6 Reasons Why Buying Google Reviews Hurts Your Business
As a business owner, you know online reviews are important for your reputation and SEO.
So it's no surprise that many business owners buy Google reviews to boost their business.
But you must realize that buying Google reviews can hurt your business.
Even though there are companies like Biz Boost Up where you can buy reviews for Google, Yelp, and Amazon, you should never buy reviews.
Here are six reasons why Buying Google reviews can hurt your business.
#1. It's against Google's policy to buy reviews
While boosting your business by purchasing reviews may be tempting, it is essential to remember that this violates Google's policies.
Google's policies are clear.
Reviews are automatically processed to detect inappropriate content like fake reviews and spam. They can take down reviews flagged to comply with Google policies or legal obligations.
Businesses are not allowed to buy reviews to improve their ratings.
Google is the world's largest and most used search engine and takes its role as the world's largest search engine very seriously.
It has strict policies in place to ensure that businesses are not able to game the system.
However, some companies still try, hoping to get away with it.
If caught buying reviews, your business could be subject to severe penalties, including being banned from Google altogether.
And even you can avoid being caught by Google, and there's a good chance that customers will be able to tell that the reviews are fake.
And when customers realize that they've been misled, it can damage your company's reputation and cost you customers and money.
So while buying reviews might seem like a shortcut to improving your business's ratings, it's ultimately a counterproductive and precarious strategy.
#2. It can ruin your reputation and make customers doubt your legitimacy
Your reputation is one of your most valuable business assets.
It keeps your customers coming back and is one of the things that drew them to you in the first place.
But a bad reputation can single-handedly ruin your business, and it's not always easy to come back from.
Your reputation is the collective opinion of others about you. It encompasses everything from your integrity to your professional achievements.
Customer reviews are one of the most powerful tools for managing your reputation and keeping your business on track.
Credibility is another crucial factor in reputation.
Credibility refers to how much others trust and believe in you.
When you have credibility, people are likelier to listen to you and take you seriously.
Unfortunately, like reputation, credibility is also fragile. Once it's lost, it cannot be easy to regain.
Getting caught buying Google reviews will damage your credibility and reputation and make customers doubt your legitimacy.
Not only that, but it can also lead to Google penalizing your website.
Your website will be buried in the search results, making it difficult or impossible for potential customers to find you.
In addition, if you're caught buying reviews, customers will likely leave negative reviews of your business if they find out, further damaging your reputation.
Your reputation is one of your most important assets and can take years to build.
Once your reputation is damaged, it can be challenging to repair.
#3. You might be penalized by Google for violating its policies
If you violate Google's policy, you may be penalized.
Violating Google's policies could mean lower search engine rankings, your accounts can be suspended, or you can be banned from Google altogether.
You could violate Google's policies by buying links, keyword stuffing, and paying for reviews.
If you're unsure whether you're violating any of Google's rules, it's always best to err on the side of caution and seek help from an SEO company.
Breaking Google's policies can have serious consequences for your business, so it's always better to be safe than sorry.
#4. Paid reviews are often evident and fake, which can hurt your business more than if you had no reviews at all
As any business owner knows, online reviews can make or break a company.
Good reviews can attract new customers and boost sales, while bad reviews can deter potential customers and lead to a decline in business.
However, some companies pay for fake reviews to game the system.
Unfortunately, these paid reviews are often evident and fake, hurting your business more than if you had no reviews.
Paid reviews often lack genuine detail and personal touch, making them easy to spot.
In addition, many review sites are now cracking down on paid reviews, and businesses that engage in this practice can be penalized.
As a result, it's best to avoid paid reviews altogether and focus on earning genuine reviews from happy customers.
#5. It is Illegal to buy Google reviews
Buying Google reviews is illegal.
In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave hundreds of companies notices about fake reviews.
The FTC took action because the companies were deceiving consumers by misrepresenting their products.
If you're caught buying reviews, you could face fines of up to $$46,517 per violation from the FTC.
So while buying Google reviews might seem like a shortcut to improving your business's ratings, it is illegal.
#6. Google Will Know if You Pay For Reviews
Google will know if you pay for reviews.
How will they know?
Because they track everything.
Google knows your browsing history, videos you watch, purchasing history, location history, online searches, and more.
Everything that you have "connected" to Google is Google is collecting information.
For example, they know that if a user leaves a review, they likely visited that location, spent some time on the business website, or even called the business.
Suppose they see a review for a business in Annapolis from a person in Bangladesh who has never been to Annapolis or visited the website. They may flag the review along with the user account in that case.
Do you want to take that chance?
Final Thoughts: Buying Google Reviews
If you're tempted to buy reviews, don't.
It's best to avoid buying reviews because they are not worth it.
Not only does it go against Google's policies, but you will get penalized by Google when you get caught, and you'll ruin your reputation and credibility.
Plus, it's illegal, and you can face hefty fines from the Federal Trade Commission.
And if that's not incentive enough, think about the money you'll be wasting on a spammy tactic that will not work.
As a result, purchasing reviews for your business is not worth the risk.
It's better to focus on providing outstanding service and letting satisfied customers provide honest feedback that will help you improve your ranking correctly.
P.S. If your website is not ranking in Google, get this Free mini SEO audit and see what's stopping your website from ranking higher in the search engines.
About the author
Kester is the Director of SEO at Bowie SEO. He has been doing SEO and digital marketing for more than 4 years. When not engulfed in SEO or building websites, you can find him with his family, riding his bike, or relaxing in front of his aquarium.