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Alexandra 15 Feb 2013

How fake online reviews can hurt your business

Search for any product or service on Google and one of the first results you’ll see are Google+ Local Pages reviews, ratings and customer testimonials. As you probably know, the higher the rating of a business, the higher their position will be in Google’s search engine results.

The competition is fierce, no matter if you’re selling shoes, electronics or providing hotel accommodation. In the past few years, there’s been an epidemic of fake reviews. While it’s somewhat understandable as customer reviews can help generate more revenue, you should probably think twice before paying someone to write an almost perfect review for your business.

The temptation to cheat will always be there, even if Google warns it can detect “fake” reviews thanks to its new spam detection algorithm. But you won’t get caught, right? Wrong. If they’re fake positives, Google will catch on and they’ll take them down right away. But what happens if your customers find out you’ve been lying to them? They’ll lose their trust in your company and most likely never buy anything from you again.

You should care more about your true reputation and what your real customers are saying about your business rather than worry about getting caught over producing “fake glowing testimonies” yourself.

In conclusion, here are a few things you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t ask your employees to write reviews about your company.
  • Don’t work with online public relations specialists who promise to generate positive reviews.
  • Don’t give people incentives in the form of free gifts or discounts in exchange for a review.

What do you think about Google’s new spam detection algorithm? It is useful?

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