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How to spot fake Amazon reviews in 6 steps

Posted by Gordon Mcconnell on Monday, Jul 18, 2016

Amazon have recently mounted an offensive against the tricky fake review industry. Here at Red Points we've put together 6 simple steps to consider when evaluating the validity of reviews.


1. Are there lots of similar posts to this?

Sounds pretty obvious because it is but look down the list, are there 3 or more reviews offering the same content perhaps just re-ordered? 

2. How's the English?

This is not an out-and-out rule, however if there's a bunch of reviews that are in broken English, this should set alarm bells ringing.

3. Is it all over too fast?

If a review is 3 sentences long, it's not much of a review. This could be done to gain access to the star rating. Normally trust reviews that have a bit more depth to them, but it depends on the product.

4. Could this review be applied to pretty much anything?

When evaluating the validity of a review, it's good to look at the content. If the majority of the reviews are very generic "it arrived on time, it is as described"  it's worth thinking about whether these are helpful or even real.

5. Feeling emotional?

A real review will, in general, be a critique of the performance of the product. If lots of reviews simple state feelings and excitement: "it's marvelous " or " I can't wait to show my partner" perhaps it's time to look at another review. Usually a review will at least explore the possibility of a negative side, too.

6. Who's reviewing?

It's not a bad idea to check out the reviewers. For example if someone's account has only been in existence for a week yet they have reviewed 50 pretty unrelated products this could be a sign of a fake reviewer.  When looking at what people review is good to note, people who review a lot but are genuine, usually specialize in an area; books, gadgets or something - it's pretty rare to find someone who will write reviews on everything from underwear to car parts in high volume.

Being savvy and not just looking at the stars will help you avoid fake paid for reviews. It's worth noting that these are general tips and there will be real reviewers that may fall into these categories. Also there's a tech solution: online review analyzer which will automatically assess the credibility of reviews.

We offer our own tech solution to fakes, and to find out if your brand is being counterfeited get one of our free audits. Happy hunting!

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About the author

Gordon Mcconnell

Post Written by Gordon Mcconnell

Gordon leads our content team as editor but considers himself a data journalist, who probably has a high midichlorian count. Gordon loves all things inbound-marketing and enjoys talking about the latest tools or changes in the SEO world, much to the irritation of his team.