Earlier, I used to trust Review websites a lot and used to make sure to browse few review websites before purchasing a particular real products, digital products etc. This post is to warn anyone who is still following the same methodology before making their purchases.
It is not our fault, we simply Google for the “targeted product reviews” and you find such review websites on top of the search results and thereby reading and trusting their opinions.
In my opinion, I would never trust and take the word of a dedicated review website mainly because:
- They earn a fat affiliate income on every referral sales.
- They could be partners or even owned by some product company.
- The internet has gone crazy with many similar websites with self created reviews and contents.
Let us for example take the Web Hosting niche, if you search on Google for “web hosting reviews” you will find several top results of review websites that refer many webhosting companies. Most of the top webs hosting companies pay 50 USD to 100 USD per sale as commissions, what could be a better reason to promote them?
I do agree that there could be few websites which publish genuine reviews, but how can we trust them for our money as their business model is commissions and not direct ads.
Let’s consider the same example of Web hosting reviews, I would highly recommend to trust real reviews and opinions form experts on forums like WebHostingTalk.com / DigitalPoint.com / WarriorForums.com / TycoonTalk.com etc. Such forums are very popular and have a huge exposure to a large number of real webmasters who use all the types of hosting.
Another recommended source is Blogs or webmasters you “Trust”. Even though this is also a commission based model, popular blog webmasters would not want to spoil their reputation by recommending bad products to their readers and thereby losing credibility.
My advice to all webmasters and internet users who are reading this is not to blindly trust Review websites as now you know who they earn and what their business model is. Take time to read the reviews and invest more time and effort before spending your hard earned money on digital goods.
Take Home: Before purchasing a product, take enough time to browse through different Google search results page and not blindly trust the first 5 results as high search engine rankings could achieved by optimizing the websites for the specific keywords, there could be hidden gold if you dig further.
Never blindly trust review websites, take time and read through until you find enough convincing evidence. Trusted blogs and reputed forums are better alternative to review websites.
Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and I do not mean to make a statement to harm the reputation of review websites.