News • 10.11.2021

US consumers say fake online reviews are a growing problem

Uberall analyzes four million reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and Tripadvisor to determine rates of review fraud

Graphic with a hand coming from the left with a banknote and a hand coming from...
Source: © Bildagentur PantherMedia / Piscine

Uberall announced a new report, “The State of Online Review Fraud,” which analyzes four million local business reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and Tripadvisor. This is the first report to take on the growing problem of fake reviews at this level of scale.

The study, conducted in partnership with The Transparency Company, used sophisticated machine learning and natural language processing techniques to identify inauthentic reviews across 19 popular local business categories and top U.S. metro markets.

“Media coverage of review fraud has been growing, but nobody has quantified the problem,” said Greg Sterling, VP of Market Insights at Uberall. “We wanted to understand how big a problem review fraud is today and where it’s concentrated.”

Because nearly 90% of online consumers consult reviews before buying, reviews have become a high-stakes issue for businesses. Positive reviews help businesses rank in search results and lead to more conversions. And while Uberall survey data show that two-thirds (67%) of consumers are concerned about review fraud, most people cannot spot inauthentic reviews. 

"Unfortunately a lot of consumers take reviews at face value, and are being deceived,” said Curtis Boyd, founder and CEO of the Transparency Company. “Google removed 130 million fake reviews in 2019 and 2020; it's a multi-billion dollar problem.”

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Google is the top local business reviews site in the U.S., used by ~70% of consumers.
  • Of the four platforms examined, Google had the highest average percentage of inauthentic reviews across business categories (10.7%). Next in descending order were Yelp (7.1%), Tripadvisor (5.2%) and Facebook (4.9%).
  • The category with the highest fake reviews percentage is Locksmiths (14.5%). Pharmacies had the lowest rate across the four sites (1.3%). 
  • The urban area with the highest review fraud percentage is Miami-Ft Lauderdale with 9.7%. Boston was the city with the lowest fraud at 3.9% of all reviews. 

“Reviews have been an invaluable consumer -- and business -- resource and their integrity should be safeguarded,” said Sterling. “Fake reviews are contributing to a broader crisis of trust online, and the major sites should do much more to address the problem.” 

Policing review fraud

To preserve consumer confidence, the industry needs to take a more systematic approach to policing review fraud: 

  • Use available machine learning and AI tools, together with aggressive enforcement, to bring review fraud down to low, single digits;
  • Embrace an approach which is structurally harder to cheat; 
  • Continue to make it easy for businesses and consumers to flag suspect reviews;
  • Move toward verification systems that minimize the likelihood that other than the actual customer is writing reviews (e.g., verified purchaser).

None of these are mutually exclusive approaches and should be used in combination with one another. 

Source: Uberall

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: MikMak rolls out e-commerce acceleration platform...
12.06.2023   #e-commerce #retail

MikMak rolls out e-commerce acceleration platform

Platform offers brands insights that drive business performance

MikMak, the leading e-commerce acceleration platform for multichannel brands, today announced the launch of MikMak 3.0. The enhanced platform enables commerce and conversion opportunities across every consumer touchpoint, along with more advanced ...

Thumbnail-Photo: LVMH and Epic Games announce strategic partnership...
22.06.2023   #e-commerce #digitization

LVMH and Epic Games announce strategic partnership

Companies aim to transform Maisons’ creative pipeline and customer experiences

At the Viva Technology show, LVMH announced a partnership with Epic Games, creator of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, to transform the Group’s creative pipeline and bring customers new types of immersive products discovery experiences. This ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Automation: Is this the future of shopping?
06.06.2023   #brick and mortar retail #food retail

Automation: Is this the future of shopping?

On the shortcomings and advantages of autonomous store concepts

Grocery shopping and self-service – the Blockstore Group combines the necessary with the pleasant and helps retailers implement autonomous and automated store concepts. In particular, the Finnish start-up helps to install a suitable ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New GS1 Germany requirements in force for better data quality...
12.06.2023   #online trading #digitization

New GS1 Germany requirements in force for better data quality

Brands facing new challenges to providing product content to German retailers through the GDSN

GS1 Germany released two new requirements impacting brands selling food/beverage (and food-adjacent) products to the German market aiming at increasing product data quality passing through the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Perfect Corp. and Warner Bros. partner for interactive AR movie try-on...
13.06.2023   #Tech in Retail #app

Perfect Corp. and Warner Bros. partner for interactive AR movie try-on experience

YouCam Apps launches an exclusive collection of AR movie effects for Warner Bros. The Flash

Perfect Corp., the leading AI & AR beauty and fashion tech solutions provider and developer of the YouCam Suite of Apps, has launched an interactive augmented reality (AR) movie experience for Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming film The Flash. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Grove Co. announces new retail partnerships with Kroger, Costco and...
08.06.2023   #retail #sustainability

Grove Co. announces new retail partnerships with Kroger, Costco and Hannaford

Leading sustainable consumer products company increases in-store presence at 450 additional brick & mortar locations

Grove Collaborative Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GROV) (“Grove” or “the Company”), a leading sustainable consumer products company and Certified B Corp, today announced another significant retail expansion for Grove Co., its ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Scary and clever - marketing for Halloween
20.09.2023   #brick and mortar retail #online marketing

Scary and clever - marketing for Halloween

How do you make the most of 31 October for your business?

Small means, big effect: On Halloween, you can get in touch with your customers in a playful and not too serious way....

Thumbnail-Photo: Beyond the Green Buzz: How to become truly sustainable in retail...
09.08.2023   #retail #sustainability

Beyond the Green Buzz: How to become truly sustainable in retail

Branding, sourcing, and ethics – Insider insights for retailers

Sustainability is today's corporate catchphrase. Yet, discerning genuine efforts from mere claims can be challenging. But how can consumers be sure that sellers genuinely walk the talk? Enter El Green Mall ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Social Commerce: Community sells?
04.10.2023   #online trading #sustainability

Social Commerce: Community sells?

Why the community approach is replacing fast delivery among customer demands and what that means for you.

For a long time it was said that fast or even "same day delivery is the key". For Fabian Mischler, this is no longer the only key to satisfied customers. In an interview, the CEO of the social commerce platform ooblee told us why community ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 5 tips for successful TikTok marketing for your online store...
06.09.2023   #online trading #marketing

5 tips for successful TikTok marketing for your online store

How to gain loyal fans for your brand

TikTok is the Wild West of social media: Everything is moving at lightning speed and you only have a blink of an eye to captivate users. If you spend a lot of time on TikTok, you'll know right away...