| You're a business owner, and you're wondering how other businesses get so many reviews. How did Uchi get 527 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars on Yelp (as of 1/1/11)? How did Sugar Mama's get 314 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars on Yelp (as of 1/1/11)? How come no one is talking about your business? *I know that Uchi and Sugar Mama's do NOT engage in the behavior described below. Thusly, I feel comfortable using their data. |
The temptation sets in. You want more people to know about you. You think no one will find out. You're antsy for people to click on your website link. You make a fake account on Yelp. You give yourself five stars. You wait a few minutes. That wasn't too bad. So you make another fake account. You give yourself another five stars. That was easy. On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog right? So you do it again. And again. And again. Now you have seven positive reviews. Job well done! You ask your employees to log onto Yelp and to write reviews. You ask all your friends, suppliers, regulars, and family members to do it. It isn't technically wrong, if you don't get caught. What an easy way to increase your ratings and pump up those reviews.
WRONG. It isn't long before you get sniffed out. You're slammed on the Master Debater's Threads, and Google Alerts show that you have been caught red-handed.
Moral of the story. Don't write fake reviews. Social media and crowd sourced content sites already spark controversy and debate. Throw in examples of fake reviews written by business owners or their rivals, and everyone goes bananas. Transparency in social media has been the norm with demand for honesty ever growing. Users want to be able to put a face with a social media voice, and rest assured that conflicts of interests are revealed. No one wants to be tricked.
As a consumer, you do want to know which reviews are honest. Here's some quick tips on sniffing them out.
*I've been going back and forth on whether or not I should write this. I thought that in writing this, shady businesses owners might find tricks to appear less fake. Honestly though, to create an online presence to does not escape the vigilant detection of savvy internet users and the likes of the Google machine would take hours upon hours. I would guess that it would take no less than 50-100 hours per fraudulent online presence. The likelihood of a business investing that many hours into a single fake review is extremely low. Those types of businesses wouldn't even invest the time in reading this post. I don't think this blog post will affect these behaviors at all.
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