Bazaarvoice is committed to authenticity. Our authenticity policy describes the requirements user-generated content (UCG) must meet to be considered authentic. Adhering to the policy ensures consumers can trust the ratings, reviews, answers, and other UCG on your site.
Look through answers to the following common questions to learn about the Bazaarvoice authenticity policy, best practices for word-of-mouth marketing, and actions you can take to prevent fraudulent content. Refer to the Bazaarvoice Authenticity Policy for complete details about our content authenticity guidelines.
Content fraud, including fraud with online ratings and reviews, is a growing threat to e-commerce consumers and businesses. The types of fraud and the schemes responsible for them are increasing in volume and complexity. Fraudsters responsible for fake and weaponized reviews attempt to do things like:
- Optimize SEO for products
- Destroy competitors' reputations
- Promote and demote products
Common types of fraud include:
- Bot-generated reviews
- Brushing scams
- Account takeovers
- Fake-review factories
- Gaming of sampling programs to receive more items than allowed
Within the Bazaarvoice network, the fraud rates vary depending on brand, client, and vertical market. Some industries—such as publishing, retail, and consumer electronics—have higher fraud rates than others. Our authenticity processes and procedures factor in these fraud rates to ensure we consistently prevent misleading content from being published.
The trust consumers have in ratings and reviews is tied directly to authenticity. Consumers value word-of-mouth recommendations while researching products and services. The value of those recommendations is degraded when consumers perceive that content is manipulated. When this happens, trust erodes, causing consumers to feel negatively toward a product, company, and word-of-mouth content as a whole. It's important for companies to keep word-of-mouth content authentic and transparent.
With phrases like “fake news” becoming part of our everyday lexicon and numerous news stories alerting the public to the growing threat from fake reviews, consumer confidence in UCG is at a crossroads. This is why Bazaarvoice believes ensuring the authenticity of our clients’ content is critical.
Bazaarvoice uses some of the same tools used to stop payment fraud. These tools enable us to write rules and influence scoring models that reject unacceptable content automatically or queue it for manual review. Our mix of technology and manual review enables us to identify unacceptable content when it's received and prevent content like it from getting through in the future. By looking at a piece of content's data signals and text, our authenticity agents can identify patterns, compare historical content, and make informed decisions about whether content is unacceptable. We maintain our high standards by employing a stringent quality assurance process and setting aggressive targets for our agents.
Sweepstakes are among the top drivers of content volume for your program. They do not violate the policy. However, content collected through sweepstakes or other incentive programs requires disclosure. Refer to the Endorsements section of our Authenticity Policy for more details.
Bazaarvoice will reject any fraudulent content from appearing on our clients’ sites regardless of the source. Contact Bazaarvoice Client Care if you have a concern about a competitor or other company. We will conduct an investigation and take all appropriate actions.
When content appears on a website other than the one on which it originated, we require that the content display an attribution statement. Our attribution statement policy enables us to best comply with mandates and guidance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding consumer transparency.
Content syndicated from one Bazaarvoice client to another must be attributed to the syndication sender. Refer to Content attribution for more information about the syndication attribution statement and requirements for its display.
Content that originated from a third party must also have an attribution statement that discloses where the content first appeared. For example, if a consumer writes a review on Influenster for a Samsung product and that review is imported by Samsung, the review displayed on Samsung’s website will show the attribution "This content first appeared on influenster.com." If the same content is syndicated from Samsung to Target, the review on Target's website will show the same attribution statement as on Samsung's website.
Bazaarvoice can remove all the previous product reviews to avoid confusion with reviews about the updated product. We strongly recommended that you mention the update or improvements in the product description. For more information, refer to the syndication guidelines.
Contact Bazaarvoice Client Care for information about the policies, rules, and guidelines regarding rejecting reviews.
Consumers are accustomed to seeing positive and negative reviews about a product, and they use both when making purchase decisions. A few negative reviews likely won't deter consumers. On the contrary, when products or services have an abundance of overly positive reviews, consumers tend to assume the content is fake or that negative content has been removed. We've seen that products with one or more negative reviews have higher conversion rates than products with perfect five-star ratings and no negative reviews.
In addition to giving consumers a true feel for a product or service, negative reviews provide an opportunity for you to engage with consumers and identify potential product improvements. Brands who respond to and take action on negative feedback build trust with their customers and improve future products.
If we suspect a review is fraudulent, we reject it. We assign each rejected review a code that corresponds to the reason it was rejected. If we notice an uptick or pattern of fraudulent content coming in, we immediately alert the brand and work with it to find and block the source of the fraudulent content.