‘Reviews 2.0’- 10 Golden Review Rules To Re-Build Trust

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Review sites are under fire from angry consumers, business owners and the legal system for allegedly providing unreliable on-line reviews. WeLoveAnyCar.com, the UK’s largest car review site, calls for ‘REVIEW 2.0’ to restore trust in on-line reviews by adopting their ‘10 Golden Review Rules.’

Reviews 2.0 - 10 Golden Review Rules to Re-Build Trust

1     Identify – reviewers must be known and identifiable by the review site
2     Numbers – make sure there are enough reviews to remove bias
3     Trust – avoid commercial bias eg users won’t trust a ‘sponsored’ review
4     Experience – ensure reviewers actually owned the product or used the service
5     Recent – old reviews reduce credibility
6     Contact – record contact details to check identity later and provide an audit trail
7     Exact – the review must match the exact product or service
8     Democratic – 1 person/1 product/1 review to remove bias
9     Endorse – get your reviewers to ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ with other user reviews
10    Simple – make it simple to submit a review

WeLoveAnyCar.com now has the largest car review site available on-line in the UK and it ranks as one of the world’s leading car review sites with 108,871 reviews submitted by car owners in the last 14 months. A further 437,215 drivers (of the exact same car) voted ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ with these reviews giving users an enhanced view of how useful that review is.

WeLoveAnyCar.com spokesman said, “We laid down 10 Golden Review Rules to keep us on track. We urge all review sites to adopt best practice and bring in a new era of ‘Reviews 2.0’ to build trust both for consumers and businesses.”

On 13th January 2014, the BBC reported that one of the biggest review sites, US based ‘Yelp,’ had to disclose the identity of some reviewers in a case bought by a business that believed they were unfairly criticised. The Telegraph, published in the UK, highlighted a restaurant with the highest reviews on TripAdvisor that didn’t actually exist.

Review sites are big business. US based Yelp is thought to be the largest and is listed on the stock exchange. Despite quite low revenues, it carries a hefty share price valuing the company in the $hundreds of millions if not $billions. The price is driven by investors seeing the potential of the large number of reviews and high number of visitors.

TripAdvisor employs over 1900 people worldwide and carries more than 125 million travel reviews and opinions from travellers around the world. 3.1 million Businesses and properties in 134,000+ destinations are listed on the site. Whilst the top travel review site is rated highly by its users, some businesses feel unfairly treated.

It is likely that all review sites, and the reviewers who submit an opinion, will have to take more care in compiling their reviews. Only this month STV reported the case of a Scottish guest house business targeting TripAdvisor to find out who wrote potentially damaging reviews.

Reviews 2.0 isn’t just about trust and control. WeLoveAnyCar.com believes that general purpose review sites, whilst useful, need to be complimented by specialist review sites where the thoughts and opinions on a specific product or service can be more defined and readily searchable.

A WeLoveAnyCar.com spokesman said, “Controversy around on-line review sites continues. It is up to the review industry to adopt new practices if we want to see an evolution to ‘Review 2.0’ where both consumers and businesses can trust review sites more readily. The voice of the customer is important but we’ve followed the 10 Golden Review Rules to ensure that consumer view is genuine, they have used that product or service and their reviews are evaluated by their peers.”

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David Titmuss
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