Google Warns Businesses to Avoid Fake Reviews
With a large segment of niche marketers basing their strategies off of product reviews, countless websites have been created with the goal being to provide product reviews on just about anything you can imagine. In the past month, Google announced that there will be an increased presence of reviews on local pages within Google Plus. The catch, however, is that Google will be more closely monitoring the types of reviews that are allowed, while deleting all others that appear to be the result of spam or otherwise seem fake. If your business model is revolving around product reviews and you wish to take advantage of these new developments, then continue reading to find out how you can and what not to do in order to avoid having your reviews deleted.
Google Plus Local Reviews
The concept behind Google Plus Local Reviews is to bring a quality selection of local establishments to the eyes of readers, depending on what they are looking for at any given moment. With the new security measures in place, Google aims to bring trusted reviews to all of its readers about restaurants, shops and service providers in a way that has not yet existed on the internet. Evaluating certain elements like décor, food and service further help readers decide which place is right for them. Google is pinging servers with this information as a way to help readers and users find what they want locally while also being able to trust what it is they are reading.
Things to Avoid
Google has made it very clear that any reviews appearing to be fake, spam or otherwise illegitimate will be removed. What exactly does this entail? For starters, reviews that are blatantly fraudulent or appear to be promoting the business instead of giving it a legitimate review will be removed. Likewise, reviews that were collected from the brick and mortar location and subsequently added to Google Plus Local Reviews will also be deleted, as there is no way to determine whether or not said reviews are valid (they identify this via IP). This means that even if reviews are legitimate, they may be flagged as spam when pinging servers on the Google network.
How To Avoid Mishaps
If you really want great reviews but feel limited by Google’s new rules, then you can use a number of guerrilla tactics to convince your customers to leave positive reviews. Whenever a customer receives his or her service or product, be sure to offer them a card or piece of paper with a URL that directs to where they can leave a review. If they used their real name on Google Plus to provide the review, you can offer a discount for them the next time they visit your establishment in exchange for their feedback. This way, reviews come from the actual user and not from a central location, meaning that the likelihood of them remaining on the Local Reviews section is much greater.
While the changes will certainly limit some aspects of genuine reviews, the main problems will be for those who continuously spam false reviews about their businesses. As shown above, there are ways in which you can get around this so that your genuine customers can still let their friends and neighbours know about the great experience they had with your establishment.