It is probably fair to say that most online survey software companies get many (if not most, or even all) of their customers view the web. Many of them count on search engines, and those that do try to optimize their sites to drive as much traffic as possible. My only problem is when they “cheat” by posting fake reviews by fake people, comparing themselves to other products when the fact of the matter is that these comparisons aren’t really fair or valid.
Of course, it isn’t always possible to prove that this is what is going on. However, there are certain tell-tale signs:
- The same “review” appears on numerous web sites.
- The name of the reviewer isn’t published.
- The review appears on a blog that only features that review.
- The review appears on a blog that appears to have no history.
- Several survey software packages are reviewed, but only one has links.
- The review points to a landing page on the site it is reviewing, not the home page.
- The software gets a practically unblemished review.
- All of the other software reviewed on the site is compared to the one piece of software that received the practically unblemished review.
- Lots of unnecessary punctuation. Oh, they are so excited!!!!
- Lots of inexplicable links — people do this to boost themselves in the rankings.
The issue here isn’t that people shouldn’t do what they can to promote their software — but at the same time, it is absolutely wrong to create fake reviews and web sites that are “unbiased” for the purpose of manipulating people to visit your web site, and I would think twice before ever using such a company to conduct your important research.