When a Review site is not a Review site

by Steve Daley 18 replies
I'm what you'd call a newbie here, but I'm putting my best foot forward in learning things piece by piece, day by day.

What I have seen & read a lot about is that it is a great idea to not only put up review sites of products, but to also read others' review sites, not only to see what they have as a means of comparison, but also to get opinions on products so you know what you are in for before you make a purchase of that product.

I have to say, some people are kidding themselves, aren't they?!! If I go to a "review site", then I expect to see a proper review of the product.

I have come across so many review blogs/sites/whatever where the site owner has simply rehashed what is on the product owner's sales page. Even worse, in my opinion, is when they make the statement "(product owner) says that their product contains....." or "(product owner) says that this product will help you (do x,y,z)".

I don't know if this is the norm, but seriously, if I land on someone's self-proclaimed "review site", & I see this sort of rubbish, the first thing I am doing is clicking off that page, & making sure I purchase nothing from that person's links now or ever, if I can help it.

"Review site". Gimme a break.

Thanks for letting me put my 2 cents worth in here.

On the plus side, I think I have just found something that I can do better, & more genuinely, than so many other "review" sites out there.

Steve
#main internet marketing discussion forum #review #site
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author Mike McBride
    Originally Posted by ranknfile View Post


    On the plus side, I think I have just found something that I can do better, & more genuinely, than so many other "review" sites out there.

    Steve
    Ahh, but the question is, can you do it in such a way that it proves to be more profitable than the sites you've found (unless your goal is to create review sites without any thought of remuneration.)?

    I'll admit that many "review" sites are pretty lame, but there's a reason many sites are made a certain way - because they work to bring in sales.

    I'm not saying that profitable sites can't be better done than what you've seen, but maybe those sites are meeting the owners' goals.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[58777].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
      I have always had an issue with those types of review sites because they clog up the internet and make it so hard to find "real" reviews. I don't think that every owner out there is "killing" it with review sites. I think that a lot of people think that that is what you are supposed to do and then therefore do it.
      Signature
      "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Ben Franklin
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[58851].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Mike McBride
        Originally Posted by Simon_Sezs View Post

        I have always had an issue with those types of review sites because they clog up the internet and make it so hard to find "real" reviews. I don't think that every owner out there is "killing" it with review sites. I think that a lot of people think that that is what you are supposed to do and then therefore do it.
        I hear you, Simon.

        Believe me, I'm not defending all review sites, as I obviously haven't necessarily seen the sites Steve saw. And yes, many of them are crap, produced by people who just don't know any better.

        However, there are many review sites that follow a certain formula because they work - bringing in the money, that is.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[58926].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
        Originally Posted by Simon_Sezs View Post

        I have always had an issue with those types of review sites because they clog up the internet and make it so hard to find "real" reviews. I don't think that every owner out there is "killing" it with review sites. I think that a lot of people think that that is what you are supposed to do and then therefore do it.
        Clog up the Internet? Give me a break. You make it sound as if there is a fixed number of pages allowed on the web.

        News bulletin: Anyone can put up a site with whatever they want on it, as long as they don't violate copyright or law.

        It would be like someone saying your posts are clogging up the forum.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[59079].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Andrew Wilson
          Hmmm...
          I have learnt that if I see the word 'honest' associated with an IM or making money review then I am going to waste my time if I read it.

          Some folks suggested that if it makes money then it is OK to call an advertisement a review. I do not agree. I prefer to offer an honest opinion based upon knowledge than to spout made up or copied drivel; if this is less profitable on a time spent basis then so be it. IMHO my business benefits, in the long term, from my credibility much more than from a short term churn of a single affiliate fee.

          If one is going to review a product please at least try to actually use the product before writing about it. Don't simply reword the vendor's sales page.
          To be frank, one is likely to make better sales by providing real information about a product than to try to take one's readers for fools and idiots. My sites, pages and posts that provide genuine info, sometimes in review format and sometimes simply as descriptive articles earn me a decent amount of money. The great thing is they form a part of my army of silent salesmen and grow more authoritative and valuable with time.

          According to American Heritage Dictionary the word review carries the following common meanings:
          1. To look over, study, or examine again.
          2. To consider retrospectively; look back on.
          3. To examine with an eye to criticism or correction: reviewed the research findings.
          4. To write or give a critical report on (a new work or performance, for example).
          5. Law To reexamine (an action or determination) judicially, especially in a higher court, in order to correct possible errors.
          6. To subject to a formal inspection, especially a military inspection.

          For our purposes definitions 1-4 & 6 are apt. No definition suggests the word in connection with an advertisement to make money from sales.

