Coming to terms with fake reviews

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Consumers overwhelmingly expect the reviews they peruse on Amazon, Yelp, Google and other review sites to be trustworthy, neutral and objective. But this reasonable expectation is frequently thwarted by the efforts of aggressive marketers who pay third parties to create phony reviews in exchange for compensation or incentivize existing good customers to leave reviews with discounts or free products or services.

These deceptive practices — termed “opinion spam” or “sock puppetry” — are a form of information pollution with multiple victims. Opinion spam blinds the consumer to the truth and poisons the reputation of the review site where the fake review appears. When detected, it may subject the marketer and/or opinion spammer to criminal and civil penalties.

Unfortunately, opinion spam — despite the best efforts of review sites to control it — appears to be a permanent, intractable feature of the e-commerce and local business information ecosystem.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Kevin Lee is Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Didit a leading digital marketing and technology firm started in 1996. Didit has made 11 acquisitions to transform itself into a one-stop-shop full-service marketing firm from a SEM/SEO boutique. Kevin continues to invent new technology platforms for Didit and for clients. Kevin also co-founded We-Care.com generating over $8 million for nonprofits via cause-marketing. As a true Digital Marketing pioneer, Kevin gives back to the industry via 4 books, speaking engagements, and 780+ published columns. Kevin received his MBA from Yale University and lives in Scarsdale with his wife Dr Allison Kahner and two kids.

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