Are you considering buying reviews to give your website a boost? If so, stop right there. Continue reading below to learn why this is a bad idea for your brand and business.
Out of all people, 91% read online reviews frequently or occasionally. Still, buying reviews isn’t the bright idea you might assume it is.
Around 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. The better your reviews are, the more likely people are to do business with you.
However, fake reviews can do far more harm than good. While the immediate benefits of fake reviews seem attractive, the negative consequences you could face are too major to ignore.
Here are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy fake reviews:
1. Buying Reviews Is Bad For Google
You shouldn’t buy Google reviews because doing so is against Google’s guidelines. In Google’s own words, reviews “should not be posted just to manipulate a place’s ratings. Don’t post fake content, and don’t post content for the same place from multiple accounts.”
If you get caught, Google will take down your business listing. This ban will have negative SEO effects and financial consequences for your business.
2. Yelp Won’t Have It
Like Google, Yelp isn’t cool with business owners who buy reviews. Yelp places consumer alerts on businesses with purchased or fraudulent reviews. In other words, every consumer who visits your Yelp page will know about your history with faking reviews.
Even worse, Yelp could sue you and win. Then you’ll lose the benefits of Yelp and your money.
3. Fraudulent Reviews Are Easy To Detect
If you think buying fake reviews is a slick move, think again. Google is hip to fraudulent reviews because they track the IP addresses of users who create them.
When Google finds a review from one of these users on your listing, you could be hit with a penalty. Again, the SEO cost of that risk isn’t worth it.
If you want to make the most out of Google, hire expert SEO services instead of faking reviews.
4. Negative Effects On Brand Trust
Getting caught faking reviews will destroy any sense of brand trust you’ve established with your customers. In turn, this will make people less likely to buy your products/services.
Your business’s reputation is too important to risk. Instead of using dishonest tactics to boost your brand’s reputation, market your small business in fun and creative ways.
5. No Legitimate Feedback
Real reviews give customers the opportunity to share their opinions. In turn, your brand benefits from having this feedback because it lets you know what customers think about your business.
Fraudulent reviews don’t offer quality criticism or genuine feedback. They’re nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Once consumers see past this illusion, your jig is up.
Keep It Real With Your Business’s Reviews
Up to 70% of Amazon reviews are fake. Although buying reviews is common, it does a disservice to your business and its customers.
Instead, offer customers a discount code for their next purchase in exchange for an honest review. Unlike when you buy positive reviews, you can benefit from knowing what customers actually think.
Upgrade your business—schedule a digital marketing consultation now. Your brand will thank you for it.
HONE Digital Marketing is a Texas-based digital marketing agency.