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Lexis Survey Finds that Small Businesses Drink the Ratings Kool-Aid

October 27th, 2009 | Data and Information Analysis,News,Online & Small Business Resources | No Comments »

A new survery from LexisNexis and Martindale Hubble provided a very interesting trend amoung small businesses and their use and perceptions of rating sites.  According to the survey, small businesses rely on rating and review sites — for service and product choices — at a rate that is double the average consumer.  This is in despite of the fact that these same small business owners indicate a couple of things: (1) that the normal review sites are easily biased by positive or negative reviews; and (2) the reviews can easily be faked by the businesses being reviewed.

Why do small businesses find review sites to be of such value when they can be manipulated?  Despite these short-comings, reviews allow for much needed guidance in aggregating data and sorting out, in relatively quick fashion, where to get your goods and services.  Another point that the survey reveals is what something we already know (so it’s really a stretch to say it’s “revealing” anything) — that not all ratings are created equally.  More trust is put into the rating if (a) its from a independent third party; and (b) is based, in part, on actual customer feedback (but again, for some of these review sites, it can be hard to know if the data is from real customers or the reviewed business faking the review).

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