April 30, 2018 Lucie Towndrow

Fake Reviews Are Becoming a Big Problem

online SEO reviews facebook

Fake Reviews Are Becoming More Prevalent – Here’s How to Beat Them

Every business, no matter the size, benefits from positive reviews. With around 90% of all consumers searching for reviews before they make a purchase, customer reviews and ratings really matter. However, with reviews having so much importance for businesses, it’s only natural that some people have tried to cheat the system. Recently, fake reviews and becoming more prevalent. Here’s how to beat fake reviews, and why they matter so much to your business and SEO.

Reviews are relied upon by both businesses and customers. Specific review sites and sites with review features built in such as Facebook, or Google are used as a platform by many to provide an honest account of their experience with a brand or business. They are truthful, genuine statements by individuals used to either praise or slate a business. As consumers, we read reviews and trust that they are genuine and non-biased. However, fake reviews are becoming a problem. Due to the weight reviews carry for SEO and search engine ranking, as well as how they can convince a viewer to convert into a buying customer, fake reviews are appearing.

Trusted Sites, Fake Reviews

Trust Pilot, Google+, Amazon and Facebook are now becoming victims of fake reviews. These are some of the biggest websites out there, and the fact they have fake reviews on them no doubt influences the way people purchase. With around 88% of people making a purchase or choosing a service of the back of a personal recommendation or review, fake reviews can seriously change purchasing patterns.

If a company purchases fake reviews, they are cheating the system. Google deems reviews an important ranking factor, especially for local search results.  With more 5* reviews, businesses with fake reviews will appear higher in search engine ranking, and ultimately, make more sales. This damages genuine local businesses, as they cannot compete with influxes of fake reviews.

Positive reviews can help your business, especially with regards to local SEO. If the industry you’re in is competitive in your local area, your positive reviews can help you rank higher than them in SERP’s, and also act as the final push for consumers to choose your business. With 72% of consumers only taking action only after reading a positive review, they really matter. Not only do they help sway consumers to choose your business, they can also help by:

Boosting Long-Tail Keyword Traffic

By writing reviews in the same language and structure that people will be searching for your business with, your customer reviews will help create more traffic. This is because the long-tail keywords used in reviews will help generate more traffic.

Helps Social Conversation

Really positive and kind reviews can become popular, and create conversation on social media. If positive reviews are left on Facebook, you can publicly thank the person who leaves it. You can then create a conversation and loyal relationship with the reviewer.

Creates User-Generated Content

Reviews create unique user-generated content. Customer photos and positive words are great to repurpose and share with your sphere of influence. If consumers are on the fence and about to make a purchase, a positive review or customer photo could be the thing that sways their decision.

In order to beat companies that purchase fake reviews, encourage all your customers to leave genuine reviews. If you know somebody has had a positive experience with you, get them to give a detailed account of it on Google+, Facebook and Yelp. The more business mentions you have, the better! If you spot fake reviews, you can report them by following these instructions.

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