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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
SYS-CON.TV Reviews Ongoing Trends Toward Fake Online Criticism
Studies Continue to Show That Online Reviews Are Tremendously Influential, but Also That These Reviews Are Often Fraudulent -- Trends That Have Won the Attention of

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 12/26/12 -- It is growing increasingly difficult to deny the supreme importance of online review sites in today's consumer landscape -- but according to a recent article from Ping Zine, online reviews are not always helpful, to consumers or to businesses. The article affirms that online reviews are increasingly powerful in shaping consumer behavior, noting that many consumers rely on review sites to guide their major purchasing decisions. At the same time, more and more consumers are coming to realize that not all online reviews can be trusted, and that fake reviews are growing more commonplace all the time. These different trends, so difficult to untangle, have won the attention of reviews. The industry-leading online reputation management firm has commented on the article with a new statement to the press.

"This article is right in noting that, as more and more businesses begin to realize the sheer importance of online reviews, fake reviews are going to continue cluttering the online landscape," says CEO Cliff Stein. "As such, online review sites may not be as helpful as consumers tend to think they are, simply because many of these reviews just cannot be trusted."

Stein goes on to say that the trend toward fake online reviews does not just burn consumers -- it also harms businesses. "There is a flipside to every coin, and the flipside here is that, while some businesses try to get ahead by publishing fake reviews, others find themselves on the receiving end of fake, defamatory reviews -- reviews that can prove detrimental to their success," says Stein. Indeed, the CEO says that many businesses pay reviewers to write laudatory reviews of their own products and services, but others go on the offensive, soliciting negative reviews designed to trash competitors and badmouth rival brands.

"What this means is that, no matter how good or reputable your company is, you are not immune to the threat of negative reviews," continues Cliff Stein. "Negative reviews can happen to any company at any time, because they do not have to have any basis in reality. These negative reviews might be planted by rival companies, trying to harm your brand, or they might even be planted by your own disgruntled employees."

The Ping Zine article notes that it is precisely due to the threat of negative reviews that many companies seek to publish fake, positive reviews, but Stein says this is imprudent. " reviews all of the available tactics in online reputation management and review suppression, and we do not recommend the fake-review approach," he says. "While good reviews can prove powerful in shaping a brand's positive online image, fake reviews tend to be transparent and ineffective."

Stein goes on to say that businesses are better off enlisting the services of an online reputation management company, like "We cannot prevent people from writing duplicitous or defamatory reviews, but we can help to suppress those reviews and keep them out of the public's eye," says Stein. " can endeavor to push those negative reviews -- whether fake or otherwise -- off the first page of a Google or Bing search page, and effectively replace them with positive, brand-enhancing content."

Stein ends the statement by observing that has provided these review suppression services to companies and brands of all shapes and sizes. "We have managed the online reputation needs of Fortune 500 brands, small business start-ups, and everything in between," he remarks.

ABOUT: was launched in 2009 by an elite team of online marketing and SEO professionals, and since then the company has established itself as the #1 name in online reputation monitoring and management. Delivering services to businesses, brands, and individuals alike, the agency is zealous for giving companies and people control over how they are portrayed on the Web. has provided services to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, individuals, and elected officials.

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