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Online Reviews Pros and Cons

Have you ever wondered why brands receive all positive reviews on some online review websites, and a mix of the negative and positive reviews on other sites? We studied the online reviews environment, and we found that there are pros and cons to online reviews.

The nature of online reviews (whether they are mostly positive or negative) depends on two main factors:

  • the overall customer satisfaction from using a brand
  • the business model of an online reviews platform

Online review websites are businesses which are built on the reputation of brands. Most of them have the reputation of other companies at the core of their revenue model. As a result of this, companies can pay to be in control of their good name online. Those who pay for access to the reviews about them usually enjoy a better reputation online than those who don’t pay.

To better illustrate the online reviews pros and cons, we prepared a few examples of how the reviews are manipulated for the benefit of businesses. Click on the links below to read the policies of some of the most often-used reviews websites in the UK:

TrustPilot – they ask people to change reviews, or remove some reviews if their paying customers (brands) are not happy. Check their commercial offer.

Check a Trade – posting a positive review is easy, while posting a negative one is very complicated. Traders are happy to pay Check a Trade because it enhances their reputation. Check their commercial offer.

Yelp – positive reviews are nearly always filtered out (‘not recommended’ according to Yelp). Yelp’s business model is similar to tabloid papers. Negative publicity nearly always wins people’s attention: generating lucrative web traffic. The more people visit Yelp to read negative reviews, the more attractive Yelp’s advertising proposition is to businesses.

Google, on the other hand, makes the online reviews about brands available to their users as an incremental addition to the core of their service – the search engine. Google’s revenue comes from the data they collect about our behaviour online, and also paid ads. Google does not offer or charge anyone for access to their reviews. Their reviews platform is completely democratic and impartial. Check Google Reviews Policy.

VanOne believes in total democracy and impartiality when it comes to the online reviews and because of that, we don’t recommend any particular reviews platform. We don’t pay to enhance our reputation online using commercial reviews websites. The Google Reviews embedded on our website are there only because this is where most of our customers share their positive and negative experience with our company.

These online reviews pros and cons were prepared for you by Michael Pawlicki

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