Should you buy Google reviews?
When trying to establish your company’s online reputation, it can be tempting to take shortcuts such as buying Google reviews, particularly for businesses that have received negative reviews and low ratings.
Buying fake reviews on Google and other major business review platforms is often seen as an easy and cost-effective solution to create a flow of positive reviews that can help suppress negative feedback and improve online sarch results. As a result, there is a growing market for businesses looking to “buy Google reviews,” which are typically posted under anonymous usernames by individuals who may not even be genuine customers. The popularity of Google reviews among consumers has led to high demand for them.
This is especially evident when you consider the importance of reviews, as 98% of consumers read reviews for local businesses.
What does it mean to buy Google reviews?
If you search for “buy Google reviews” on search engines, you will come across numerous service providers offering “5-star review services” and guaranteeing “quality work” with profiles fully completed and attached with real photos. These providers claim that their methods are “100% safe” and that the fake reviews they provide are permanent and will not be deleted.
To purchase Google reviews, you simply select a provider or supplier, add their service to your online shopping cart, provide information about your Google My Business listings, and done! You can easily acquire Google reviews with positive feedback and great ratings, for as low as a couple of dollars per review. A lot of the companies will even let you choose what country you buy the Google reviews from, and claim they have real people from USA, UK, CA, EU, and more.
Should you buy reviews?
If you are considering buying Google reviews as a part of your online review management strategy, it is essential to weigh the potential risks and consequences. While it may seem like a cost-effective and efficient way to boost your company’s visibility in relevant search results, it can ultimately cause more harm than good.
Why is that you may ask yourself? Well here are a few reasons:
It is against Google’s Guidelines
Google’s guidelines clearly state that review content should accurately reflect a customer’s actual experience at a business location. Posting content with the sole purpose of manipulating a place’s ratings is prohibited, and fake or duplicated content is not allowed.
In contrast to platforms like Yelp, which issue consumer alerts for businesses with fake reviews, Google has the authority to remove the entire listing of a business that violates their review policy. This means that using fake reviews to increase visibility may ultimately result in your business getting taken down from Google altogether (which is a lot more harmful than just having a low rating and poor reviews in the first place).
Your Local SEO can suffer
Reviews and search engine optimization (SEO) are a potent duo when it comes to enhancing a business’ online brand presence. That is why Google reviews have become a crucial component of many companies’ local SEO tactics.
However, if you purchase Google reviews to boost your rankings in local search results, all of your hard work can go to waste if/when Google discover your reviews are purchased and penalize you.
Most consumers can tell when reviews are fake
Regardless of where you buy your Google reviews from, it is very likely that some of the online reviews you receive will be so blatantly fake that they will fail to enhance your company’s reputation. Consumers are generally aware of this practice, and can often spot a fake review from a mile away.
Moreover, if your company purchases Google reviews, you will miss out on valuable and authentic feedback, which is crucial for making improvements to your business. Additionally, you may overlook real customer experience issues or problems that require your team’s attention, ultimately hurting the development of your brand
How to earn Google reviews the right way
Rather than purchasing Google reviews to enhance your company’s rankings and attract customers, it is significantly safer and will benefit you in the long run if you create efficient tactics for soliciting real reviews on Google from real customers.
This approach will yield long-term benefits for your business. Actively seeking feedback and acquiring Google reviews organically will also help establish stronger customer relationships and connect your business with the most important voices.
When coupled with a proactive approach to monitoring your local search ranking, you can gradually compete with and even surpass local rivals in search result visibility, which will ultimately bolster customer acquisition
Use Google’s native tools: Google Business Profile Marketing Kit
Google offer the Google Business Profile Marketing Kit, a very helpful website you can use to build out your marketing kit via stickers. These stickers enable your business to transform reviews and business information into customized marketing materials, including social media posts, posters, stickers, QR codes, and more.
Use emails to request reviews from customers
Email requests are one of (if not the most) effective ways to get reviews from customers. Once a customer has had an interaction with your business (like made a purchase or spoke to support), it is a great time to reach out and ask for a review.
This can be done a number of different ways, but the most effective is usually via automation using dedicated review software. Bonus note – at Rate.Ink we use ReviewShield Technology to screen customer intent upfront, and prompt happy customers (likely to leave a 5-star review) to leave a Google review, while funneling unhappy customers to leave private feedback (so that you as a business can collect, respond, and action that feedback).
To maximize the chances of receiving reviews, it’s crucial to keep your review emails concise and straightforward. Additionally, streamline the process for your customers by minimizing the number of clicks required to leave a review. One way to simplify this process is by incorporating a Google reviews link, which directs users straight to your GMB listing where they can leave a review. This link can also be utilized across various platforms, including social media pages. Also note that customers may not leave a review on the first email they receive asking for a review, so it is important to follow up (all of which can be done automatically in Rate.Ink).
Summary: Buying reviews is not worth it
Based on all of the above risks, we do not recommend you try and purchase Google reviews for your business. Rather, it’s recommended that you focus on organic reviews by speaking to your customers directly. This way you can take the time to review both positive and negative feedback to identify areas for improvement and understand what it is you are doing that works. Additionally, learning how to respond to negative reviews can be beneficial in winning back dissatisfied customers. Companies that resort to buying Google reviews likely lack the skillset required to do so effectively.
The most crucial aspect is to focus on creating positive experiences for your customers that will leave them wanting to return to your business time and time again. This way you can effortlessly gather more and higher quality Google reviews for your business in the safest way which will lead to long-term success!