identifying hosting review scammer
Detecting fake hosting reviews

Looking for Web Hosting for Your Small Business Website? Watch out for fake hosting reviews trying to get you sign-up with a web hosting provider.

I have only 3 years under my belt as an online entrepreneur, but that’s long enough to know that not all business websites are trusted. I have one big tip for you: If you are looking for a web hosting provider to host your business website, look for trusted hosting review sites, as there are so many fake reviews and testimonials around.

So, to kick off – here’s the “trade secret” of scammers disguised as web hosting reviewers: They use fake reviews to lure you into signing up with their affiliate links.

Why many scammers do it?

Simple – it’s because the web hosting providers pay hefty commissions for their affiliates; of all web hosting affiliate programs I joined, the best payment I get is $150 for a single sign up using my affiliate link. So, yes – you can earn up to $150 per sign up – even more; there are web hosting providers offering signup commissions plus recurring commissions as long as the affiliates’ referrals are still using the hosting service.

If you are with HostGator, you can make $50-$100 per sign-up depending on the number of your referrals. You can attract more sign-ups by offering HostGator Coupons that will allow your referrals to benefit from the hosting service at lower cost.

How fake reviews work

There’s probably more on the dark side, but referring to my own experience, here’s how fake reviews work:

1. They boost their review counts to gain visitors’ trust

They write reviews themselves (or hire someone) with various nicknames (even originating from various IP address to make the whole scammy scheme works better) to give impressions that there are plenty of reviewers around. More reviews mean better trust. Of course, those reviews are fakes – the star ratings are fakes, too.

2. They write glowing review to maximise conversion

“Oh, I have tried this hosting service – their support is fantastic even I can contact them in the middle of the night and the CS team respond in timely manner…” – this kind of review – usually found in blogs – is purposed to maximise conversion. There’s nothing wrong with such review, unless you tell a lie with a purpose to trick people into signing up for high-paying hosting service via your affiliate link.

But how to detect fake hosting reviews?

The best ways to spot fake hosting review site is by looking into the hosting review sites stats.

Use Alexa rank to measure the review website traffic – a site with only 50 visitors a day but have 100s of hosting ratings and reviews inside is suspicious. Moreover, if the site is nowhere to be found in search engines, that raise a big question; if the search engines don’t trust the site, why should you?

How to spot quality hosting from a quality hosting review site

The best advice I can give you is to ask for recommendations for both hosting providers and hosting review sites.

Searching the web helps, too – but be sure you don’t visit the low quality or fake review sites – you can minimise your risks by following my recommendation above – check the stats.

If you ask for my recommendation, I would suggest you to visit WebHostingClue.com. I know the owner personally and his business is legit and trusted. From the hosting review site, you can find HostGator Review, as well as many others.

Ivan Widjaya
Detecting fake hosting reviews