What You Need To Know Before Buying Google Reviews
If you’re thinking about buying reviews to boost your Google listing, keep reading for alternative options that will actually help your business.
Apr 23, 2021
5 min read
Apr 23, 2021
5 min read
Did you know that 89% of consumers read reviews before doing business with a brand? And 60% of them will look for these reviews on your Google My Business.
Knowing how important it is to have positive reviews, it’s easy to understand why it would be tempting to purchase a few. Buying Google reviews is often seen as an easy way to help get you started or minimize the impact of negative reviews.
However, below we go over a few reasons why you may want to steer away from this strategy—even if you were thinking about only buying a couple—and what you can do instead to generate real and positive Reviews, fast.
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How To Buy Reviews
Buying reviews for your GMB account is as easy as typing it into your browser. You will come across multiple ads, freelancer websites, and companies claiming to boost your company’s image by providing good reviews or even deleting negative ones.
These websites usually promise professional writers and reviews from “genuine” accounts. They also claim that their methods are safe, reliable, and undetectable by review platforms—which is completely false.
Regardless of the method used, paying someone to leave a fake review of your business is illegal and can ultimately cost you more than they’re worth.
Why You Shouldn’t
In case you’re still considering taking the risk of paying for a good review or two, here are a few more reasons to stay away from buying reviews.
1. It Violates Google’s Guidelines
Google’s guidelines state that “reviews are automatically processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam.” If fake reviews are detected, Google has the right to take them down, suspend your account, or even pursue legal action.
Once your GMB account is suspended, you will need to request reinstatement from Google, which can take a few days. Even after sending your request, Google may still deny reinstatement if they believe your listing continues to violate their guidelines.
2. Fake Reviews Are Easy To Detect
In addition to Google, common platforms like Yelp, Amazon, and Facebook are getting better at finding spammy and fake content. Your fake reviews may last all but a few days before being flagged and taken down—losing you money, time, and your brand’s reputation.
You also want to keep in mind that the average online shopper is savvy and accustomed to reading multiple reviews for every purchase or booking made. These customers can detect fake reviews pretty well and are quick to flag or report unauthentic content.
3. You Can’t Improve Without Honest Feedback
The key to a successful business is meeting and adapting to the needs of their customers. Without constructive feedback, it’ll be hard to implement changes or maximize opportunities to improve your business.
4. You Can Get Fined
If the reasons above weren’t enough to convince you, how about receiving a $13 million fine from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) like Cure Encapsulations, Inc. did? Although you probably wouldn’t get that large of a fine, the FTC is continuously cracking down on fake reviews and advertising.
Take the case of the skincare brand, Sunday Riley, for example. Back in 2019, the FTC found that the brand’s leadership would ask employees to not only leave fake reviews but downvote any negative ones, as it would help get those reviews taken down. Unsurprisingly, this story caused a lot of damage to the brand’s reputation and required a good crisis management plan.
And to think, this could’ve been avoided with a few simple tactics, which we go through below.
How To Generate Real Feedback
If you’re ready to get good reviews and nurture both customer trust and loyalty, here’s how to start:
Automate Review Requests
Simplify the process of requesting reviews with automation. Use a tool like GoSite Reviews to send automated emails and text messages with one click. Having a centralized location where you can request, manage, and respond to feedback regardless of the platform, will help generate reviews and improve customer relationships.
Make it easy for your customers to leave a review by providing a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your request. Provide links to Google or the platforms you wish to be reviewed on and thank them in advance for their time.
Pro-Tip: Ask for reviews often. Happy customers are your best marketing tool so be sure to send requests promptly after satisfactorily completing a service.
Respond To All Feedback
Be sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews to show customers that you care. It can also let Google know that you’re active and engaged on your account, which can help your listing rank.
We also suggest using a sophisticated review tool that allows you to respond to negative feedback privately before it’s posted publicly. This may not always result in a changed review, but at least you’ll have the opportunity to turn things around.
Verify Your Listing
Having an unverified listing is a surefire way to hurt your visibility on Google—even if you receive multiple glowing reviews. Check out this guide on ways to verify your business. Since most verifications are done through mail, you may need to wait up to 14 days to receive your postcard.
If you're ready to boost the number and quality of your reviews, sign up for GoSite and fully automate and simplify this process for your business.