This Week in Reviews: From Amazon to BrightLocal

Fake reviews are bad for everyone. Both consumers and the businesses and medical practices that serve them need reviews to be delivered purely and accurately.

On Monday, Amazon filed a lawsuit against 1000+ people who have been writing fake reviews and undermining consumer confidence. I applaud Amazon for reinforcing this important issue.

Amazon’s action is good news for the 92%* of consumers who now read online reviews and for the companies and medical practices who play by the rules. Consumers need credible information and reward transparent products and services with their custom.

This week we also discovered BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey that covers the gamut of consumer behavior related to ratings and reviews.

BrightLocal’s research addresses fakes as a growing consumer concern. Their research shows increasing consumer dependence on reviews, up 6% to 92%. Only 8% of consumers do not use reviews in 2015, down from 88% in 2011 when I founded RealPatientRatings.

Searches for Doctor/Dentist reviews are second only to restaurants and surpass the categories of General Shopping, Clothes Shopping and Hotels/B&Bs.

Fake reviews in medicine are particularly dangerous which is why our entire system prevents fakes at RealPatientRatings™. Our patent-pending process ensures 100% verified reviews with real patient feedback that consumers and medical providers can rely on.

Key ‘Takeaways’ From BrightLocal Research*

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014)
  • Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • 44% say a review must be written within 1 month to be relevant
  • Consumers are becoming more concerned about fake reviews

Despite the challenges, ratings and reviews are a growth strategy for the business and practices that are willing to embrace transparency about their products and services.