Can you trust online reviews?

when we are faced with making a decision and deciding between  number of different vendors, we often use online reviews to help us make a final logical decision. However there has been a growing problem that has always been around, that fake reviews are often utilised by companies to either make their company seem better than it is or to tarnish the reputation of another company. We will show you 5 ways to be able to spot when this seems to happen and how to avoid making this mistake. Of course you won’t be able to always spot this because companies are becoming more and more sophisticated when employing this practice.

Illustration for fake website testimonials

1. Disregard the excessively negative and positive reviews

We all know that some people will all be unhappy and always find the smallest things to be upset about, whilst on the other end of the spectrum you will have people who are always overly happy. If every review is very negative or every single review is perfectly positive then you instantly know that there is something fishy going on and you will have to do a little more digging.

2. Minimum 20 reviews for each business

Ideally you want to see a reasonable amount of reviews before you can draw any conclusions and to be able to notice any significant trends that are taking place. A small handful of reviews will not be able to do this and 20 reviews is a good starting sample size that will allow you to see if there are any common patterns emerging.

3. Look for obvious red flags

An easy way to spot a fake or malicious review is to dig deeper in the users post history other than the review you are currently reading. Read the other review they have left for other businesses, services and products other than the one you’re interested in. If they use the same language and same ratings for each review then they are either leaving fake reviews on purpose or they are an overly negative reviewer who can never be made happy and enjoys leaving negative comments. With this in mind you should hold less weight to users that are new and have only left a single review

4. Look for detailed reviews.

Avoid all reviews that are light on content and only provide abstract narrative about the customer service experience or product. Give more weight to the reviews that provide detailed descriptions and details about the actual quality of the project and the the actual people who completed the job. If you bare this in mind it is a lot easier to spot the untruthful reviews.

5. Beware of reviews using poor english.

Most genuine actual customers take a little more care with their spelling and grammar, and if the language is broken then it is most likely as a result of using an online translator. This is a common practice used by foreign firms who are paid by UK businesses to post untruthful reviews. Of course a genuine user may write poorly but more weight should be favoured to reviews that are well thought out and constructed with care using precise english and grammar.

6. Search for video reviews

Using youtube you can find hundreds of reviews especially for construction where the reviewer will actually show you the work that the business has completed. These are much more accurate as you can see the results for yourself and its much harder to make false reviews. Just search for them using poplar video websites such as youtube such as the one shown below

So now you have the necessary information to be able to only trust and spot real reviews. We’d love to hear your stories.

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