In this day and age, your online reputation is incredibly important, and it influences what shoppers think of you and greatly impacts their overall purchasing decision.
In fact, over 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.
But what if you're just starting out and you have 0 reviews?
Or, maybe you already have reviews, but all of them are written by angry shoppers because of unfortunate circumstances.
This is where most businesses decide to take another approach - buying fake Google reviews and burying the negative ones in the ground.
But is this really worth it?
Potential shoppers can sniff out fake reviews from a mile away.
Not only will this damage your business reputation, but it could also lead to other long-lasting issues.
Beautiful, simple reviews for your siteEasily collect, show & grow customer reviews, photos & videos for your business.
Consumers Can Spot Fake Reviews
You might think that your fake reviews are incredibly hard to notice. All of them have a good-quality image, a positive experience, and a specific story about your business.
What can go wrong here?
Just remember - the average online shopper is extra-savvy and accustomed to reading various product reviews before making a purchase.
So, what if a potential shopper decides to open the review profile of this account?
The person looking at the review will see that the reviewer went to 20 beauty salons in just one week, absolutely loved them all, and gave them the same rating and feedback.
Chances are, either the customer is obsessed with makeup, or they’re just posting fake reviews. Most shoppers will think it's the second one.
And if you don't believe that, just check out this:
"Recent research has found that over 62% of customers think they've seen a fake review in the past few years."
Your customers are savvy and can easily detect fake reviews. So, it's not worth it to buy fake reviews…
4 Reasons You Should Never Buy Fake Reviews
1. Damaged Credibility
And what happens when a potential customer spots a fake review on your Google Business page?
Well, they immediately lose trust in your brand and leave forever.
Nobody really wants to do any kind of business with a shady company.
Some might even decide to share this bad experience with their family and friends.
Or, worse, they might even post this into a Facebook Group or Instagram Chat.
This will cause severe damage to your online reputation and will have a negative impact on your sales.
2. No Improvement
Believe it or not - constructive feedback is incredibly important.
Not only will this help you improve your business, but it will also help you get a better picture of your business overall.
You can evaluate problems and make changes to your business by viewing genuine customer reviews.
But you won't get any value since you purchased fake reviews. So, you're losing a chance to improve.
3. Fake Reviews Are Against Google's Policy
Google values what customers say about a product or service. That's why they show the ratings and reviews in the search results.
But this information must be completely accurate and authentic.
It's clearly outlined that buying and posting fake reviews aren't allowed.
"Reviews are automatically processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam." - Source: Google Policy.
After Google detects a fake review, they immediately suspend your account.
You can still send a defense from your side, but most of the time, this won't be too helpful, and your account will be permanently banned.
4. Fake Reviews are Illegal
If all of that wasn't enough to persuade you, then what do you think about getting a million-dollar fine like Cure Encapsulations?
The CEO of Cure Encapsulations, Naftula J., received allegations about paying third-party publishers to create and publish fake customer reviews on Amazon for its weight-loss pill supplement.
After viewing all the necessary proof and paperwork, the business was fined around $12.8 million.
Even though you probably won't receive such a high fine, it can still cost your company many dollars.
The lesson of the day? Don't buy fake reviews.
Buying fake reviews will end up costing you a lot of money, your entire reputation, and thousands of potential customers.
Here are a couple of things you should consider doing in order to get more reviews on your Google listing:
- Claim Your Business Listings On Google
- Purge Reviews Steps
- Respond to Reviews Step
- Get More Google Reviews
If you want to read more related articles, check out our blog!