orionblastar - 7:51 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)
Astroturfing is nothing new. It is the ultimate work at home job for people in third world nations to get paid $1 to $10 per review.
Either they give a good review to the Astroturfing company's products, or they give bad reviews on their competitor's products.
Before you can trust any review on the Internet you must look to see if they are all 5 star or 1 star reviews, if there are no 2, 3, or 4 star reviews chances are the reviews are a subject of astroturfing.
In baseball and other sports they used to play on dirt and grass. But it took a lot to maintain that grass. So when plastics got invented they made plastic grass called astroturf that was used in place of dirt and grass for sports teams to play on to save money. Paying people to do fake reviews is called astroturfing, because it is not 'grass roots' promotions or reviews, but fake ones.
Many a magazine and newspaper back in the day used to make fake reviews for products that the company who made the product or service paid them to give them a good review. When the world wide web came about, many Websites gave astroturfed reviews and companies like Microsoft, IBM, Apple, etc paid writers to always given them good reviews. Even giving the writers and editors free products in exchange for good reviews. InfoWorld used to do this a lot, and I was one of many who called them on it. IBM paid them to promote OS/2 so of course when users went to vote on their favorite OS, OS/2 won. Most of the votes came from bluethunder.org which was an OS/2 fan site and had stuffed the ballots as well as written a lot of fake review feedbacks on how good OS/2 was, because IBM paid them to do it. They had created a lot of fake accounts in order to vote and leave feedback and reviews. This lead to the Infoworld Forums being taken down, and then conversion to their blogs instead.
Anyway this sort of stuff is really Black Hat SEO stuff.