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How to Spot Fake Customer Reviews on the Internet!

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Even though many customers these days know that product reviews online come with a high risk of being absolutely fake and paid, the impact of good or bad reviews still doesn’t cease to be. It doesn’t take a second to be swayed by reading about an exotic hotel or the durability of a laptop.

Consumers buying products based on online reviews has been a growing trend over past few years. However, before you start swiping your credit card, we caution you to these measures by which you can easily spot a fake product review.

Snapshot of ad for writing fake reviews

fake review

Note the use of Perfect Language

It’s but natural that if you are reviewing a product as a genuine customer, then you really wouldn’t care much about typos or grammatical structure. You’d probably write a few casual lines saying “I liked this product when it arrived at my doorstep. No late shipping and great packaging” or some such.

But if you notice an introduction line, a proper conclusion and an ending with a pitch of a recommendation, then it’s most likely to be a fake review.

Another tell tale sign of a sales pitch in fake product review is that it will typically list out only the advantages of the product and will defend any disadvantages that other users may have pointed out.

Note the Strategic use of Keywords

We live in the Keyword Age. No text sells without being keyword rich. Product reviewers are paid to inject strategic keywords in a text. If you see phrases like Buy this product online today or I highly recommend this product. Wait no more and buy it online today or “Best details about the product available here”, you can be rest assured that it’s a fake review.

If you see customers writing the entire product serial number, then that too, is a major tell tale sign of a paid review. An average user would never write “I loved this laptop series number FPN003287. It has more features than the previous one in the range No. AHUR5836”.

Note the replication on Google

Many fake product reviews are written very subtly and smartly which don’t make them easily recognizable. If you even have a whiff that a certain review is fake and want to make a cross check on the same, pick out a line from the review and do a Google search on it.

In many cases, paid and promotional fake reviews are copied in many websites under different usernames. If Google throws up multiple search results, you will immediately know if the review is fake or not.

Note the Review Date

Has a new product just hit the market and elaborate reviews have started pouring in? How do you think that’s possible? Believe it or not, reviewers are paid to submit their review within the first two days so that the sellers can start generating positivity about the product as soon as it hits the market.

If you see a review being posted in a day’s time after the product launch or listing, make sure you don’t believe it too quickly.

Note links at the end of the review

All fake product reviews may or may not have this, but you be warned of this tell tale sign of spotting a fake review. If you notice connecting links to the seller’s homepage or to the blogger’s personal page, it’s an immediate giveaway that that the seller or reviewer is trying to promote his/her own page or product through the review. A genuine reviewer may add his/her own signature web URL, but never a long hyperlink.

Online product reviews, just like movie reviews, have become extremely unreliable. A middle path would be to avoid the exaggerated 5 start reviews and skim through the ones with 2 or 3 stars so that you get a fair overview about what the advantages and disadvantages of a product really are.

Any other points you can think of on how one can spot a fake online product review ?

  1. Amit Kumar says

    beware, no more.

  2. Chirag says

    Interesting tips.
    Recently I came across a biased review which says we recommend a buy for a product with an affiliate link at the bottom.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Yes, thats true Chirag – I have seen it far too often..

  3. Mridul Singhai says

    I don't think that the image is an ad. It's mturk. An online sweatshop.

    1. Nayana Somaratna says

      I just keep on wondering – *who* exactly works on mTurk anyway ? The payoffs are ridicuously low.

    2. Mridul Singhai says

      Maybe high school students.

    3. Mridul Singhai says

      (Not me).

  4. Mihir Naik says

    Wonderful article… Like it..

  5. Mahendra Yadav says

    Pick up the username/email/realname and do a background search on different websites including search engines, social network, blogs etc. If its a fake review, you will find some clues here and there for sure.

  6. Raj @ Blogging Tips & Tricks says

    and don’t trust the websites/blogs who are referring services instantly, check out the disclaimer they might be their affiliates.. before you decide on a product/service it is advised to make some research (extensively)..

  7. James Greg says

    Good points to find out fake reviews. Today I was reading a review of a website with people stating it as scam and the company announcing that the reviews are fake, what I noticed in such cases multiple negative reviews were posted on the same date. This proved that it was an act of a competitor.

    Online purchasing is never risk free, and to promote this reviews are written to lure customers. How ever the points mentioned in the article are realistic and I’ve witnessed people getting paid to write fake reviews. I suggest that before believing on what is written try to find the keywords or the best use of grammar to indicate its a fake.

  8. Rajan Chandi says

    good one!

  9. Pradeep Chaudhary says

    Good read. Yes these days people tend to make decisions based on reviews and often we find website with fake/paid reviews.

    Also while checking the link, if the profile is linked with social sites, you may consider it as genuine,

    we are working on a start up @ServiceSutra to handle this problem in a better way and trying to build a community of genuine human verified Service Providers with genuine reviews by customers who have used their services.

  10. Rachit Jain says

    this is interesting…Thanks.

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