Using fake reviews to promote higher levels of satisfaction from “customers” is not only against Google guidelines, but it also reflects poorly on your business overall. The appeal of boosting your review rating with fake reviews is high, but this does not accurately represent your business or brand to the general public. While your services may be impeccable, although this is likely not the case if you’ve turned to sham reviews, you’re inflating the hopes of prospective new customers by publishing fake experiences. Let’s take a look at some more reasons why utilizing fake reviews should never be on your agenda.
Poor Online Reputation from Fake Reviews
The practice of planting fake reviews can certainly backfire, and it often does. Organizing fake reviews opens up the possibility of users leaving highly negative reviews, and subsequently calling the business out on their falsely positive customer experiences. From a legal standpoint, businesses can even be hit with lawsuits for soliciting fake reviews. Being hit with a hefty fine for publishing false information about services or products is nothing new, but people often need to be reminded of such. Businesses should be aware that a lot more than reputation is at stake when it comes to dabbling in fake reviews.
Black Hat SEO Penalties from Fake Reviews
There are also negative consequences for businesses that use fake reviews from an SEO perspective. When Google discovers companies utilizing fake reviews or any other black hat SEO technique, they take it personally. These businesses and domains are often severally impacted from a search results standpoint and it takes much longer to get back to the top of search results. If you compare the amount of time it takes to begin ranking again vs. implementing SEO best practices from the start, the answer is clear.
Short-Term Benefits with Long Term, Negative Implications
Much like what the D.A.R.E. officers used to tell you in middle school, just say no to fake reviews. The short-term benefits, if any, in no way outweigh the negative impacts those fake reviews could have on your business or reputation. Reviews serve as a portal into the minds of your customers. Negative reviews show business owners where they need to improve, while positive reviews indicate all the things you’re doing right. No business will ever be completely perfect, but publishing fake reviews online will only make it harder for you to win over new clientele. As mentioned above, these fake reviews, while can potentially sway some new customers to reach out, will end up hurting your business much more in the long run.
Implementing a Review Building Campaign
Simply not utilizing fake reviews is not a solution for gaining more positive, real reviews. There are a few strategies your business can use to gain more, legitimate online reviews
- Email Marketing Campaign– Increase online reviews by reaching out to customers you know where satisfied with your product or services with a direct link to the review platform you are trying to improve
- Social Media Campaign– By regularly posting to your business’s social media accounts, you can drop the link to Google or Facebook reviews. Be sure to set up a Hootsuite account to publish across multiple platforms at once
- Review Us tab on your website– If you add a ‘review us’ tab or button on your website, you can easily direct users or customers who are right in front of you to the page. Let them know these reviews play a role in improving where you rank on search. If they have had a positive experience with your business, they should be happy to leave you a review.
Additionally, if the reason you need more positive reviews is due to a flurry of legitimate negative reviews, be sure to take these complaints and analyze how you can improve. Additionally, sometimes a professionally worded response can go a long way in providing a disgruntled some comfort and they may even end up changing it.
Boston Web Marketing: Improving Online Reviews for our Clients
If your overall search presence and online reviews could use improvement, Boston Web Marketing is the leading expert offering its SEO services to companies local to Boston and nationwide. Contact our offices to learn more about how to help businesses grow digitally and grow inbound leads.