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With the spread of Internet-enabled smartphones, many people are starting to make purchase decisions based on reviews. Consumers have several different ways to share an experience with other people by using services like Yelp and Google+ Local.
It can be tempting for a business to add manipulative reviews to Google+ Local or Yelp. While this may work for a short time, it can have detrimental effects.
Many consumers can identify when a review is spam. In many cases, spam-based reviews will be vague or overly positive. In addition, some of them may read like an advertisement for a certain product or service. One of the largest problems with fake reviews is that they can devalue legitimate ones. How? Positive reviews found with review spam may also be considered spam by a third party even if the positive review is genuine.
Google is actively pursuing different ways to eliminate review spam. For example, geolocation tools are used to determine where a Google+ Local review was submitted. If a business receives dozens of positive reviews from outside its geographic area, this may indicate that the reviews are spam.
Google also uses profiling to identify review spam. A very positive review from an account with no previous activity may indicate that the review was posted by a shill.
Small Business Search Engine Marketing and NGS Marketing have excellent guides on identifying and understanding review spam. In addition, both articles discuss how Google and Bing penalize websites that use review spam. So, while auto accident attorneys in Lee’s Summit can benefit from positive reviews, it’s important to make sure that they can obtain them through a legitimate source.
Google+ Local, Yelp and Foursquare allow individuals to share reviews with friends, family members and strangers. By maintaining a positive online presence, it’s possible to improve consumer brand perception and increase conversion rates for new clients.