Fake reviews: how to detect and manage them

At a time when reviews play a very important role in the trust, reputation, and positioning of a business, fake reviews can end up being big problems. Therefore, knowing how to recognize when these appear and proceed with their management is essential to reduce the negative impact that they can have and not put the trust of your customers and potential customers at risk.


What are fake reviews?

When we talk about fake reviews, we are referring to those comments that people make regarding a product, service, or company in general. But, therefore, without basing said opinion on a real experience. This means that, in many cases, without having purchased the product or simply lying about it, exaggerated or false information is given.

Fake reviews generally have the primary goal of damaging a business’s digital reputation through such false information. This is because they are comments that can considerably affect the perception of other users about the company or its products.

It is also important to take into account how fake reviews harm your business since the impact may be less if effective social listening is done.


How to spot fake reviews?

As we know, leaving a comment on Google is something very simple that is within the reach of practically anyone with a Gmail account. This can be very beneficial in incentivizing customers to leave reviews and comments. Nevertheless, it can also make it easier for malicious users to take advantage of the fake review facility. Proof of authenticity of the comments and evaluations that are left regarding companies and their products or services is not required.

Some of the keys that can be taken to identify if a review is false or not are the following:


1. The name of the client is not related to the database

If you get a negative or harmful review, what you can do is check the customer database to see if the name matches the one that has been had. If it doesn’t match, it may be a fake review. Anyway, keep in mind that sometimes a person can ask a third party to be the one to write the review.


2. The comments are very generic

If the comments made in the reviews are very generic but negative, we may be faced with a fake review. This is because the negative comments or reviews by dissatisfied users who have actually made the purchase usually include certain data or specific information about the product or service, based on said information when reviewing negatively.


3. The profile does not have its own image

Although many people can turn to impersonal avatars for their Google accounts, those who post fake reviews often do so too. So while this isn’t enough to identify a review as fake, it can be one of the indicators to consider, since people who post real reviews usually don’t have as much trouble actually showing themselves.


How to manage fake reviews?

Now that we have seen what they are and how reviews can be detected, it is important to talk about management. In this sense, one of our first pieces of advice is to always provide an answer, both in real reviews and in those that seem false, with the main purpose of showing future readers of said interactions that the company is willing to seek solutions to the problems that users may manifest.

However, this may not be enough to combat fake reviews in their entirety. For these cases, what is recommended is to go to a professional service such as the one we provide at 202 Digital Reputation. Through in-depth social listening work, we find everything that may be being said on the web about your brand, products, or services and we analyze all the ways in which a reputational risk could occur to reduce the chances of that happening.

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