The incredible ease of access to massive amounts of information available on the Internet, has made us a population of comparison shoppers. Before making a purchase or hiring a service provider, whether it’s a doctor or a plumber, it’s a safe bet that the majority of consumers will search for online reviews. But is this information really trustworthy? There are signs to look for that can help gauge the accuracy of consumer-generated reviews. For example:
Explore the format for posting a review. Look for controls that would make it difficult to publish a fake report. Are posters required to submit a little more detailed information than simply a web-based e-mail account? Sites that want detailed information are deemed more trustworthy because since extra background details are necessary, scammers and spammers will likely be discouraged.
Time frame of reviews
Was there a flood of glowing reviews that were posted within a very short chunk of time? This is a red flag that these comments are from bogus reviewers. Look for balanced bodies of submissions over a significant length of time that have a healthy mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly.