I’ve been inundated with spammers trying to sell me Google Reviews for my business profile. No matter how tempting it sounds, just say no to buying reviews!
Why? The answer is simple, really.
Buying reviews for your business profile violates Google’s guidelines.
Not only is it against Google’s guidelines for your business to offer incentives for reviews, you can’t solicit reviews from your customers in exchange for payment.
- Per Google’s guidelines, content is “most valuable when it is honest and unbiased.”
- Per Google Support, “Business owners should not offer incentives to customers to leave reviews.”
Read Google’s Prohibited and Restricted Content
I was surprised to find out just how risky it is to buy fake reviews.
The Consequences of Buying Reviews
When you buy Google reviews, you might see a boost in your local SEO rankings – for a very short period of time.
Then you get caught and penalized by Google.
Wait, what’s the big deal?
Purchasing fake reviews is illegal.
Your business will be facing more than a damaged reputation.
You could actually get charged with a felony. Yes, a felony!
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a consumer protection body that takes these matters seriously.
- The FTC sees soliciting endorsements in exchange for money as unethical and illegal.
- The FTC sees it as misleading and unethical to offer people advantages and discounts in exchange for a testimonial.
So, what’s the best way to get reviews for your Google Business Profile?
Get Honest Reviews from Real Clients!
Unlike other online directories, Google allows you to ask for reviews. Google provides you with a link to send customers so you can get real reviews.
Customer reviews on your Google Business Profile help improve your local search results and will help boost your credibility.
Google business reviews help your local SEO on Google Maps, too.
When people are searching for a business like yours, they read reviews left by your customers. This helps them learn more about your brand from real customers.
The more positive reviews you have on your Google Business Profile, the more reputable your business looks.
When it comes down to ethical business practices, you can invite customers to leave a review – if they so choose.
Never Buy Google Reviews!
Never offer incentives for people to leave reviews, and never buy reviews for your profile.
You risk serious consequences for your business… from which you might never recover.