With so much focus on reputation management AKA online reviews, businesses are tempted to have employees or friends post reviews.
I spoke with a marketing company recently offering in their package to “post reviews for you”.
The reasons for not engaging in this practice begin with ethics. If you’re still considering it to give your website an edge up it’s important to know most likely this will come back to haunt you.
People are not fooled. A business with all 5 star reviews makes you read further. I have several clients who have legitmate (under 10 reviews) - 5 star reviews. In reading them it is very obvious these are not fake. If a company has 100+ 5 star reviews – and you begin reading, fake reviews typically show themselves in verbiage. If viewers are suspicious they can report this to Google.
Read more about how to spot a fake review.
Most review websites have sophisticated software in place to flag suspicious reviews. With Google it’s even easier as they track your IP address if you use Google search, any site with Google ads, etc. They note all this information. Google is excellent at putting pieces together, and if you get banned by Google – who controls search results – where do you think your website will land in these results?
Playing by the rules benefits everyone – and speaks well of your business from that first step.