          These fake 'reviews' DO clog up the internet because they push aside real information written by people who use products and devalue the process of using search to find relevant information.
          Signature

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[59145].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Dan Thompson
            I agree 100% with the original poster, and Andrew.

            Marketing is easy, you give the customer what they want. If they are searching Google for "product x review", they are looking for a website that contains...wait for it....a review!

            What they don't want to see is an elaborate sales pitch with paragraphs copy/pasted from a sales page, I'd like to bet that a huge majority of people that create these sites have never even used the product/service they are "reviewing".

            I have over 10 review sites, all written honestly, and all of products/services I have used. The most popular (most of the review sites are non-IM) brings in way more each year than any of my marketing websites.

            I even have a couple of reviews that slate the product in question, from those reviews I obviously don't sell the product I'm reviewing, but I do get a lot of emails from readers thanking me for an impartial review and asking for my suggestions for alternatives.

            Going back to the "clogging up the internet" point a couple of posts back, this too is something I feel very strongly about. The internet is a wonderful thing, but some marketers do turn it into a very frustrating business to be involved in.

            Just last night I was searching for an impartial review for some surround sound speakers, it took me until page 3 of Google to actually find an impartial review amongst the "reviews" (sales pages) on the first 2 pages. (The impartial review got my commission of course)

            I think I'm done for now so I'll come down off my high horse :-)
            Signature

            I'm a director of D9 Hosting
            The only host in the world to offer a 1 Click DLGuard installation feature from within the cPanel.
            Join today, and receive a 10% discount by using the following coupon code: Warriors

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[59192].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author TimGross
              Originally Posted by Dan Thompson View Post

              I have over 10 review sites, all written honestly, and all of products/services I have used. The most popular (most of the review sites are non-IM) brings in way more each year than any of my marketing websites.
              Nice. And as I mentioned in my post, those are assets that may well increase over time (especially if you allow readers to add their own reviews to yours and it builds), instead of decrease, like the fake review sites.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[59382].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
                I stand by my opinion that people can do what they want with their own site.

                The Internet does not have a fixed size; therefore the term "clogging up" does not apply.

                Probably 90% of the books, movies, CDs, etc that exist are "junk", but we wouldn't agree on which ones fit that description.

                Should the video store drop the movies I personally have no interest in? Are those DVDs clogging up the shelves?

                Or should I just be concerned with the ones that do interest me rather than tell the store owner how to run their business?

                BTW, have you seen sites that let customers post their own reviews? Most of them that I've found are useless, although the reviews may be real, because people don't know enough about what they are reviewing or how to write a proper review.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[59406].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author Scott Burton
                  Originally Posted by Simon_Sezs View Post

                  Clog = Tons of sites with the motive of getting a sale; in most cases, the reviewer hasn't even seen the product. Another form of SPAM.
                  Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

                  I stand by my opinion that people can do what they want with their own site.

                  The Internet does not have a fixed size; therefore the term "clogging up" does not apply.
                  The term 'clog' was used in a follow up to the OP's message, and yet seems to have hijacked the entire discussion. What Simon_Sez was saying, might more accurately be described as these sites Clog SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS.

                  His point was simply that they make it much more difficult to find genuine, helpful reviews.

                  This is why I have avoided the review site strategy.
                  First
                  I can not in good conscience review a product without having first hand knowledge of it, so I would have to buy or otherwise legitimately obtain the product.
                  Second
                  I can not see promoting a product I don't have confidence in. So only products I reviewed and would recommend would be on my site with any hope of a sale.
                  Third
                  I feel that my positive review loses a lot of its authenticity and convincing power in the eyes of anyone who recognizes the fact that the link is an affiliate link, and therefore that I would get paid on the sale.

                  I have toyed with the idea of a review/presentation site, and giving honest straight forward reviews, both the good and the bad. I also toyed with offering both affiliate and non-affiliate links, as well as presenting/reviewing products which don't even have an affiliate program.

                  Whether I will do this or not, or how it would work out, I don't know.
                  Signature

                  - = Signature on Vacation = -
                  (We all need a break from what we do for a living. I thought it was time my signature got a break too)

                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140784].message }}
                  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
                    Whether it's a review page or a comparison page isn't the point. The point is getting in front of that wave of traffic that's looking for a solution that the product you're promoting offers. And getting your link in front of them and getting them to click it.
                    Signature
                    "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
                    ~ Zig Ziglar
                    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140859].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author JannieRupp
            Can someone review my site please? :-)
            || Rentaskilldirect.com ||
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140621].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Paxton
              I don't do review sites anymore - used to have the typical "5 stars for this one 4 for that" kind of rubbish and my sales were pretty ugly.

              Changed my approach totally and added in some other components. Sales increased in leaps and bounds.

              Forget review sites. My approach is "presentation sites".

