Let’s save everyone’s time here. There are none. No such thing as a shortcut to authenticity, plain and simple.
In all seriousness, it is understandable why a new company would resort to buying fake reviews for the sake of building their reputation. The more important good reviews are to the business model, the more tempting it is.
The thinking behind it goes something like this: “Potential players to our competition may google us and see no reviews – this may lead them to think we are a scam.”
Of all the reasons not to resort to the shady industry of fake reviews, here are the three most important ones:
Customers can see “fake”. Fake Review “providers” may promise all the authenticity in the world, but any customer, not to mention industry professionals can see the inconsistencies in the poorly written reviews. When the customer sees through the bluff, it is highly unlikely they will choose to part with their money with your competition.
It hurts your long-term chances to be discovered. Google has made it clear that review content should reflect a person’s genuine experience at a business location. Unlike a review site like Yelp, which slaps consumer alerts on businesses that buy or fake their reviews, Google can actually take down the listing of the violating business. This is a death sentence for any competition site.
It is illegal. Many countries around the world have strict laws against fake reviews or false customer testimonials. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) took action against a marketing agency writing fake reviews for its clients in an effort to get them to rank more highly in Google. UK companies are in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and may face civil or criminal proceedings. The US FTC executed “Operation Clean Turf” where caught and slapped hefty penalties on companies buying fake reviews as well as companies writing or creating fake reviews.
Garnering clients, providing quality services, waiting for them to positively review your business is a tedious task. It requires old-school patience and humility – all in the age when everyone is disrupting everything and has no patience whatsoever.
It is not impossible though – and it pays for itself soon enough. With analytics and software systems like the ones supplied by Tentacle Solutions, you can easily target satisfied users and encourage them to leave honest reviews. It solidifies your company’s reputation and builds genuine trust with your customers – nothing can be more authentic than that.
No such thing as a shortcut to authenticity, plain and simple.