Reviews are incredibly powerful, stronger than you might think. Many people take to the Internet to see if something is good before buying it, and they land on these pages that are full of reviews. They are putting their trust in the reviewer’s honesty, but the truth is that most online reviews are fake. Here are a few tips to spot and avoid these fake reviews.
1. Affiliate Marketing
You first have to understand why people write fake reviews. The vast majority of them are affiliate marketers. This means that they make money whenever you click their affiliate link and buy the associated product. In essence, they are making a commission.
However, affiliate marketing isn’t bad. There are many real reviews that help connect you with great products. It’s only these fake reviewers that dilute the truth that many people have with this marketing method. It’s not the systems fault.
The reason why people do fake reviews is because they are easy and there is often enough marketing material available to write a fake review that is passing. This is also done often because the commissions are so great that people don’t mind being unethical. For example, hosting companies tend to pay affiliates $100 for each customer. Due to this, the vast majority of hosting reviews are fake, and they tend to praise mediocre hosts (here’s an example of how to approach it ethically).
2. Too Nice
Make fake reviews are too nice. Everything has something wrong with it. Think about your favorite thing in the world. You might be able to say a thousand great things about it, but there’s sure to be one thing that could be better or changed. Fake reviews are incredibly nice and forgiving of errors. Most of these reviewers will gloss over the bad points so that you only focus on how great the product is. While there might be times when a product really has no faults, this is incredibly rare.
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3. Mimic Marketing Material
Check the product’s marketing materials, like its website, Amazon description and so on. Read them over and then look for reviews. A real user might reference this material every now and then, but their review is based on hands-on experience. A fake reviewer can only use the marketing material as a reference because this is the only experience he or she has with the products. If the review sounds like little more than the marketing material, then it’s probably fake.
4. No Realism
As stated above, the experience is important. A fake reviewer will have little reference material. Think of this for a moment. I give you a product’s description and expect you to review it. I then give you the actual product and tell you once again to review it. The second review is obviously going to be more detailed because you had time to use the product. Fake reviews use few or vague details. A real reviewer will say, “the nozzle is tight” or “you can only get 10 uses before this part acts weird.” There will be actual details, and the review will seem realistic. It’s the difference between talking to someone with a script and having a real conversation. Fake reviews are stilted with few details, and real reviews will tell you many things about the product itself.
5. Fiction and Stories
Fake reviewers love to tell stories. “This product practically saved my life” or, “I thought this product would be terrible, but my friend kept pushing me and pushing me, and one day I just caved. THANK GOD I CAVED! This product is absolutely the best, and I’ll never use anything else as long as I live!” Sure, these instances might happen to regular people and real reviews, but the majority of fake reviews like to tell you a story so that they suck you in. There’s a higher chance that you will remember the product and buy it if you like the story. If every review on the website is a life-changing story, then you’ve either got a crazy reviewer, or they’re fake.
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Spotting a fake review can be difficult. In fact, real reviews sometimes mimic fake reviews. However, you can often tell the difference by just looking at these different areas. If the review is too sweet, talks in marketing speak, is a life-changing story and it uses few details, then it’s probably fake and not worth your time.