Ever heard of a saddle for daddies called The Daddle? How about an elephant camoflauge kit available today for a bargain at $1.5 million? Well even if you don’t want to purchase such products for those on your holiday gift buying list, you can certainly write an asinine review for said goodies. For some businesses, this act of review-rolling has increased the attention received by their businesses, as is the case with the pachyderm paint which is not a real product, just in case you were curious.
However, it also has negative implications on the part of real customers who want authentic reviews for actual products. Additionally, it isn’t just witty writers with free time on their hands that are penning these fictitious reviews. Anyone from competitors to spammers can post these reviews, thereby ruining the reputation and the legitimacy of businesses. Some companies, such as Fiverr, are where you can find a writer for hire skilled at casting crap critiques into the sea of holiday shopping sites.
The Case of Blocking All Reviews
Think back to the last time you reviewed a product online. More likely than not, the product you took your time to review was faulty, broken or otherwise not what you expected, which prompted you to warn others about such issues. Yet according to University of Illinois computer scientist and fraudulent review expert Bing Liu, 80 percent of online product reviews are positive with shimmering ratings of four out of five stars. So just how many reviews are fake? Liu has found that 30 percent of reviews for products sold online are fake. Now, how do you cull those reviews for products sold on your site?
Imposter Posters: How to Spot Them
The first thing to look for in shoddy reviewers is a profile that is incomplete. Names that seem to be randomly generated by a computer program with symbols and numbers are most likely randomly generated by a computer program. Real people use real names, most often the initial of their first or last name. If reviewers make it past this point, here’s the next thing to scout out.
Flushing Out Fakers
Real reviewers do not share plastic opinions. An exceptional review, say for a toy at the top of every child’s wish list, will have both negatives and positives. Of course there will also be succinct reviews from individuals who love or hate a product. However, reviews that are written by paid reviewers will be saturated with sugary sweet adjectives. Use of exclamation points increases the probability these are made by infomercial worthy reviewers. Additionally, those reviews that are as fake as Christmas Day snow in Sarasota will be sprinkled liberally with SEO. For example, the full name of the product or a name of a competitor’s product will be used more than once in the review.
Any review posted before a product is actually sold, which is most often seen with books that are available for pre-sale, is clearly not for legit. Also, posts that end with anything similar to “if you want something better, you should check out” are written by competitors in the marketplace. Finally, if you are concerned with patsy reviews of your products, it’s wise of you to check out third party sellers including Amazon who are promoting your products. This is where you’ll find a bevy of bored writers penning impossibly hilarious product reviews, such as these standouts noted by Cracked.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.