Thought Astroturf was just something to play footie on? In today’s competitive online marketplace, you’re more likely to see it in the form of fake reviews and testimonials.

Unfortunately, ‘astroturfing’ is on the increase and it isn’t just hefty fines from Trading Standards that businesses need to worry about.

Platforms are also cracking down on fake reviews and have fined and banned businesses FOR LIFE for the practice.

AMAZON have even SUED 1,000’s of FAKE REVIEWERS, not just the companies they had reviewed!

So if you’ve been asked to leave a positive review for a service or purchase you haven’t actually received as a genuine customer, DON’T DO IT!

Your reputation will crash and burn as quickly as the business that asked you for the fake review.

One of the saddest consequences of ‘astroturfing’ is the overall scepticism it has created in consumer confidence.

Can you really believe reviews anymore?

Fake reviews are actually pretty easy to spot.

  • Businesses will often ask a number of friends and business associates etc. to provide them with a positive review all at once. This will often show up as a block of reviews, all within a few days of each other. Genuine reviews don’t happen like this and are much more random and spaced out.
  • Check out the profiles of reviewers. Is they are genuine people, what is the likelihood of them actually having received the service or product they are reviewing? If it is something as easy to check as a website building service, you’ll soon be able to find out by looking at their site.
  • If you are in doubt, ask the business for evidence of what reviews relate to. A reputable company will be happy to provide you with verifiable facts and figures.
  • Do the maths. If a new company has only been in business for a short time, it is unlikely that they will have many reviews. If they do have a lot, chances are they are faking it and will not be around for long as companies that try to cut corners from the start don’t tend to go the distance.

Hard work and perseverance are the only things that will get you good reviews, so don’t be tempted to ask your friends and family to fake them for you. Consumers are getting more savvy and can see through the fakery.