…according to research that is sure to panic business owners across the world, a fifth of Americans have left online reviews for items they’ve never bought or even used. This figure is even higher (32 per cent) among parents with children under 18 and the most popular reason why online shoppers questioned did this was simply because ‘they felt like it.’
Personally, I like the idea of user reviews but believe the way the system is currently structured it invites corruption. Anonymous reviews are a big part of the problem. Currently there is a court case in which Yelp has been ordered to turn over the names of anonymous reviewers who left negative reviews. The business owner contends the reviewers never used his service.
I anticipate a move to “certified” reviews where the reviewer is identified as an actual person who has used the product and has no affiliation with or is not in competition with the product under review.