Anyone who owns or runs a website understands how vital reviews can be. They impact everything from rankings to local SEO and even purchasing decisions. Studies show that consumers look at reviews above all else before making purchasing decisions. Good reviews are like gold. They have such a profound impact on so many different aspects of your website its un believable. A single review can sway a consumer’s decision one way or the other. Unfortunately, consumers of today are demanding, and great reviews aren’t always easy to come by. Unscrupulous webmasters sometimes go in search of good reviews that can be purchased and out on the website. It seems like a small thing that can help in such a big way. However, it’s not as small as you may think. Purchasing reviews is a big no-no and it can do a lot of damage to your site. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should never even consider purchasing reviews for your website.
Site owners who seriously consider doing this often aren’t thinking of the consequences. People get caught more often than not in the business of fake reviews. First of all, when a review is fake it is usually obvious. Not only does the site owner miss their goal of improving business but they also damage their reputation as a stand-up business in the online community. Consumers do business with companies they trust. That trust may be built on past experience, authority in the industry or even superior service. Posting fake reviews violates that trust and it is lying to consumers. It is also illegal. The Federal Trade Commission has specific laws that address fake reviews. Violating those laws can result in criminal penalties. People may get away with posting fake reviews for a little while, but they always get found out. Even if they aren’t immediately prosecuted, the search engines will levy their own justice. Good luck doing business then. Those type of penalties are hard to remove and even harder to overcome. The damage caused by fake reviews is extensive.
Fake Reviews Can Be Malicious
SEO is vital in today’s society. Over eighty percent of people admit to considering reviews as part of a purchasing decision. It doesn’t matter if a product is being sold or a patient is looking for a new doctor, reviews matter. As with anything else, a few have found a way to twist something that was meant for the good of all. They post bad reviews on the sites of their competitors to hurt their business. Of course, the reviews are all fake but how is the general public supposed to know that? Site owners have even started purchasing fake reviews to levy against the competition. This is the worst kind of online attack. If your company has been the victim of such an attack, reach out to the search engine. The search engine can remove these fake reviews and lock down your site to thwart these efforts. However, you’ve got to take a proactive approach. Unfortunately, it is often too late by the time these efforts are realized and the damage has been done. Recovery efforts can be slow and tedious.
Reviews are important for any website. Positive, verified reviews can do wonders for your business and your reputation in the industry. However, these reviews must be earned. Nothing good ever comes from purchasing reviews. Most consumers will leave good reviews if you take the time to ask and make it easy for them. Send them a link if you need to. Whatever you do, don’t purchase reviews. There is never a good reason to purchase fake reviews.