The Review, Comment and Opinion world of the Internet.
UPDATING: This article does cover most of what I want to say about the subject but I do want to add the positive sides. Look for the new posts under the main menu link Web Development.
If you are a business owner in the USA you really need to read this article.
Can you trust the reviews that people post online about companies?
I understand that product reviews are easy to ignore when you read lines like, "Great Product I'll buy another soon."
That review or opinion offers nothing at all to the consumer looking for product reviews. Most consumers are smart and savvy enough to ignore that type of review post.
But what happens when you read reviews about companies. A review post "I'll do business with them again." is actually a good valid post if it was from a customer or client of the business.
Now that you have made it this far let me take a few minutes of your time so you can help business owners, consumers, review and opinion readers.
Today a company with a website hosted in China sent me a message directly from my contact form on this site and many other sites that we maintain. The sites were all business sites and offered products and or services.
" Hello, We are an outsource provider for writing monthly reviews for businesses online.
Can you let me know who is the person within your organization to contact about our services?
Thank you in advance."
The signature line they included indicated their website. PostPositiveReviews . com
The site registration information points to a host in China.
I remember reading about the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) new rules about Bloggers receiving payment for writing articles about products and services. The Opinions, Reviews and Articles were paid for mostly by the manufacturers of the products or in part according to resource links in this companies main page.
The issue is very clear to me and maybe because you don't work in the industry you should learn at least one thing.
If you pay someone to promote your product or services and the person writing reviews, opinions or articles doesn't disclose that you are paying them you may be writing a letter to the FTC like in the case of the Belkin Marketing or should I say Fake Reviews Marketing.
It's once again the SEO and SEM community trying to keep things cooking up on the search results. When Search engines started including reviews in the search results this door for reviews was opened. At first it was easy just to write negative reviews. Then the search engines turned around and started only returning positive reviews. Now we have companies offering positive reviews for you business. With a small to large fee attached. ($59.00 to $1,500.00 per month.)
So what is your company name worth in your industry? Do you want to be associated with Fraud? Do you need the FTC looking into your positive feedback comments?
What in the world should you do about this?
First, don't pay a company to post fake reviews about your business. In fact, don't pay anyone to write about your business that isn't a direct employee or contracted worker. And even then you need to review what is being said on your site.
Second, don't think reviews, positive or negative are going to add to your bottom line.
Here's our take on things.
If you think a customer is going to join a site using their first and last name, giving their email address and then posting something of a canned statement you're not thinking correctly.
Consumer complaint boards have more honest posts than consumer praise boards. (My new term for this new False Positive Review Industry.)
The company Post Positive Reviews is only a website domain and outsourced to a country or city you might not ever have heard of. If you are an US based business keep your money locally. Hire a part-time person from your town to post false reviews about your business. It's very easy, create several emails and start posting. Matter of fact on MagicYellow.Com you can use email@example.com and the password is password. Post positive reviews all day long. They don't seem to mind.
Now, when you get to the 50 or 100 positive reviews mark and you work with consumers I'd like you to think when the last time you had a day, week or month with 100% satisfied customers. I mean they are so happen they signed up with an out of country website just to post positive things about you.
It's most likely going to happen on Facebook in a private profile before it happens on a public site like Judysbook.com . Who is Judy anyway? The story says it's the founders mother or something like that. But the site is an API affiliate which means they repeat the same comments made on other sites like Yelp or eOpinion or Reviews. It's as if the world is one opinion then everyone makes that opinion theirs.
This might be hard to follow so I'll explain how it works.
I might make a database this evening that I want business owners to use on their sites. My Database will hold reviews posted by visitors of their website not their store or business. These reviews now are in my database. Then I find a company that needs to post reviews about businesses because they are a business indexing company. They charge businesses to post rebuttals about reviews or to have reviews removed. Now I sell this business my list of reviews collected by my database.
Next I need to jump start the opinion posting so I send out offers of "Work from home make $697.00 per week writing reviews online." it's actually turn and you can find those work from home posts in most all job sites. It pays on average $0.65 per positive review post and if you use their custom software you can be sending hundreds of posts every hour thus making $65.00 per hour while in your Lazyboy chair!.
