It will do more harm than good
Although this past year was tough for a lot of companies, don’t make the situation worse by purchasing fake Google reviews to strengthen your company’s online reputation. If you’ve even contemplated going down this route, let’s discuss why you should reconsider.
First, Google prohibits the publishing of fake content and has a system where reviews are automatically processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam. When they detect a business doing so, Google will analyze all of the reviews and immediately delete the purchased fake reviews.
If a company is caught paying for reviews more than once, its Google My Business account will be terminated indefinitely. This will impact your local search rankings and web traffic, and therefore, you may suffer monetarily.
However, your company's punishment will go beyond just Google. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may fine you more than the amount you might have earned from the fake reviews. It becomes a legal matter if you are caught posting these, and the FTC will fine you a minimum of $10,000 per review. In 2017, the FTC reached an agreement with nine car dealerships in California to pay more than $3.6 million dollars in fines after they posted deceiving ads and forged online reviews.
Committing a crime alone will damage your reputation but your reliability will suffer when people begin to spot fake reviews. It’s much easier to spot fake Google reviews than one might realize.
People appreciate genuine reviews because they provide details such as specific names or in-depth commentary on the product or service. A company’s reputation is more important than anything. Remember, the mindset of “quality over quantity” when it comes to reviews, and this will help you uphold your business’ reputation.
There are many alternatives to draw customers to your website and encourage them to publish reviews. Don’t lose your integrity just to help your company bounce back. Instead, look into requesting reviews via text message or email as options. These marketing methods encourage genuine feedback from your customers and insight for your company to improve.