Finding listings with fake reviews

zach.todd

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
15
I gathered 13,591 reviews across 218 dental practices to analyze and discover possible fake reviews. I'd like to share with you what I found.

My 4 main metrics for finding possible fakes are:
  • Review velocity
    • How fast are reviews coming in for this dental practice? A 1.0 would mean you can expect to see roughly 1 new review pop up per day.
  • Review word count
    • How many words are typically in a review?
  • Number of reviews a reviewer has
    • What's the median number of reviews the reviewers of a business have? What percentage of those reviews come from people that have only ever posted the one review?
  • Number of reviews in total
    • Not an indicator of anything by itself usually, but draws us to look at those practices with a ton of reviews.
Taking all these into account, I was able to find some "interesting" behavior. Firstly, we need to know what's normal.

For review velocity, across 218 dental practices, the median velocity is 0.03 new reviews per day. The median word count is 25 words for reviews of a typical dentist practice. The percentage of reviewers who only have 1 review is 47% for a typical practice.

Now, on to some outliers.

One practice with 362 reviews has:
  • Review velocity of 0.91.
  • Median word count of 1 word.
  • 75% of their reviewers are one-time reviewers.
Another example with 625 reviews has:
  • Review velocity of 0.61.
  • Median word count of 1 word.
  • 63% of their reviewers are one-time reviewers.
These are just a few examples of businesses showing outlier behavior.

What experiences does everyone else have with finding suspected fake reviews? Do you see this a lot, and what tactics do you use to find them? What kind of success, if any, do you have with Google removing reviews?

Thanks!
 

keyserholiday

Administrator
Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
366
One time reviewers is not indicative of fake reviews. There are so many review solicitation services that can impact an increase in first time reviewers. Since it’s a dental practice look at social media to see if they are running a review contest. If you find evidence of that, you can report the reviews.
 

zach.todd

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
15
That's a good point. I might just be finding businesses doing review solicitation. Actually proving that anything is fake seems pretty hard, absent something like a reviewer that has reviewed 10 dentists in the past week.
 

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