is not completed in full, then it could be flagged as a dummy account
- If you only have a number of reviews built up over a set time period and nothing after, then you will be flagged
- If multiple reviews are submitted or have been submitted from the same IP address then you will be flagged
Have you got any fake reviews?
Our advice is simple. Don’t write fake reviews, don’t pay for fake reviews, don’t bribe or beg for reviews – good or bad – about anyone.
If you have been tempted and have added the odd fake review then talk to us before it’s too late.
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