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Are Fake Online Reviews Really Shaking Consumer Confidence?

David Bosley

It should be cut and dry. If you run a good company, you should receive positive online reviews that boost your business. But many recent studies show that the online reviews might not hold that much weight anymore.

According to data from Dimensional Research, roughly 90% of all shoppers say that online reviews have a significant impact on their purchasing decisions. However, there’s a huge catch that makes this finding a bit murky.

Fake negative reviews are a serious matter and much more prevalent than you might think. Research from Harvard Business School reveals that approximately 16% of Yelp restaurant reviews are fabricated completely, while a Gartner study estimates than 10-15% of social media reviews are not only fake but paid for by competitors. Samsung is one specific company that found itself in hot water after in was caught paying for negative reviews of one of its main competitors, HTC.
As a result, consumer confidence in online reviews has taken a major hit. Luckily, certain startups are working to tackle the issue. Companies, like Yotpo, seeks out user-generated content, while FakeSpot analyzes consumer reviews from across the Internet and true to its name flags fake reviews.

Fake online reviews are no laughing matter, and can significant impact a small business’ bottom line. Have you ever been the victim of a fake online review? We want to hear about it. Contact PBJ Marketing today!

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