“For $5, I will submit two great reviews for your business,” offered one entrepreneur on the help-for-hire site Fiverr, one of a multitude of similar pitches. On another forum, Digital Point, a poster wrote, “I will pay for positive feedback on TripAdvisor.” A Craigslist post proposed this: “If you have an active Yelp account and would like to make very easy money please respond.”
As reviews have become essential to online consumers — and now a factor in search rankings — review fraud or review spam has increased, as suggested by the NYT article. Wang says that Demandforce, which solicits consumer reviews on behalf of clients, uses an Amazon-like certification system to verify to the public that the reviews are legit:
Here at Demandforce, we offer a similar feature called certified reviews (see image on the right), which are reviews written by our clients’ real customers. We’re able to achieve this through our technology that allows us to read the reviewers’ last visit date to our clients’ business.
The fact that Demandforce solicits reviews on behalf of its SMB clients is one of the interesting dimensions of its CRM services.
But I’m interested to hear whether you think “review spam” or review fraud is a major problem or one that exists at the margins?