1. Ignore the Star Rating: Read the actual text of the review and decide for yourself whether this person is describing a business you want to deal with. People will write 5-star reviews without providing any supporting reasons, and people will also write 1-star reviews because they don’t like the paint color on the wall.
2. Research the Reviewer: If you think a particular reviewer might be deliberately trying to shill for or scuttle a business, check out their profiles. Do they have other reviews? Are the reviews for local businesses or are they for far-flung stores and services with no logical connection? Also look at the tone of their other reviews. If all they do is write positive reviews, they may be shilling for friends (or for profit), while someone with all negative reviews may not be a fake, but they may be someone who chooses to vent all their frustrations through overly negative write-ups.
3. Does the Business Owner Respond? A number of business owners will now reply to reviews by displeased customers. These replies will often offer a glimpse of how the business treats its customers. Are they short-tempered and defensive, or are they apologetic and looking to genuinely remedy the situation?