              No matter how well you try and disguise it, there are bound to be some negative comments about ANY product you are promoting floating around on other sites on the net.

              Why let your potential buyers find these by themselves ?
              Put the negatives along with the positives - your visitors are probably mature enough to make their minds up - you just need them to trust you and the sale is yours.

              Worked for me over 1600 times in August to the tune of $25,000 plus in commissions.

              Trust - nothing like it
              Signature
              Never undersell yourself - SEO is a skill clients are prepared to pay big money for
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140652].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Lance K
            Originally Posted by Andrew Wilson View Post

            These fake 'reviews' DO clog up the internet because they push aside real information written by people who use products and devalue the process of using search to find relevant information.
            Maybe those "real information" providers should pop on over to the "internet cloggers" review sites for SEO products if that's the case!
            Signature
            "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
            ~ Zig Ziglar
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140735].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
          Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

          Clog up the Internet? Give me a break. You make it sound as if there is a fixed number of pages allowed on the web.

          News bulletin: Anyone can put up a site with whatever they want on it, as long as they don't violate copyright or law.

          It would be like someone saying your posts are clogging up the forum.
          Clog = Tons of sites with the motive of getting a sale; in most cases, the reviewer hasn't even seen the product. Another form of SPAM.

          Don't get me wrong. I am not sitting on my high horse saying not to do it. I am just as guilty as most affiliates pimping other people's products. All I am saying is that it is very hard to sift through the bullsh*t squidoo pages to find a real review written by someone that actually read or tested the product.

          Let's face it....the good affiliate marketers know SEO and know how to rank for keywords and therefore you get the usual bevy of positive "this will change your life...oh...and by the way here is the link" types of sites.
          Signature
          "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Ben Franklin
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[59166].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TimGross
    Originally Posted by ranknfile View Post

    if I land on someone's self-proclaimed "review site", & I see this sort of rubbish, the first thing I am doing is clicking off that page
    There's no question that "fake review" sites (as well as "fake content" sites aiming at Adwords commissions that don't provide helpful info) are annoying to users.

    From the business side, if they make money, they make money. The question is... for how long?

    As more and more people learn to spot the template look and language of these sites, I believe they'll become less profitable over time, which brings up the important question:

    If you have a quote-unquote "review" site, what can you do to turn it into more of a true review site? Because long-term, that's going to determine its success. (Of course, if you're in it for the short-term with both eyes open, rock on :-)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[59186].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Adeel_Chowdhry
    Check out my honest review ...

    Google Wealth Wizard 2 Review

    Adeel
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140686].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author threeg5
      Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

      Clog up the Internet? Give me a break. You make it sound as if there is a fixed number of pages allowed on the web.

      News bulletin: Anyone can put up a site with whatever they want on it, as long as they don't violate copyright or law.

      It would be like someone saying your posts are clogging up the forum.
      So what anyone can put up a site with whatever they want. Well you are right, but just because I am allowed to stand out in the middle of the road at a traffic light and tell everyone that I made $2539 last month from one article doesn't mean that it is right or that people care. Sure if I were selling something they might, but that's the point a review site should not be a burden it should be informative like the fellow below. He has a pretty good review site needs some work IN MY OPINION, but hey it is reasonably unbiased and some should take note of what he has done.
      Originally Posted by Adeel_Chowdhry View Post

      Check out my honest review ...

      Google Wealth Wizard 2 Review

      Adeel
      Adeel hey man that is a review page, but what about alternatives near or in the "bad points" section? You should also update your homepage to reflect what you are doing it seems to not be updated since July 16th (yes people like me look at this stuff) Anyways overall not too bad, but there again who Am I to critique yours when I don't have one myself.

      It's kinda like voting I guess, If you don't vote, What gives you the right to complain?

      Thanks for readin' the ramble,
      Mike G
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140724].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rosan9
    I learned a real lesson about review sites while promoting products in the water fuel craze recently. My sales were through the roof, but after a while I was inundated with support requests when the product owner failed to do so.

    Although I was making money, (and indeed that is why I market online) I realized that I had a responsiblity to the folks I was referring to that product. I shut down my PPC campaigns and took my site down. But that was my choice for my own self.

    I can't say if its right for anyone else.

    As for clutter, I personally went to over 400 sites in that niche and not one was a real review.

    So the moral is that if someone wants to find information, they have to do some digging. The truth is out there.

    In a perfect world all searches would return exactly the information that I was actually looking for, but we all know that's just not reality.
    Signature
    Custom Blog Headers for your wordpress blog from the Blog Header Guy. Check out my Blog Headers Portfolio
    $27 for a Custom Blog Header? Sale Ends Today Sept. 18th
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[140693].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics