Skip to main content
Instapage

What are the risks for businesses that are getting fake reviews on Google?

Recently, someone emailed me some information about a private Facebook group run by an SEO company in Austin, Texas, that is encouraging businesses to “swap reviews” on Google. In the post, the SEO company owner said:

“It’s that time again – Let’s swap Google reviews!  I have a REAL level 5 Local Guides account with reviews across the country.  I am only interested in swapping from REAL accounts, preferably those that are signed up for Google’s Local Guides program. If you’re interested >> COMMENT BELOW.”

In the group, people are commenting with their profiles and indicating that they’re a Level 5-7 on the Google Local Guides program. This group was reported to Google weeks ago, but as of this writing, the profiles are all active.

Although what these people are doing is against Google’s guidelines, Google has yet to take action on tons of the massive networks I’ve sent in — and I anticipate it will take some time before they start cracking down on these users leaving fake reviews. Currently, what I see is that Google removes the reviews (sometimes) when they are reported but doesn’t do enough to keep the user from leaving more.

In addition to getting the reviews removed and getting in trouble with Google, what other risks do people take when leaving or accepting fake reviews?

Risks for the SEO company

The SEO company that is promoting this practice of leaving reviews is taking a couple of big risks in doing so.

The first risk is with their online reputation. I looked at the reviews of the SEO company behind this, and they have had several negative reviews on their Google listing recently from people calling them out on their other fabricated five-star reviews.

The second risk would be on the legal end. In New York, 19 SEO companies were fined for being involved in writing and posting fake reviews. Matt Staub, an attorney at Pasha Law PC, stated the following:

“SEO companies can be vague in how they offer reputation management services, so they may not technically be violating their agreement with their clients. That being said, they can still be liable for legal claims such as unfair competition.”

Risks for the small business owner

The businesses that are participating in these types of reviews are also taking risks. Although they are participating thinking that it will get their business positive reviews, it can easily backfire.

Just as I saw with the SEO company behind this initiative, the business owners participating are being attacked with negative reviews. One of the people in the group even warned that some users volunteering to do review swaps are actually leaving negative one-star reviews on the listings, clarifying that the business owner is soliciting fake reviews.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]



via Marketing Land

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Get SMS Alerts for Gmail via Twitter

How do you get SMS notifications on your mobile phone for important emails in your Gmail? Google doesn’t support text notifications for their email service but Twitter does. If we can figure out a way to connect our Twitter and Gmail accounts, the Gmail notifications can arrive as text on our mobile via Twitter. Let me explain:Twitter allows you to follow any @user via a simple SMS. They provide short codes for all countries (see list) and if you text FOLLOW to this shortcode following by the  username, any tweets from that user will arrive in your phone as text notifications. For instance, if you are in the US, you can tweet FOLLOW labnol to 40404 to get my tweets as text messages. Similarly, users in India can text FOLLOW labnol to 9248948837 to get the tweets via SMS.The short code service of Twitter can act as a Gmail SMS notifier. You create a new Twitter account, set the privacy to private and this account will send a tweet when you get a new email in Gmail. Follow this account …

Instagram Story links get 15-25% swipe-through rates for brands, publishers

Instagram may arrived late as a traffic source for brands and publishers, but it’s already showing early signs of success, driving new visitors to their sites and even outperforming its parent company, Facebook.For years brands, publishers and other have tried to push people from the Facebook-owned photo-and-video-sharing app to their sites. Outside of ads and excepting a recent test with some retailers, Instagram didn’t offer much help to companies looking to use it to drive traffic. So they had to find workarounds. They put links in their Instagram bios. They scrawled short-code URLs onto their pictures. And they typed out links in their captions.Then last month Instagram finally introduced an official alternative to these hacky workarounds: the ability for verified profiles to insert links in their Instagram Stories.Almost a month after the launch, 15% to 25% of the people who see a link in an Instagram Story are swiping on it, according to a handful of brands and publishers that h…

Five great tools to improve PPC ads

Every digital marketer wants to reach the top position on the search engine results. However, if you’ve recently launched a new website or your niche is saturated, starting with paid search ads sounds like a good idea.Strategically created PPC campaigns can drive leads, sales or sign-ups to your websites. You know what? In fact, businesses earn an average of $8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.Optimizing PPC campaigns is not easy, but it’s very powerful if you do it properly. Just like SEO, it is essential to conduct extensive keyword research, optimize ad copy, and design high-converting landing pages.Fortunately, there are a lot of effective PPC tools that will help you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategies, figure out tricks in their campaigns, and improve your PPC campaigns.If you are ready to take an evolutionary leap in your PPC advertising, take a look at my list of five amazing tools to save you time, give you crucial insights, and raise money for your business.Fiv…