How To Use Fakespot to Identify Fake Amazon Reviews
Want to get to the real story about a product? Want to know whether a seller is using fake reviews to bolster sales? Fakespot feels your pain. Here is how to use Fakespot to identify fake Amazon reviews.
At first glance, using fake reviews to promote a product doesn’t seem that serious. So what if a few fakes sit amongst the genuine feedback on a product page? Given how influential reviewing and social proof has become when making buying decisions, these fakes can have far-reaching consequences.
Neither I, nor TechJunkie have any affiliation with Fakespot. Neither are we getting any incentive to write this piece. I happen to like what it does and want to spread the word.
Use Fakespot to identify fake Amazon reviews
Fakespot has been designed specifically to weed out fake reviews on Amazon. You can use the search function on the site, use the browser extension or mobile app. It makes short work of combing through Amazon reviews looking for the fakes.
Until now, we have had to filter product reviews to only include verified purchasers. This could often reduce the number of reviews significantly. With Fakespot, you no longer need to filter them but have them checked in a second or two.
To use the website:
- Copy the URL of the Amazon product page you want to check.
- Paste it into the Fakspot page and hit Analyze.
- Read the result on the next page.
The process takes around two seconds and will generate a result page with a score of A to F. An A score means all, or the vast majority of reviews are deemed genuine. A score of F means all, or the majority of reviews look fake. This means you can make an assessment on how much you rely on reviews to make your buying decision.
How does Fakespot spot the fakers?
Fakespot uses their own engine to assess reviews depending on a variety of factors. They include reviews with verified purchases, the date, writing style, spelling, grammar, word use, content and other metrics to decide if the review looks legit or not. If the majority of reviews look real, the product and the company selling it is given a good score. If there are a lot of fake reviews, that score reduces.
Fakespot also provides a scoreboard of good and bad companies based on the number of real or fake reviews they have on their product pages. This can be useful if you are considering buying from a company you haven’t used before.
Fakespot doesn’t profess to be perfect but it does make short work or sorting the fake from the real. Given how influential reviews are to our buying decisions, this service is long overdue. It’s free too which is a bonus!
The power of reviews
Reviews have become increasingly important in our buying decisions. According to a recent Podium survey, around 93% of consumers say they use reviews to help make buying decisions. But why?
Reviews form part of the psychological phenomena called social proof. This is like herd behavior where our actions are formed through the actions of others. The desire to have what the cool kids have or to not miss out on latest trends and even the desire to seem normal by wearing, using or wearing products other people would expect to see as the norm is all part of this behavior.
Before the internet, we used television, magazines, friends and observation to figure out social norms. We looked at what people were wearing, what gadgets they used, how they spoke and acted and even what movies or music they were into. If everyone else is doing or wearing a specific thing, it must be normal right?
Then along came the internet and the ability for everyone to be an influencer. If someone online says something is cool, it must be cool. This is how reviews work. If you’re considering a particular product and nobody has left a review, you have no way of measuring it. If there are dozens of reviews all saying good things, you think they can’t all be wrong, so you view the product positively.
It is that last point that makes fake reviews so insidious. They are a trick. Designed to fool you into thinking the product is something it isn’t and using social proof to fool you.
Fake reviews also have another use. Positive reviews are known to influence future feedback. So if a product has positive reviews, future reviews are more likely to be positive. The more positive reviews a product has, the more positive reviews flood in.
I now constantly use Fakespot to identify fake Amazon reviews. I think everyone should. Social proof is too powerful as an influencer to leave to the fakers!