4 Ways Online Reviews Are Being Manipulated By Manufacturers

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4 Ways Online Reviews Are Being Manipulated By Manufacturers

We all know that the Internet is stuffed with advertisements, but what some may not know is always that some advertisements pop-up where you would least expect it. Where specifically? Online reviews.

Yep, manufacturers and corporations actually manipulate reviews in several ways in this article on the Internet. It’s information on good press, needless to say. However, many ways are sketchier as opposed to runners as you’ll soon be capable of tell.

Some methods companies use are rather direct although some are a somewhat more hands-off than the others. Either way, you should know that it’s crucial to investigate reviews while you happen to be simultaneously investigating potential purchases.


Hiring SEO-Friendly PR


Public relations can be a big section of any company, however in the modern age, you will need to hire someone that knows what these are doing. For instance, a lot of companies who are to the whole online review manipulation game hire such services which are heavy on seo (SEO). As several of you may know, search engine optimization is a key element in terms of online promotion, and it’s one part chance the other part science.

Google

According the financial service Mint, companies have made use of such services way back to 2010. In Internet time, that’s being a 30 years, so that’s a great while. Public relation services tend to identify already-existing positive reviews and articles regarding clients and rehearse various optimization ways of elevate them to the top of search engines like yahoo. So while poor reviews exist, they typically fall to the bottom of the pile.

You really can’t blame these lenders for wanting only their good sides to shine. Besides, everybody has bad press, and sometimes it’s overdone. Even still, if you want to find legitimate reviews, it could be in your best interest to appear beyond the first few pages of search.


Posting Fake Reviews


In case you didn’t know, companies post fake reviews. (Real shocker, eh?) No, we all know about those fake reviews out there: “FANTASTIC SERVICE, WOULD COME AGAIN - GREAT PRODUCT!!!!!!!!” 

There’s little of a way to claim this, however, if you look around enough, you’ll find some copy-and-paste fantastic reviews in some places. Because of this, Cornell University created Review Skeptic, a site that is openly for “entertainment purposes only”.

reviewskeptic

The site has been around since after a study found that some hotels tend to publish glowing reviews about themselves all over the Internet. At Review Skeptic, it is possible to copy and paste reviews on the webpage to verify if they are fake or otherwise. Furthermore, if you know an overview is fake, the website requests that you just let them know - this can help save proper data for future usage.


Paying Off Consumers


Back in 2012, Time Magazine published a write-up about a company named VIP Deals which sold leather tablet cases approximately $60. However, when potential customers ran mission to find the cases for Amazon Kindles, an advertisement would appear selling such cases at under $10 plus shipping and handling. In most circumstances, this is considered sketchy. Guess what? It was sketchy.

vipdeals

Gullible customers took advantage of the offer, oddly enough, the instances did arrive, and as a matter of fact, we were holding legit - no cheap knockoffs. However, contained in the packaging was a letter requesting the purchaser to write an evaluation on Amazon that also said, “We strive to earn 100 % perfect ‘FIVE-STAR’ scores within you!”

Cool, cool. No problem here. There would have been a problem, though - this: “In return for writing the review, we are going to refund your order so that you will have received the item for free.”

Yeah. Not cool. These things happen, folks.


Affiliate Reviews (We Don’t Do ‘Em, BTW)


Last however, not least, you will find the concept of affiliate linking. You may find out about them, already. Consumers obtain a custom url to a product from similar to Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, and whenever this link is clicked, they get money a small amount. This is okay in a few instances. For instance, should you were my good friend, and you told me you were buying something that I just bought, I could say, “Hey, would you mind using my affiliate link since I stated about the thing?”

affil

Not it is a shame. What’s sketchy happens when popular bloggers write amazing reviews about products, url to them, then promote them online as when they are legitimate reviews. That? That’s a bit wrong.

(As a note, at MakeUseOf, we’ve done several sponsored reviews, but we inform you that they may be sponsored. We also don’t include affiliate links.)


Conclusion


Hopefully, the above notes will allow you to think about the product in question about products you acquire online. This isn’t necessarily a piece of writing that says, “BE PARANOID!” It’s more of a write-up that says, “Be thorough.” 

What different ways do manufacturers manipulate reviews? Do you have your individual tips to spot fake reviews? Have you ever based a purchase order on a manipulated review and regretted it?

Image Credits: Back of executive Via Shutterstock


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