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The Rise of Online Skepticism

online review skepticism

Digested from Search Engine Land

People have become increasingly aware of fake reviews over the years.

A BrightLocal consumer review survey found that while online users consult search and reviews when looking for local businesses, there is increasing skepticism of review authenticity, according to Search Engine Land.

The survey of just over 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 90 percent of people conducted searches for local businesses last year, with younger users searching more frequently.

Regarding review reliance, younger adults depend on reviews more than older cohorts.

These reviews often lead users to "visit the business' website," then "search for more reviews to validate your choice," followed by a visit to the business.

The two most important features in reviews are recency and overall star ratings—48 percent of respondents said reviews should be within two weeks old, while 59 percent said no more than a month old. Dependency on review freshness was more prevalent among users under 55.

A business must have at least 10 reviews to create trust, and 13 for those under 34 years old, according to the survey. Seventy percent also said they look at multiple review sites before making a decision about a business. This anti-fraud strategy is prevalent among the 68 percent of participants who said they regularly "question the authenticity of reviews."

Awareness of fake reviews has increased over the years, with more users reporting multiple encounters with what they believe to be a fake review in the past year.

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