Buying Reviews: 5 Reasons that it’s not a wise decision
In today’s world, there’s no need to elaborate on how important it is to have a good amount of reviews on your website/page. No matter how much effort you put into your business and service process, customers will judge you based on the reviews you have on your website. A local consumer survey, conducted by BrightLocal, revealed that 97% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing. Today’s customer trusts another customer’s word more than anything. Also, it has a significant impact on Local SEO Ranking. That’s why nowadays, businesses are putting a massive effort into the improvement of their online review portals than others in the competition. And to win this race, many of them take shortcuts, what’s called “Buying Google Reviews.” But will it be a wise step to take?
“Buying Google Reviews” - What does it mean?
At first, let’s know about what is “Buying Reviews” actually means. Well, it’s not a hard nut to crack. It’s more like manipulating a business’s website/page with fake reviews that aren’t written by actual customers.
Sometimes businesses get desperate to get more positive reviews for exposure or for reducing the ratio of negative reviews on their website. And how they do that?
- They use third-party websites to write reviews on the site.
- They use Freelancers and pay them to write fake reviews.
- They offer customers incentives such as discounts, coupons, etc. so that they only provide positive feedbacks.
They try to make a review portal with feedbacks that may not be even true and manipulates both Google and their customers to build a reputation. Sometimes they also seek to remove bad reviews to maintain their status, which is highly unethical and misleading.
As I have already said earlier, reviews work as a bridge of trust between you and your customers. So, when you try to gain that in a corrupt way, it won’t be advantageous in the long run. Wondering why? Let’s figure out the five reasons why you shouldn’t buy!
Buying reviews is NOT LEGAL.
Google strictly prohibits this kind of activity in its policy. Google only encourages reviews that are given by actual customers that reflect their genuine opinion. You may enjoy more traffic and higher ranking in Google for some time, but if Google catches you (eventually that’ll happen), you’ll get penalized or worse; your website will be taken down due to violating terms & conditions.
Even in many countries, it is restricted to use fake reviews, and if someone disobeys the rule, it’ll be taken as the breach of Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. The culprit has to face legal punishments.
You’ll lose your SEO ranking.
You won’t be able to go far the fake and manipulative reviews. Because Google continually changes and improves its algorithms such as Panda and Penguin, to find decisive acts like these. And because of those changes, many businesses had lost its ranking and never been able to come back. So, when you buy or manipulate reviews, you put your whole business at tremendous risk. Google will eventually remove those reviews, and your SEO ranking will get hurt. And I guess there’s no need to explain how much it is essential and beneficial for you to rank on Google. So, if you lose it once, you may suffer forever.
You won’t be able to detect CUSTOMER INSIGHTS.
Original Customer Reviews don’t only help you to gain trust among the customers; it also helps you to learn “Customer Insights. It tells you what your customers are thinking about your business and service, what are the complaints of your customers and is there any to improve yourself. And by “Buying Google Reviews,” those things will remain unknown to you. Because those problems may occur repeatedly, but you won’t be able to detect them, let alone solve them. It’ll also hurt your customer relationship or engagement. As a result, no matter how many good reviews you have on your website, you’ll eventually lose your customer following because they’re not satisfied, and you didn’t care to hear them. And your business will be doomed.
Too many positive reviews are SUSPICIOUS rather than CONVINCING.
It’s not favorable to have an overall positive review on your website. Because it seems suspicious, no business can claim that all of its customers had 100% satisfaction from them. And if any of them do, that’s means something is not right. You won’t be able to pursue your customers to visit and buy more from your website. Instead, they’ll ignore you and will never come back.
Yes, customers look for positive reviews, but they also read negative reviews because they want to know what risks they’re going to take. And having negative reviews doesn’t mean you won’t get much traffic on your website. A survey by Capterra showed that 52% of consumers trust a product more if it has negative reviews as well. All you have to do is keep up a ratio of good and bad so that your customers can compare you and choose you.
Once you lose the trust, you lose EVERYTHING.
Nowadays, it’s not easy to manipulate customers. The more businesses invent new ways to pursue customers, the more they get skeptical. And customers know that they’ll somehow get manipulated by your tricks, but still, they trust you. And the trust grows based on how much authenticity you’re showing them despite your tricks. And reviews are the central pillar of it. But if they get to know that you’re frequently deceiving them, giving them false information by faking reviews, that’ll be a disaster for you because the equation is simple. You lose trust; you lose everything. And retargeting them becomes next to impossible. All you’ve acquired will vanish!
Honesty is the best policy!
The truth is, there’s no need to get reviews by buying or faking them. They’ll come to you automatically. You have to work hard and be patient. Analyze why you have negative reviews, try to observe and know your customers intimately, compare the solutions, and apply them. Yes, it may take a lot of time and at first, and you may lag than others. But trust me, if you can show customers how much you care about them and honest you’re, then you don’t have to crave for the reviews, your customers will happily provide those.