No. No. Naw. No. Don’t buy fake reviews for your business. You’re playing in dangerous waters. Yes, reviews are huge endorsements of your products and can help sway people to purchase your products that would otherwise be non-committal. But it’s dangerous – hugely dangerous to pay someone a few bucks from Fiverr to smudge out a rosey review. Here’s why:
Reveal & Backlash: If it’s uncovered that someone wrote a fake review about your business, your reputation would instantly take a hit. And the reputation of your brand is your most important asset. Once it’s broken, you can only glue it back together piece by piece – with the cracks forever remaining
IP Address / User Tracking: Google ain’t stupid. It knows that people write fake reviews. They also know that reviews drive purchases. To maintain an ethical environment, Google may (or may have already) choose to track the IP addresses of people offering fake reviews. If sites are found to be harbouring fake reviews from these people and Google finds a way to sift between fake/legitimate reviews, I bet these sites will be hit with a penalty.
The New York Times recently wrote that one company was even offering full rebates on products in exchange for reviews (hint… hint… please be positive). Perhaps scarier, a comment following the article stated:
“My employer creates software applications for websites that allow companies to automatically generate fake reviews. We are one of the top WCM companies world-wide. The “reviews” generated are unique and seem quite real but, in fact, are not. Surprisingly many of our customers use our products to generate comments and reviews for news articles (especially political news articles concerning the upcoming election). The U.S. Army uses our product to add positive comments to articles associated with the war in Afghanistan.”
Language Tracking: We are creatures of habit. We write in a similar style, using very similar phrasing. No doubt the people writing reviews have their own time honoured phrases that they inject into their fake reviews. Google could combine an algorithm that seeks out the IP/username of known fake reviewers and combines this with known fake language. This would be a powerful tool and stripping out those devious reviews.
And that’s not mentioning that you could cop a fine from regulators for being misleading.
Want to Check if You’ve Been Hit With a Fake Review?
Review Skeptic uses an algorithm based on research. It’s claimed to be 90% accurate in determining whether a review is fake or real. Feel free to try it out yourself to see how nasty deceptive you are.
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