Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Online Scams: Faking Online Reviews

CBC Marketplace recently aired two segments investigating online reviews both on review websites (i.e. TripAdvisor and Yelp!) and company websites (i.e. Amazon, TigerDirect, etc.). CBC Marketplace found that many of the posted reviews were from either regular average customers, paid marketers or even average customer reviews that have been edited.

The original intentions of online reviews both on review websites and company websites were to allow average people to provide authentic reviews on their experiences in purchasing goods and/or services. For quite a while this was the case until marketers researched the influence of these reviews and how they impacted consumer purchasing. Marketers quite simply found the more positive a product or service was reviewed positively the higher sales increased. This finding resulted in marketers writing their own reviews on review websites and possibly editing customer reviews on company websites as needed. Excellent examples of marketer's using these tactics can be found in the aforementioned CBC Marketplace segments.

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