Google targets fake reviews (Again)
A nice piece about the dangers of fake reviews
Many times people have called me in a panic about their listing simply disappearing.
When this happens it is usually due to
1) Fake Location(s) or using virtual offices, PO Boxes the like.
2) Fake Reviews
Duplicate listings can sometimes cause issues as well.
Well... listings don't disappear due to fake reviews. What gets removed when you post fake reviews on your listings is just the fake reviews... oh, and your business credibility. The business trust and credibility goes down the drain for potential customers when you post fake reviews.
What causes an entire listing to go down is actually a lot more complicated than that, but I won't go on a rant through this thread.
thank you for that clarification. Will fake reviews hurt your rankings?
Reviews really don't factor too much into ranking. Content in the reviews will help for certain keywords, just like any other content you post. Lets look at this from another way... You post a fake review, and by chance it goes up for a little while. Most people have a pretty high BS meter and can spot a fake review. That advertisement for yourself which you've positioned as a review is now seen by hundreds or thousands of potential customers. People now have a negative perception of your business and think you're probably running a shady company because they see through the review for what it is.
So is it really worth it to spend all that time/money to get fake reviews posted only to lose business?
By the way, rankings are more dependent on organic SEO factors (onsite content, link building, etc). What reviews really do for you is increase CTR to your site, and helps that phone ring. If you have legit reviews, people will be more willing to buy from you.
Businesses with fake reviews always lose my business. They are an obvious ploy and I can't help but wonder in what other ways are they going to try to trick me.
Fake reviews are normally easy enough to spot, following some sort of template or using lame, forced keywords. I almost always avoid a business that relies on this type of stuff for online reputation.
I just got an email from a company offering the chance to win a $50 gift card in exchange for writing a review. I'd do it if they would just give me the $50 gift card, but not to be in a drawing to win it.
Another one that happens sometimes on review sites is real reviews that actually belong to another location entirely and are copied over, photos and all. Especially if you're not from the area, hotel reviews etc, that can be quite easy to miss compared to the awkward, scripted ones
You can usually spot fake reviews from a mile away. Not surprised that Google's going after them.
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