Buying online reviews

If those purchased Twitter followers not doing enough to promote your new book or brand--don’t fret. There are other options, like buying positive reviews. A tid-bit from an interesting article about the market for online book reviews in the NYTimes:

Mr. Liu estimates that about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake. Yet it is all but impossible to tell when reviews were written by the marketers or retailers (or by the authors themselves under pseudonyms), by customers (who might get a deal from a merchant for giving a good score) or by a hired third-party service.

As anyone who shops online knows, those good reviews really matter. Why buy the (insert item here) with three stars when you could buy the slightly more expensive (insert item here) with 4 and half stars.

But if a third of those reviews are fake, what’s a consumer to do? How can you spot an ad posing as a review? The Bits blog has a breakdown of a fake review (including more users of the first person singular). Or, if you really want to get into it, you can read the journal article by a couple of Cornell professors.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.
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