One of my recent searches on Amazon revealed a dozen similarly priced products, each with a few thousand 4.5 star reviews. How is that possible? Mike Prospero sees a problem:
Go shopping on Amazon for anything — laptops, diapers, door locks, tires — and you’ll likely study a product’s star rating, as well as the number of reviews it has, when choosing the one to buy.
Reviews are a dime a dozen these days. FUD rules.
But can you trust these ratings, and this badge, at face value? No. The more positive reviews a product gets, the higher its visibility on Amazon’s search pages. Like Google page rankings, being in the first 10 listings makes it much more likely that a shopper will click on the product and buy it. So, companies have devised a number of strategies to goose the number of positive reviews.
In short, don’t trust reviews. Does that also mean we should not trust Google’s search results?