Amazon is continuing its crack down on fake or paid-for reviews with a new set of limits on what a shopper can post.
Under the new rules, Amazon customers can now write only five reviews a week of items not bought via the online store.
The change applies to most products and is part of efforts to clamp down on people selling positive comments.
The change is Amazon’s latest step in its battle to ensure users trust its listings.
Earlier this year, Amazon began suing sellers for buying fake reviews and then imposed tougher restrictions on companies that offered free products in return for customers’ ratings.
Users can still review as many items as they like if the goods are purchased via the website.
In October, Amazon announced the end of ”incentivised reviews”.
Amazon published its updated rules in its Customer Service section.
“You can submit five non-Amazon verified purchase reviews each week, starting on Sunday,” it says.
Amazon also reserves the right to restrict reviews of certain products to users who have bought it via the site if “unusually high numbers” of reviews are submitted in a short period of time.
The new rules will not apply to books.
Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, VP Marketing EMEA at Bazaarvoice, commented on the move: “Amazon announced that it will be cracking down on the number of reviews customers can post, in a bid to moderate fake feedback; indicative of a further step needing to be taken to ensure the authenticity of consumer reviews.
“Amazon’s new rules mean consumers can write and submit only five reviews a week for items that were not purchased directly from its website; however, there is no review cap on verified Amazon purchases.
“Companies providing moderation and review services should also consider driving review volume and submission via a Post Purchase Email (PPE); 80-90% of product reviews submitted on the Bazaarvoice network of more than 5000 brands & retailers, have been as a direct result of PPE. This ensures greater authenticity and verification of purchase.
“Generating inauthentic positive or negative reviews is unethical and misleading. One way of tackling fake content is by working with a third party solution and/or displaying a ‘Trust Mark’ alongside reviews. This verifies content by monitoring for keywords that imply a review is fake.
“An accredited trust mark highlights a commitment to working with organisations such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization), or AFNOR, which for our clients, is a reputable third party. A product rating review system, built on grounds of credibility, authenticity, unbiased moderation and transparency, gives consumers confidence in making most informed purchase decisions.
“Authenticity is fundamental to the value of consumer reviews, and is imperative that companies must do everything within their power to ensure all feedback is genuine, accurate and relevant.”