You may feel upset when you see a good amount of ratings and reviews on your competitor’s website, which your website doesn’t have. Because of that, you observe that the consumer following of that business keeps growing more than yours. You may start thinking desperately about how to beat your competitor and get more reviews than that. Well, there are plenty of methods to do that. But if you’re thinking of faking your online reviews to get more attention and traffic, you must consider it again! Because it comes with consequences that’ll taste mostly bitter than sweet!
Why Businesses fake their reviews?
Businesses compete with each other on almost everything. Whenever they see an opportunity, it becomes a race for them to win. Reviews are not exceptions to that. We’ve already shown above the scenario of how reviews can make businesses competing with each other, and it one of the most common causes.
There’s no need to explain how useful reviews are. Sometimes these are more effective than other promotional activities. Because reviews can build trust and reliability between a business and its consumers, which no other tool can really do. That’s why companies are getting desperate to get this advantage. And this mentality sometimes leads some of them to fake their reviews!
This tendency is mostly seen in small and new businesses. They feel insecure by others in the competition and tend to fake their own reviews to look good and increase the ratings. They do this by themselves or using third-party websites, freelancers, etc. But that doesn’t result in any good for them. And you may wonder why that so?
« It’s against the policies of review sites.
Google strictly prohibits the act of reviewing your site. It has a specific law against this kind of activity, and whoever tries to break this rule will face inevitable consequences. That website may get penalize and may lose its Local SEO ranking! Other review sites, such as Facebook, Yelp, etc. also have similar rules against this kind of activity.
« You may face legal consequences.
Authentic reviews are the right of the consumers, and if someone tries to fake it, it violates their right to have accurate information, which is strictly illegal in many countries. Believe it or not, businesses actually face legal consequences that pretend to be consumers as an attempt to manipulate and falsify consumer’s perception. The FTC or similar government institutions govern this kind of action and implies necessary punishments. Believe it or not, businesses actually faces legal consequences that pretend to be consumers as an attempt to distort perceptions of customer satisfaction.
« Your reputation gets damaged.
Faking your reviews means you’re breaking the trust of your customers and pretending to be something that you’re not. It will severely affect your business once you get caught; also, your whole reputation management will get destroyed. You’ll surely become the talk of the town but negatively. People will refer your business to others to ignore not to engage with. And it’ll become next to impossible for you to retargeting your customers again because you have already shown the deceiving side of yours to them.
« You’ll lose your competitive advantage.
Getting a competitive advantage in the marketplace is one of the biggest reasons for faking online reviews. But it’s not the right way at all. You may enjoy getting ahead of others for a short time by faking reviews, but ultimately, you’ll lose the race. In fact, you’ll then be giving your competitors a chance to catch your consumers and increase their business following. Because when you get caught, your customers will start to find an alternative to you, and eventually, they’ll be fished by your competitors. They may even use you as an example of fraud and advertise themselves as a trustworthy one! That’s why think before you do anything like that.
« “Too good to be true”- is not the desired image.
You’ve to understand that consumers don’t want a perfect business with overall complete reviews and ratings. A survey by Womply on the impact of reviews for small businesses showed that companies that have ratings of 3.5 to 4.5 stars earn more than any other rating. (Source: https://www.reviewtrackers.com/blog/5-star-rating/) That means it’s entirely unreasonable for fake reviews to look too good. The more you try to be flawless, the less you’ll attract them because it’s not that hard to tell if a website is producing fake reviews. Customers will figure out if your service doesn’t match the reviews on your site anyway. You can’t deceive them forever!
« It’ll get removed anyway.
Your fake reviews won’t stay on your website forever. Those will get scanned and filtered, and once you get caught, your reviews will get removed by Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other websites like these. Google continually changes its algorithm for detecting this kind of activity by businesses. So, no matter how smartly you try to fool Google, you’ll get spotted, your reviews will get removed, and all of your efforts will become meaningless.
The goal is to earn trust not to deceive!
Claiming to be something that you’re not will never result in something good. And you don’t even have to do that because there’s already plenty of options for you to get reviews without faking it. Those techniques may take time, but one thing is for sure that the results will be long-lasting. Even though fake reviews will boost your revenues, you can end up paying for more significant losses in penalties once you get caught and suffer tremendously. So it’s better not to put everything at stake by finding shortcuts. Be real, work hard, and reviews will come to you even before asking for it.