Marketing’s Fake News: Fake Review Websites

If there's one thing in marketing that frustrates me, it's fake review sites.

Let's say you want to buy a consumer product, or use some kind of service. In today's world, these businesses can create a separate website (from their own homepage), disguise it as an objective, unbiased review site, and point people to their store.

And usually, it's not just one fake site. It's dozens.

This is deceptive in three ways:

First, many consumers are hoodwinked by these fake review sites. They're more prone to purchase the product or service based on fiction and falsehoods.

Second, these websites have links which lead back to the product or service's homepage, which (deceptively) boosts their organic Search Engine Optimization rankings.

Third, these websites often tout themselves as "the best", "#1 in in Google", etc, when all along, the process which got them there was shady and underhanded.

What's even more frustrating is that so far, there seems to be no inclination by Google to rein in this proliferating deceptive practice...

...which again reinforces the belief that in some online areas, the internet is still like the wild, wild west.