I hate to see good things go bad because of an industry that works and makes business owners pay to be in the top search pages. SEO which means Search Engine Optimization is still honest work but the SEM (search engine marketing) seems to be a bit on the dark side creating new more expensive ways of keeping your site on top.
Now that you have the website to one of these positive review posting companies you can read everything they promise. They are not shy, they tell you it's their marketing to post false or fake positive reviews and they tell you they know how to get past the controls of your opinion and review sites. They claim to have 15,000 review sites they post to and thousands of usernames, IP addresses, etc. Everything they need to keep fake posts from being filtered out.
Now for my solution to this issue for both Business owners and Consumers.
Remember in the days you would threaten to call the Better Business Bureau?
Well online they have next to nothing in power regarding search results.
But if you think about the opinions and reviews helping a business in search results then here's the plan I have for you and I'll even do the programming to make it happen.
Project Alfa Code Name: Stop Fake and False Reviews.
Customers will complain it's part of being in the customer service industry or any industry where you have customers. It's natural and many companies have learned to handle complaints from customers very well.
For me I would rather read about a complaint and how the company resolved the complaint before I would read a positive "I feel Good" review.
Because everyone of these large review and opinion sites are API feeds from others it would need to be created in the same manor but distributed differently to the business owners and consumers.
If a business owner has to pay to post a rebuttal to a comment made on a third party site in China and the business is here in Baton Rouge, LA how does the owner of the business know it's one of his customers?
Cutting to the meat of the issue. Companies make money marketing companies. Reviews now are helping the marketing so companies found a market marketing reviews. It's never going to end really not until you as a business owner take things into your own hands.
Here's how to start your I'm not going to pay an indexing site to delete fake or false reviews posted about my business!
1. You must agree to allow both positive and negative reviews to be posted directly to your business site. If you do not have a business website you will need to purchase one and stop thinking you can't. They are cheap and it's 2011. If you don't have a business site then most likely you don't have internet so what you don't know wont hurt you.
2. You must agree to work with any poster that means if they posted a complaint you must do your best to resolve the complaint and post your final resolution. You don't need to post names and details just that the customer and you had reached an agreement.
3. You must allow a third party to monitor your posting section to prevent fraudulent posting as well as location of posters. This process is used to screen out fraud for the business owner and the consumers that read the posts. (we actually ban connections when spam posts are made and have running scripts monitoring. XCtM Project)
You should see the direction this is going. If you don't allow comments to be posted on your site other sites will capitalize from you. If search engines are allowing reviews to change search results then you need to host your own reviews and get them into the search indexes. This now returns to honest SEO work which might cost but it's looking more like I'll do the work for you just because those companies that are paying for reviews will be easy to spot after reading a few of these articles.
As a business owner you have options. For my Baton Rouge Clients you know how it is, nearly every page of every site we develop offers comments, questions and feedback. Now it's time to put all that into one page. Simple, takes about 2 minutes. See you on the Opinions, Reviews, Comments, Complaints board here!
Adding an old post that the company made back on 2-25-2011 .
This post was made from a spam server in RO. To date there is no legit company that offers to post positive reviews of your company. Think about it for a minute. Paying someone to write about you is fraud and will end very badly for your company if these people had their client lists exposed online.
====== MESSAGE BELOW ==========
Google is now using business reviews to determine
business ranking. A search for your business shows at least one negative
We can help you.
866-544-8456 www. postinggoodreviews. com
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websites to your website.
2. A constant stream of positive reviews improves your online reputation.
3. Positive reviews drive traffic to your business.
4. Positive reviews restore a tarnished reputation by pushing down negative reviews and links.
5. Helps protect against competitors or anyone
else from attempting to run your ranking.
866-544-8456 www. postinggoodreviews. com
Tired of review sites? Hire us to knock them off the front page of Google under your search term.
Our company has been in the business of taking over the first
page of google for our clients for 8 years and knocking off complaint sites. We can do the same for your company and review sites.
We will create special websites and blogs and link them to the 15 thousand websites we already have.
These websites will knock the review sites away and replace them with content you control.
866-544-8456 www. postinggoodreviews. com
=========== END MESSAGE =============
Reporting Link: 188.8.131.52
Time:2/25/2011 3:57:25 PM
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