Looking To Buy Reviews? 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't
Perhaps you are wondering if you can buy reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp if you don't have many. You can certainly do so, but it will more likely harm than help your business in the long run.
Throughout this article, we'll explain why it's a bad idea to buy online reviews and what it means. We'll also look at alternative ways to get reviews.
Reason #1—it violates review policies
If they find that a company is buying reviews, the review sites can penalize them severely. The review sites leverage sophisticated algorithms to identify businesses who use these tactics.
When Yelp determines a business has used unethical means to get reviews, it posts obtrusive pop-ups directly on its website. Any potential customer visiting that page will see those pop-ups as evidence that the business has been scamming them.
Google, as opposed to Yelp, can actually remove the business' entire listing from the search results. To put it another way, if you create fake reviews to increase your visibility, you will ultimately get nothing.Your money spent on buying those reviews is wasted if they don't even appear on your page.
Reason #2—it could damage your reputation
There is a very high likelihood that customers will notice something odd about your profile if you pay for reviews. A real customer, who has dealt with your business, could blow the whistle on your company, scaring away potential customers.
Alternatively, some reviewers may state that you offer them incentives for providing reviews. For those reading the review, this is a huge red flag, as it may appear that you are bribing your existing customers so that they will post inauthentic reviews so that you gain more revenue.
Reason #3—it won't lead to long-term success
More than 86% of consumers only take into account reviews from the previous three months, while more than half consider reviews from just the previous two weeks. As time goes on, older reviews may not get a lot of attention from consumers and their value will diminish. A consumer may not trust a review if they are unable to see any recent reviews.
The best strategy for local businesses is to get a steady stream of reviews, not buy dozens of fake reviews and forget to ask for more reviews later.
Reason #4—it is illegal
You can even get into legal trouble for buying reviews. Consumers are told by the Federal Trade Commission that they can publicly disclose whether they were paid for their reviews. Fraudulent reviews are one of the dishonest sales practices the agency has accused business owners of using.
Earn reviews instead of buying them
If you want to improve your business' local search and brand trust, don't buy reviews. Instead, turn to an online reputation management platform that can help you more efficiently collect quality reviews. Over time, this will be beneficial to your business. By reaching out to your customers on Google, you will strengthen customer relationships and keep your business in touch with those who matter most to your company.