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Should You Buy Online Reviews?

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Table of Contents

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The rapid growth and popularity of websites like Google, Amazon, and Yelp, have led to the growth in the significance of consumer opinions and online reviews. Online reviews can lead to the success or failure of businesses. It can thus be tempting to buy fake reviews if you have negative reviews or low ratings on your Google business page. however, just because it’s possible through disingenuous ways does not mean you should. The practice is detested by Google as other review sites and this can lead to your business being blacklisted or worse, facing legal actions.

Despite their resourcefulness and high significance, getting online reviews can be challenging. consequently, some entities use flyers while others use online review generation platforms. But regardless of your approach, it is critical to always abide by the online review site guidelines. Business entities that fail to comply with the set guidelines can drastically find themselves struggling to get back in good books.

Why buying Yelp reviews is a bad idea

Buying fake online reviews on sites such as Google and Yelp is one of the major ways businesses find themselves in trouble as it is highly against their guidelines. The two are to be believed going by their actions against entities that flout their terms of service. Yelp for one prohibits entity owners from asking for reviews.

Yelp has gone a step further in ensuring the authenticity of reviews by reiterating its Consumer Alert Program. The alerts warn customers about businesses caught trying to mislead them through deceptive reviews. The warnings are placed on the profile of the companies caught manipulating reviews. Besides, Yelp posts evidence of deceptive actions, and therefore customers can easily make their own decision.

Yelp also has a dedicated team of experts that consistently and keenly monitor message boards, classifieds, forums and its reviews site among others for any suspicious activity. Particularly, the purchase of reviews.

Why buying Google reviews is a bad idea

While it may seem a quick fix to low ratings and a cost-effective approach to pushing your business entity to the peak of relevant search results, purchasing reviews will certainly be more costly than good.

For one, Google, like Yelp detests businesses that deceive consumers through the manipulation of online reviews. Google explicitly states review content should at all-time mirror one’s frank experiences. Google uses a significantly different approach from Yelp rather than warning consumers, reviews are taken down and in some instances, accounts are completely shut down. However, in most instances, Google is not as harsh but takes a holistic approach to the quality of its reviews.

Google has set out 10 different violations that can lead to the removal of reviews including, advertising, spam, and impersonation among others. Most of the violations are consistent with buying reviews.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also declared buying online reviews for the sake of misleading consumers illegally. Besides, in recent times FTC slapped hefty penalties on entities buying or creating fake reviews to mislead consumers.

How to generate more online reviews

As most consumers are likely to check the online rating for local businesses with good reviews leading to better visibility in search, increased sales and more revenue. Further, online reviews can also foster customer loyalty and confidence. As buying fake reviews is illegal and harmful there are more ethical and better ways of getting great reviews for your business.

  1. Proactively requesting reviews – Though some sites including Yelp prohibit businesses from requesting reviews, Google, Trip Advisor, and many others encourage it. Some even provide tools to help businesses proactively get reviews. One should be proactive and use the available tools while ensuring they abide by each review site’s terms of service and guidelines. This way you can easily be rewarded while avoiding penalties.
  2. Utilize review generation software – This allows for the easy and fast generation of new reviews through customizable Email and SMS invites giving you good ratings and a greater presence on local searches.
  3. Ensure customer satisfaction – This is the most cost-effective way to get reviews as it just calls for consistently delivering great customer experiences. This can be achieved by always giving your customers an experience that is beyond their expectations.
  4. Online presence – Increasing online presence and letting customers know your businesses are available online can also greatly increase reviews as most customers could be willing to offer positive reviews. Emailing customers and requesting customers for authentic reviews and feedback while ensuring you comply with the review set guidelines is also vital.

Jascha Burmeister

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