Blogs that review various products or services are very popular partly because the readers trust the bloggers. The review is perceived as done by a third-party and therefore honest. To what extent, however, such reviews are trustworthy?
It is difficult to put any number on the bloggers who get paid to write the reviews due to the sheer number of blogs that get created everyday. However, it turns out that there are many companies that specialize in brining the bloggers and the advertisers together. Bloggers register with such intermediary companies and depending on the need of their advertisers, these intermediaries select the bloggers to review and write about the products.
Here is a list of such intermediaries –
Out of these guys, Bloggerwave has filed S-1 with the SEC (for the IPO). They mention that after the blogger writes the review, Bloggerwave staff (just 2 full time persons) make sure that it is accordance with the advertiser guidelines. I don’t know what that means, but certainly doesn’t sound like a “totally honest review”!
Beware of the blogger reviewers folks!
In future when more and more of such intermediaries offer money to bloggers, distinguishing between honest and dishonest reviews will be very difficult. Hopefully social media will come to help. Blog readers will flag such dishonest blogs. However, how will anyone find out who the dishonest blogger is? It is difficult to find a separating equilibrium here. Any economists among the readers for help??