How Yelp Checks Fake Reviews
How to Find Fake Reviews on Amazon, Yelp, and Other Websites
If you want to avoid getting scammed on Amazon and other sites, you might think the reviews section is your best friend. If there was a problem with the product, other customers would point it out.
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However, this is not the case, since many reviews are fake. Scummy companies have been known to hire fake reviewers to praise products and increase sales, meaning you never know for sure that a review can be trusted.
However, tools exist to help spot such nonsense, and you can learn to spot fake reviews over time.
Automatically scan Amazon links for fake reviews
If you search Amazon or Yelp and suspect the reviews you are seeing are fake. There's a quick way to back up your suspicions: FakeSpot.com. This page analyzes the comments and determines whether the reviews are likely to be fake.
First, copy the URL of any Amazon or Yelp page that you think contains suspicious reviews. The site will scan the reviews and give you a customized review, removing reviews that are likely to be fake.
Fakespot scans the language used in each review and also checks each reviewer's profile. Fakespot then uses a number of factors to decide whether a particular review is likely to be fake or not.
For example, overly positive language is considered a red flag. While many people are willing to compliment a good product in a review, they rarely pile up positive adjectives like fake reviewers will. Similarly, if reviewers keep posting positive reviews and posting reviews on products from the same company, there's a good chance the reviews are fake. It is also considered suspicious to see a series of positive reviews on the same day.
None of these rules are hard and fast. Sometimes real people will do these things, and sometimes fake reviewers won't. However, FakeSpot's statistical analysis tries to spot trends and give you an idea of how likely it is that the reviews under a particular product are wrong. If this website doesn't suspect the reviews are incorrect, there is a good chance that you don't need to worry.
How to spot counterfeits
What if they show fake reviews or comments on sites other than Amazon or Yelp? Or do you just don’t want to rely on a website? Then my friend you need to develop an internal BS detector.
The things FakeSpot takes into account - overly positive language, multiple reviews posted on the same day - are great first things to look at. Then there are a few more things to consider.
- Check the dates on the reviews. Has a series of positive reviews seemingly flooded the product right away? If so, you are likely looking at fake comments.
- Consider the language selection. Fake reviewers often do not speak an English speaker. Because of this, you may find weird language options in fake reviews. For example: A valuer allegedly resident in the USA could speak of a price of "1300 USD", although an actual American would never quote "USD" when writing a review.
- Click the reviewer's profile. You can usually do this by clicking the Username button. Does a certain review always seem to leave positive reviews with glowing language? Are they more focused on products from little-known companies? This is very suspicious and could be a sign that you are looking at a fake reviewer.
- Do some googling. If the website you're looking at has a first and last name for a reviewer, go ahead and find the person. Do the results match an actual human person, a Facebook or Twitter account? If so, do they talk to other people or do they just exist somehow?
- Check the avatar. Many fake reviewers pull photos from blogs or other people's social media profiles to make them look like an actual person. Perform a reverse image search to find the original source of the image. Quite often you will find yourself viewing a stock photo, a photo from someone else's blog, or even a clip from a movie.
These aren't the only ways to spot fakes, of course, and fake reviewers get more sophisticated over time. Only approach reviews with a healthy sense of skepticism instead of assuming that it all comes from a well-intentioned consumer like you.
Image credit: Colin
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