How to Spot Fake Product Reviews

When Amazon allowed customers to post reviews of the books they bought in 1995, it changed the way people chose what to buy. Reviews had long been the provenance of gatekeepers: at that time, the newspapers and magazines that published book reviews. As Amazon branched out into other products, these customer reviews took the place of those in print media that covered specialist subjects such as computing, photography, and more.

Now, reviews are everywhere and most people seem inclined to put at least some faith in them. How many times have you seen a product on Amazon or another site, or a restaurant or hotel, with four- or five-star reviews and been disappointed by it after your direct experience?

This is because the review system on Amazon (and other websites) has been gamed. In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can spot fake reviews and I’ll show you a couple of websites that can help you sort the real reviews from the bogus.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

1 thought on “How to Spot Fake Product Reviews

  1. This is s great and informative article that is helpful to consumers.

    The article grazed the surface of the real problem when it spoke about the star ratings and how that’s what consumers look at.

    In fact, sellers aren’t optimizing for consumers. We are optimizing for algorithms. Consumers see what platforms decide they’ll see, and those decisions are made heuristics that put a ridiculous amount of weight on the star ratings.

    I sell hard goods on Amazon and apps on The App Store. In both cases I need a high star rating to even show up in search results. Of course, Apple is much worse at this than Amazon, and even a 4-star on the Apl Store rating can hurt.

    As a user, I really appreciate star ratings and written reviews, but I think we’d all be better served if these reviews had no weight when determining search results.

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