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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fake Online Reviews

UK Regulator Starts Cracking Down on Fake Online Reviews

The company posted 800 reviews on behalf of 86 businesses between 2014 and 2015

Matt Brian | March 7, 2016

[Blogger's note: The fake review problem is extensive. You can see it in, for example, in review "wars" going on when members one church disagree with the book published by another member's point of view. Very often the criticism will be leveled at some external issue such as the quality of the voice recording, which is actually excellent, and it followed by a strong negative score. And others will chime in, in agreement. Or other individuals don't like reading about evolution and decide to attack the book from some other perspective. Amazon has a number of smaller merchants attacking various products where they are hoping to compete. All without control. The UK effort represents a needed effort in this direction. The problem goes beyond those being attacked by the UK, however. So many people do not know how to write a review and recommend products that they have not fully tested. Perhaps they are intrigued by the prettiness of what they bought, but these reviews are actually just as malicious since they lead consumers down false paths. I suspect in the long run the "reviewers" have an ulterior purpose and believe they are getting away with something.]
Online reviews, like those on Amazon, are typically a good way to judge the quality of a product or service before you decide to part with your money. They can also be huge indicators of the reputation of the retailer you're about to do business with.
With profits on the line, some businesses have taken steps to ensure they're getting good reviews, a service which marketing companies are all too willing to provide. Last week, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed it had issued its first crackdown on the practice, after it caught UK company Total SEO & Marketing Ltd (Total SEO) posting over 800 fake reviews between 2014 and 2015.


<more at; related articles and links: (CMA takes enforcement action against fake online reviews. A marketing firm has ceased writing fake online reviews for small businesses and will take steps to remove those already posted. March 4, 2016) and (4 ways to spot a fake online review. October 31, 2015)>

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