Reviewing just about everything is the way of the 21st century. Everything is now online, and this has enabled people to share their views with everyone in the world. Sometimes, however, these views are completely inaccurate and posted solely to attach someone else and damage their reputation. There are cases in which this is very obvious, and you can simply have it removed. In other cases, however, the clues are more subtle and you may need some professional reputation repair strategies. So what are some of the important signs?
- Read the Descriptive Language
First of all, if someone is paid to leave negative reviews, they will usually be very aware of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices, so that they can get that review to the top page of Google. The consequence of this, however, is that the language used is often not as you would expect from an actual person. What they hope for, however, is that people only skim the review, and don’t notice that.
- Check the Profile of the Reviewer
If you think a review might be a fake, then you need to check out the profile of the person who has left it. While people are working hard to keep as much about themselves hidden, a profile should still have some basic information, such as social media links and a photograph. Additionally, you should see how many reviews the person has posted, and how many of those are negative.
These two steps are the only way to take an educated guess as to whether something is actually a fake review. It is better to work together with a professional company to be sure. Most reputation management companies have developed various systems to check out the validity of online reviews, and to find out what the source of the reviews is, should they be fake.
How to Take Action
There are some unwritten rules, or expectations, about consumers. One of those is that, if you see a fake review, whether it is about yourself or someone else, you should report it. This is simple courtesy, and something that you would like people to do for you as well.
However, the best course of action is to be proactive. Don’t wait until you see fake reviews about you before you take action to protect your reputation. Rather, work with a reputation management company from the word go in order to make sure you already look positive. That way, one negative review won’t harm you, and actions will be taken to mitigate the damage when a negative review does appear.
Unfortunately, fake reviews exist, both positive and negative. However, all the major review sites are working together in order to reduce these numbers. Punishments for fake reviews tend to be harsh, including lifetime banning from certain websites. While that is often too little too late if your reputation has already been damaged, you will at least have the peace of mind of knowing it won’t happen again.