Reviews Online – Can You Trust Them?

Businesses and consumers alike must learn to use discernment in evaluating the validity and accuracy of the reviews they read online.  When I read the comments in blogs, forums and on Social Networking sites it is apparent to me that many have never heard this old saying:

“Don’t believe everything you read”.

For reviews to benefit us as consumers to know which businesses and products we can trust, more people who can write accurately and honestly need to be contributing their opinions. The more individual reviews there are the more likely we are to find the truth.

What Reviews Google Local Picks Up

Click the Image to see stats from EZLocal on where Google pulls reviews

Valid reviews benefit us all. They allow us to avoid businesses that offer horrible service, save us from losing money buying bad products, and discover small businesses that really care about us.

We must hold business communities like Merchant Circle and Yelp accountable for their actions and not allow them to charge businesses protection fees or encourage them to allow merchants to manipulate real reviews.

At the same time we do not want to allow any individual to use the threat of bad reviews to hold businesses hostage or businesses to sue over bad reviews. Although we have no control of what others do, the bad behavior of some who claim to be online reviewers reflects poorly on us all.

Do your favorite small businesses, friends and neighbors a favor and write reviews of their businesses and services and add product reviews after you use what you buy.  To make that easier for you see the section under the bold heading Where to Write Reviews in our post about Supporting Small Businesses.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. top article, a lot of people use online reviews these days and there is fierce competition for the keywords relating to reviews. Like you say its a tough one, and the likes of google are certainly trying to stamp out ranking for the sake of ranking instead of providing value to the user..
    Richard L would love you to read ..Pressure Washer Hoses and ComponentsMy Profile

  2. Well I like to think that everything I write and review, people can believe. I don’t like to write anything that promotes how great something is when in reality it’s a pile of poop. I think you have to believe in something just not everything that is at the very top of Googles results (especially as they can’t make their minds up what they want at the top of the search results these days).

  3. iPhone App Development says:

    Well Said. But i would like to tell you a fact that some businesses or web stores only post positive reviews and do not post negative reviews that are submitted. They believe money wins out over honesty.

  4. Hm… never thought of it. Nothing can be fully trusted, but we can reduce the chances of getting duped by reading reviews from a varied sources. I particularly trust user reviews more than expert reviews

  5. Normally I look straight at the blog portion of the review site and see if there is updates – regularly. I find with most affiliate style review sites they do the site then leave it and just do seo to knock out harder working reviewers.

    I recently started a site and love the topic but find that google often ranks crappy review high for reason that are beyond my realm of knowledge. anyways great graph and it pretty much nails home what i have been thinking along !! cheers.

  6. Gary Huynh says:

    I do not trust the reviews that I read on Google Maps as some of them seem really fake. I also know that many businesses use fake reviewers such as friends, family, or employees to review their business. I do not think there is a way for Google to decipher between the real and the fake reviews. I trust the reviews on Yelp more than those on Google.

  7. Great Post, i have reviewed some products of my own and i have written a few reviews but it’s sometimes hard to believe what others are saying because all they care about is making a commission.
    Justin would love you to read ..Ways to Make Money OnlineMy Profile

  8. Good topic, I just take reviews online as third-opinions, sometimes people lack of product information so reviews online will help to get more image of it.
    Brian would love you to read ..Earn Money Online In HomeMy Profile

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