Consumers often use sites like Yelp to help them make decisions, so having positive reviews of your business online is increasingly important.
If you can ask your customers to post reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google, it can make a big difference in how many new customers will pay you a visit.
Because of that, many companies attempt to post fake reviews in an effort to make themselves appear better than they actually are. While that has always been frowned upon, it’s now leading to legal action in a few cases.
Yelp sues a law firm for fake reviews
In the first case, Yelp is suing McMillan Group for posting fake reviews. Regardless of whether or not it’s a crime worthy of a lawsuit (rather than just banning them from the site), it’s certainly making McMillian look quite bad.
Edmunds goes after Humankind Design
A Texas-based marketing firm created more than 2,000 fake accounts on Edmunds.com, and Edmunds has reached a settlement with them. Humankind Design is now banned from Edmunds and is paying a portion of Edmunds’ legal fees from the case.
Fake reviews cause long-term pain
While we can certainly understand the appeal of wanting fake reviews to get things rolling, it’ll only hurt more in the long run. If a company offers to provide you with a bunch of fake high-quality reviews for your business, it will only hurt you.
Similarly, if you see a deal to get 10,000 backlinks to your site for $99, it’s only going to hurt.
Ultimately, any shortcuts you take now (which may help for a little while) will cause major problems down the road. You don’t need 50 glowing reviews immediately; one or two a week is plenty.
Three things to look for instead of fake reviews
You should constantly be looking for three things for your business:
1. Real, quality online reviews
Promote Yelp to your customers, ask for reviews on your website, and just keep a slow and steady stream of them coming in.
2. Inbound links
Finding places to gain quality links for your site is tough, so be on the lookout for them constantly. Look for places where you’re a member (such as a Chamber of Commerce), awards you win, companies you collaborate with, etc. Picking up a link or two per week will add up over the course of time.
3. New content
We have hundreds of blog posts on here, which may seem overwhelming, but they’ve been added at the pace of one or two per week for years.
No single post on the site brings in a ton of traffic, but collectively they help drive thousands of readers to us each month. Create new content regularly and the results will add up over time.