Well… not just conferencing review sites, mostly all types of sites that review products or services. I’m skeptical and I don’t always trust them. Some of the review sites seem excellent until you get underneath the surface a little deeper. The truth is most of these types of sites are just paid ads to look like review sites. The top rated product is the one that paid the most or pays the most affiliate commissions.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think that affiliate advertising is a great way to get traffic to your site and an excellent way to get more business as it’s a way of rewarding someone for referring business to you. Just like you telling a friend about that great new coffee shop you found or that cool new gadget you love. But the problem is, (in my view) that it’s gone far beyond that friendly referral from someone who genuinely loves a product or service to a way to deceive people into thinking that these are real referrals from real people.
On some review sites (not all) the reviews and comments on businesses what seem to look and sound like real people are just paid reviews commissioned out to companies that specialize in fake reviews. Take look on sites like fiverr.com, Freelancer.com and many others and you’ll find many people willing to give a glowing endorsement of your product or service for a price. Some companies write ongoing negative reviews of their competitors to make them look bad. Bad business in my opinion.
It’s up to you to decide if it’s a legitimate review or not. Google does not help sometimes by making sure these review sites are at the top of your search results. Here’s an article from the guardian.com that suggests some ways of determining these sites.
I mention all this because I find it frustrating to wade through all crap when I’m trying to learn about a product or service. What I really want an opinion from someone that is unbiased or has really personally used and enjoyed the product or service themselves.
As for conferencing reviews, we as a company would like our customers to judge us on how we treat them and support them, that we’re looking out for their best interest. I know we need more reviews and I should ask our customers to provide us with some real reviews. Maybe I’ll add that to my list and start asking more. It’ll help us a company to learn more what our customers want and how we provide it to them better as a business.