How much trust should you have in online reviews?
I am searching for online writing assistance. I am having difficulty determining if the online reviews are genuine or not. For example, this is a review site: http://toptenwritingreviews.com
In my opinion, I think the site looks extremely professional and I haven't seen any bad reviews, therefore I believe the service providers are genuine.
Am I putting too much emphasis on online reviews? How much should online reviews factor into my business decision making?
I always advise that you you use the reviews as a starting point in narrowing down your search. Once you have found one or two you are interested in have a conversation and request that they provide you with contact information of people you can call. I have seen first hand that some reviews are actually paid for, also I know from first hand experience that negative reviews are not always reflective of the true nature of the individual or the business. They can be done strictly with malicious intent due without just cause. Always trust your own instincts first!!!
As with any recommendation, online or not, it's mostly about whether you should trust and value to opinion of the reviewer. I give a much higher weighting to reviews or recommendations from people I know than from 'strangers'. Another approach is the old Reaganite "trust but verify" i.e. give a small piece of work to a well rated supplier before committing further.
I, myself, put very little value on any website full of reviews unless others whom I associate with can validate it with some degree of confidence.
There are plenty of websites which are designed for hire with no reviews such as Indeed.com, Monster.com, and so on.
The only sure thing is solicite "Wanted - Professional Content Writer Needed A.S.A.P." send resume`. Once you have the resume`in hand then do your research.
I, myself, speak and write fluently in several languages - natively. Sometimes, yes my brain functions faster than my fingertips and I mispell, or write with brokeness, but I can still write. Sometimes I need to go back over my work as in to proof read for spelling, grammatical, and punctuational errors. Does that mean I am not a good writer.
Many of the suggestions here are well founded and notable.
Personally I will go with 60% review and 40% on what ever product. But it all depends on you actually, as you are doing the research. You can always check other websites. Thank God for Google too. That's if the reviews on the site are too good to be true vice versa. Sorry, didn't really have time to visit the link you shared.
The question is not whether the online reviews are genuine or not, but instead:
1. Is it my ideal client that is writing it?
2. What should be my response?
3. How can I use this review to improve my business?
Online reviews are one of the measurement tools you may choose to use for evaluating the success of a product or service your business offers.
There are no bad reviews. There is only bad response to reviews. In other words, if you don't respond to reviews by thanking the reviewer and commenting on their comments then it shows that you don't take your clients' views as important or relevant. This goes for 5 star or 1 star reviews.
Perhaps try soliciting reviews as a form of feedback from your clients, staff, and suppliers on a regular basis for improving your marketing message and improving your business in general.
Lastly, if branding is what you're all about, check to see if the review supports the branding message you are trying to build or clearly shows a disconnect between what you're trying to achieve and what is being perceived by the reviewer.
Hope this helps. Feel free to ask for clarification if you need it Sarah.
YMMV (your mileage may vary) is often applicable to things coming off the internet - otherwise you'd see it in daily life - in stores or in the papers.
The best way to assimilate opinions is to find people who are really earnest about a product or service and then to find all the most vehement detractors. You can trust your instincts after you read both sides. Bose is one such research opportunity to cut your teeth on to see if you have the knack. Another is Malaysian politics :-)))
I put little to no stock in online reviews. First, they can be gamed . Second, they are provided by the public. 'The masses are assess'.
I am glad to have you all for my support and thank you so much for your evaluations.
The service provider is likely not genuine and certainly not proficient in English. Native speakers would be much better suited for writing reviews. A sense of trustworthiness is a quality which is intrinsic to fluency in any language. That may seem unfair, but it is true.
Sarah, I would think you should already no this. The internet is simply a tool, a means to gather information. It is also a hiding place, where in anonymity behind the workings unscrupulous people do all sorts of things,because they most likely will never be caught or held liable. With that said, read several different opinions then use your good judgement. Information is the key word here, it is power on the internet. In Branding on the internet, don't you look for professional standing, honesty, ethics, but in written word that really is secondary, there is always someone who will read copy and believe every word.
You know if it is on the Internet it must be true ...It's pretty easy for a website operator to gin up 20 or 100 reviews from friends or even themselves.
As far as actually making a decision, you need to see some actual samples of the kind of writing you want, and you need to figure out whether the provider is worth working with from several directions: domain knowledge, temperament, reliability, availability ...The actual per-word cost will end up being a minor consideration.
I really have no trust in online reviews at all. My experience is that most are from angry customers - usually people who won't be pleased no matter what. The 90% or more of customers to a business who happen to be happy or satisfied rarely write reviews without being asked or given an incentive. It's only when people are upset that they post reviews.
OK - done venting! As for this particular website, the reviews look "spun" - i.e., they came from "spinning" software that takes one review then substitutes words with synonyms and other tactics to produce multiple versions of the same review. At least that's my initial impression having seen "spun" content in the past.
You should have absolutely no faith whatsoever in any online review unless you know the reviewer.
When you say you are looking for "online writing assistance," do you mean a writer who is skilled at digital content development? I'm a longtime professional content creator/blogger/web content developer, etc. and would be happy to discuss your needs. You will likely find a number of other well qualified writers here and on various freelance writing sites. You can also post a description of your needs to reputable writing sites such as JournalismJobs.com, http://jobs.problogger.net, http://journalism.berkeley.edu/career/jobs, http://www.writerfind.com/freelance_jobs and even CraigsList in your area. Many such sites are free to the job poster. These are just some of the online portals where I've connected with clients over the years.
Happy to help further if you'd like to email.
I am not familiar with the site. For the most part, I do not put a lot of faith in the comments since you only get disgruntled comments on some sites or people who ask their clients to comment. I might avoid a really low rated person, but talking to or discussing the work and the scope of service with them is a better way to determine if they will work out for you.
The reviews are likely genuine, however it is safe to be skeptical of any service regardless of what you see. If something about them makes you feel unsure then ask yourself what you are really looking for as good evidence and if possible seek that rather than the reviews.
Take into consideration reviews and articles from multiple sources. A website could be unprofessional looking, but still have credible information. Design skills don't equate to trustworthiness.
There is implicit risk in hiring a new "partner" in your venture.
When in doubt, ask around with colleagues and friends for referrals. Sometimes, not every answer or solution is solved by googling.
The writer of the home page content for the review site is not a native speaker of English which brings into doubt the recommendations. - The Pragmatic Web Designer.
To me it does not look extremely professional at all. Their website has no favicon (little browser tab bar icon), broken links, the links that do work link back to even less professional (old) looking sites and they use cheesy unimaginative stock photos. About the only thing that is slightly professional about it is the dynamic design. Content wise it looks like a scam to me so personally I would say: not genuine.