Every year, online reviews influence customer spending worth 30 billion dollars. However, review fraud has made online ratings less trustworthy. Fake reviews not just mislead shoppers but also hurt a company's reputation.
Whether you are investigating a product for fraudulent reviews or are a savvy online shopper, knowing the qualities of fake reviews can save you money, time, and stress. Keep reading this article to understand how to spot fake reviews.
Table Of Contents:
- How Fake Reviews Affect Businesses?
- How To Spot A Fake Review? 5 Tips And Tricks
- How To Avoid Fake Reviews?
- A Real Pain Point For Brands: Fake Reviews
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
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How Fake Reviews Affect Businesses?
Here’s how fake online reviews affect businesses and their revenue:
- The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) estimated that fake reviews potentially influence £23 billion of UK consumer spending each year
- 54% of consumers would not buy a product if they suspected it of having fake reviews
- On an average, 4% of all online reviews are fake
- The direct influence of fake online reviews on global online spending is $152 billion
- In the US, fake online reviews influence $791 billion of eCommerce spending annually, $6.4 billion in Japan, $2.3 billion in Canada, and $900 million in Australia
How To Spot A Fake Review? 5 Tips And Tricks
Usually, reviews with unbelievable claims and perfect formatting should send up a red flag. If you need an answer for how to spot fake reviews, here are the top 5 ways:
#1: Note The Use Of Perfect Language
If you are reviewing a product or service as a genuine customer, you really wouldn't care much about the grammatical structure or typos. You would probably write a few casual lines saying, "No late shipping and great packaging," or "I liked this product from the time I started using it," or some such.
But if you notice a review with a proper introduction line, a conclusion, and a perfect ending with a pitch of a recommendation, it's most likely to be a fake review then.
Another tell-tale sign of a fake product review is that it typically lists out only the product's advantages and will defend any disadvantage that the majority of other users may have pointed out.
#2: Note The Strategic Use Of Keywords
We live in the age of keywords. No text sells without being keyword-friendly. In fact, some product reviewers are paid to inject strategic keywords into the review text. If you notice phrases like "I highly recommend this product," "Buy this product online today," "Best details about the product available here," or "Wait no more and buy it online today," you can be rest assured that it's a fake review.
If you see any customer writing the entire product serial number, then it is a major indicator of a fake review or a paid review. A genuine product reviewer would never write, "I loved this laptop series number GIK660098. It has more features than the previous one in the range of TYUI4306".
#3: Note The Replication From Google
Many fake reviews are written very subtly and smartly, which does not make them easily recognizable. If you even have the slightest doubt that a review might be fake and want to make a cross-check on the same, pick up a line from the review and simply do a Google search for it.
In several cases, paid and fake promotional reviews are copied on different review websites under many usernames. If Google throws up multiple search results, you will immediately know that the review is fake.
#4: Note The Review Timing
Has a new product just hit the market, and elaborated reviews have started pouring in? Do you think that's possible by itself?
Believe it or not, reviewers are paid to submit their fake reviews within the first few days of product launch so that the sellers can start generating positivity about the product at its earliest.
If you see several reviews being posted in a day's time after the product launch or listing in the marketplace, ensure you don't believe it too quickly.
#5: Note Links At The End Of The Review
If you notice links to the seller's homepage or the blogger's personal page at the end of a review, it's an immediate sign that the reviewer or seller is trying to promote their own product or page through the review. A true reviewer may add their own signature web URL in the review, but never a long hyperlink.
How To Avoid Fake Reviews?
Usually, brands use an automated filter to hide fake customer reviews based on certain conditions to display the most helpful and honest customer reviews. Here are the top 3 ways on how to avoid fake reviews:
Follow A Zero-Tolerance Policy For Fake Reviews
The major step to dealing with fake reviews is to ensure that fake reviews are never posted on your site. Allowing fake reviews to be published will negatively affect your business and your bottom line.
You need to be a moderator that uses anti-fraud methods to evaluate reviews. It will be a much more helpful and quicker step in protecting your brand's reputation online.
Using a review management tool like Statusbrew will make your job even easier. Statusbrew helps you manage reviews on Google My Business, Google Play Store, App Store, and more all in one stream. You can manage communications on several social and messaging channels as well, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Whatsapp, Line, and more, from the same dashboard.
Here's how you can manage negative and fake customer reviews using Statusbrew:
- Get notified of all negative reviews
- Analyze sentiment of reviews
- Manage fake and negative reviews along with your team
- Automatically route reviews to a specific inbox/team member based on your requirement
- Keep track of customers often posting fake reviews using inbuilt CRM
- Control team member access
- No password sharing will mitigate compliance issues
- Get in-depth brand reputation insights
Don't Screen Out Negative Reviews
While receiving negative reviews might be the worst nightmare for your business, they are necessary for a successful UGC program. People are more likely to purchase from a brand that responds to all reviews, including the negative ones.
In fact, some people even believe that negative reviews have more detailed product information and are less likely to be fake. Besides, businesses that respond to negative customer reviews gain their trust and loyalty.
Bonus Content: 3 Ways To Get Google Reviews Deleted [Always Work]
Having fake customer reviews under your brand's name can cause a loss of trust, with many people believing that your brand is just one of the many who try to win over customers using fake reviews. Removing fake reviews helps brands maintain trust among their existing and future customers while increasing revenue.
A Real Pain Point For Brands: Fake Reviews
Fake customer reviews are one of the biggest online reputation killers. We hope we have answered your question about how to spot fake reviews in this blog with 5 super useful tips. So, in an age when your customers are becoming smarter and smarter, brands must take the required steps to minimize the risk of fake reviews and expand their business among authentic users.
Need help tracking your online reviews on Google My Business, Google Play Store, App Store, and more? Sign up for a free demo with Statusbrew today to know how we can help! 👇
Statusbrew is an all-in-one social media management tool that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and even Google My Business.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here are some commonly asked questions about fake customer reviews:
Is writing a fake review illegal?
It is "clearly illegal" to pay someone to write fake reviews. In fact, firms could even get fined for doing so. Due to fake and misleading reviews, the right to be informed, which is a consumer right, is also violated.
Can Google detect fake reviews?
Yes. A study conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that Google's algorithms can identify and penalize businesses that engage in fraudulent review practices. Google can take down reviews that are flagged to comply with Google policies or legal obligations.
How to spot fake Amazon reviews?
There's no surefire way to filter honest Amazon reviews from dishonest ones. However, taking each review with a grain of salt is an excellent place to start.
- Take a look at the words used in each review: Does the language of the review sound too jargony, too flowery, or too similar to other reviews?
- Examine the user who posted the review: Be wary of generic-sounding account names or accounts without profile pictures.
Lastly, never rely solely on reviews to make a purchase. Do your own research as well about the brand, its product, and its customer service.
How to spot fake Google reviews?
Here's how to spot a fake review on Google:
- No avatar or a fake avatar
- A review history containing repeats of the same review
- Spamming the competition
- A large number of negative reviews in a short time
- Poor vocabulary or language syntax
- A very negative or hateful tone
- Negative star rating without an explanation
How to respond to fake reviews?
Never argue with the false reviewer or start a fight on your review page. It might hamper our brand reputation. Take the conversation in a private channel like email. Bring attention to fake reviews with facts and politely ask them to delete the fake review.
How to get fake reviews removed?
Flag or report the fake review to the platform. For fake Google reviews, you can even get in contact with Google Small Business Support to make an argument as to why the fake review should be removed.