As online reviews continue to take a central role in how users choose a brand, product or service, search engines have responded by increasing the visibility of these reviews. There are thousands of review sites that are both broad and industry-specific. An overwhelming amount of online users will head to Facebook, Angie’s List, Yelp and YellowPages for user reviews before deciding to make a purchase.
Google has even recently started showing third-party reviews in reach results for specific brands and companies so that one doesn’t have to look far to find opinions. As online reputation continues to become the sole decision maker for users, companies have often gone above and beyond when it comes to trying to achieve the perfect review score — all to the user’s expense.
There have been horror stories regarding how some customers have been involved in lawsuits due to leaving negative reviews about a company. Some websites now have clauses that protect businesses from users leaving nasty, negative reviews on Yelp or Google+.
US Government Responds with Consumer Reviews Fairness Act
It’s our constitutional right to have the freedom of speech, right? Our government has made sure that online users’ voices are heard by passing the Consumer Reviews Fairness Act. This act ensures that users can leave online reviews and ratings, can tweet, comment or post accurate information about a business’s product or service without backlash.
On December 2nd, Congress passed this monumental act in order for Americans to continue using their First Amendment rights. All this act need’s is President Obama’s approval. So what does this mean for review sites and users? Review sites are overwhelmingly happy that they can continue providing users with accurate information about businesses. For SEOs, we can continue to encourage our clients to ask for reviews from users they believe had an enjoyable experience with their company.
If you need help building a positive online reputation, please contact Boston Web Marketing today at (857) 526-0096.