Are Online Reviews Really Trustworthy?

Miriam Slozberg negative reviews

A few months ago, I had written a blog post about why you cannot always trust online glowing reviews. The same applies to negative online reviews.

If someone had a good reputation for the most part and you end up finding a spiteful review about that individual, be sure to keep your mind about that open. If a business owner is successful or likable, someone out there could be extremely jealous and would want to find a way to ruin that individual. Writing up an untrue and negative review is sadly a good way to do that. Especially if the review is on a well known review site and ends up ranking high on search engines for that reason.

Unfortunately, I did have an encounter with this situation. Someone had written a nasty, hateful, spiteful review about me which was completely untrue. I did refute it, and thankfully this review did not harm me overall. I figured because I have been known to share good quality content, there are jealous people around. As it turns out I was right. In fact, I also discovered that the individual who had written that review was an old high school bully from 25 years ago that still quite obviously refuses to move beyond that time.

My point is that if you read a negative review about a business owner who maintains a good reputation, and has many positive testimonials, and is well liked- then chances are the review was written by someone who is jealous, or holding a grudge, or in my case an old high school bully that refuses to let the past go. In other words, don’t believe what is said based on one or even several spiteful reviews. If you are thinking of hiring someone who had a negative review written up, instead of going right to his or her competitors- talk to that individual about the review. There is a chance that he or she may not be aware of it, and it is always best for business owners to know what is being said or written about them. They can have a chance to refute it, or try to outrank the false review.

You cannot believe what is written online, positive or negative. Sometimes you need to use your instincts or talk to those who have truly had experiences with the business owner. Let your intuition guide you on whether to hire the individual or not- not an online review, positive or negative.

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15 Responses to Are Online Reviews Really Trustworthy?

  1. avinash Patel July 9, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    Hi Mirium, I do agree with you… I know few friends who purposefully leave negative comments on amazon products in the anticipation that price will drop and then they can buy
    avinash Patel recently posted..Transfer GoDaddy Domain To Another Account

    • Miriam July 9, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

      Thanks for commenting and sad that they do that.

  2. Joy Healey July 9, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

    Hi Miriam,

    I had a funny experience with a review…. I had written what I intended to be a good review about a colleague. I said something like “I cannot recommend xyz highly enough” – meaning her service was great. Sadly it was chopped on preview to “I cannot recommend xyz”.

    Oops – luckily one of her customers alerted her, she contacted me, and I was able to re-word the review.

    I had an interesting situation on my blog once, I did a review of someone’s ebook and some commenter came on and SLAMMED it!! Then the author did a bit of digging about and discovered it was a jealous relative.

    Amazing that guy was holding a grudge against you for all those years. How childish!

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..Gone Full Circle

    • Miriam July 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Joy, you just gotta laugh at it, and actually it was a girl (still a girl even 25 years later due to maturity level) pretending to be a guy. Oh well.

  3. Joan Harrington July 11, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

    Hi Miriam,
    Great post! Very informative too 🙂 Something to defiantely think about when looking at reviews 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!
    Joan Harrington recently posted..5 Crucial Steps To Finding Your Ideal Client

    • Miriam July 12, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks Joan, and glad I had the opportunity to share.

  4. Jacs Henderson July 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    How interesting that you managed to find out who had given you that bad review Miriam!
    I think you have to take reviews with a pinch of salt and some instinct. We can not believe everything we read in reviews, and there are many odd people twisting information for there own purposes under the guise of a review.
    I would prefer to ask in trusted circles for anyone’s experiences with a product, and would not believe anything written about a trusted blogger I knew, without investigating furthur. Often bad reviews say more about the writer than what they are reviewing… as in your case!!
    ~Jacs
    Jacs Henderson recently posted..Your Attraction Marketing Business Blueprint…

    • Miriam July 12, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

      Absolutely Jacs. Yes I was able to discover who it was and I just shook my head, didn’t know how else to react. Sad really. And yes.. often the bad reviews do say a lot about the writer and I only give one if it is truly warranted. It is rare for me to do so.

  5. Deborah A. Ten Brink July 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    I agree with Joy, Miriam. People can hold grudges for almost forever and act like grade school children. Wouldn’t it be great if they would put all of that energy into their improving their own lives to find happiness?

    This was a great post! What I usually do is read about 10 reviews from various places and then see what the overall consensus is. I usually can tell by about reviewing 6 different places.

    I may be a bit different, but I don’t frequent sites I don’t like. I will post a negative review if the services warrant it. It’s very rare though.

    Thanks again for the reminder to not be too quick in writing a bad review, think clearly before reviewing.

    Deborah
    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted..Committed To Your Online Success

    • Miriam July 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

      Thanks Deborah. I also don’t immediately write up bad reviews unless there is a truly valid reason for it.

  6. Lesly Federici July 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    Hi Miriam,
    My answer to this is just go to a trusted source, especially one who has experienced first hand the product, the Coach, whatever, whoever. May take some time to find them, but they’re there … just have to research …
    Lesly Federici recently posted..Cash Avalanche Product Review

    • Miriam July 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

      Absolutely true Lesly.

  7. Amelia Williams August 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    Hi Miriam,

    These are really great tips. This was a good chance for others to share their experiences. Thank you for supporting us and allowing our minds to grow.

  8. Helen Anderson August 19, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Great topic you have shared with us! Blogging is something that has the potential for success in nearly any industry. However, this slim potential doesn’t translate into big bucks or Internet success for everyone. Dreaming of a career as a famous blogger won’t translate into real success if we aren’t equipped for the job.

  9. Sue Bride September 19, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    I agree with Jacs that a spiteful review about another person reflects badly on the author. Unfortunately readers might not see that it’s not justified.

    It’s very difficult to assess online opportunities. On one hand you have the glowing reviews of those promoting. On the other, negative opinions of people who’ve failed, maybe because of lack of skill or effort, and those who just hate the type of opportunity, without even trying them.

    When it comes to product review sites, unless something has a whole lot of ratings, it’s impossible to gain a true picture.

    Word of mouth is the most powerful rating system and, as Lesly says, going to a trusted source who has first hand experience is the best.

    I’m sorry that you suffered because of a spiteful review, Miriam.
    Sue Bride recently posted..A Round-Up Post About Roundup Posts

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