If you are working on your online reputation, it may be tempting to post your own positive reviews to tip the scales in your favor. No matter how much you really want to do this—do not do it!
Review Sites Will Figure It Out
When you create an account for a review site, in most, if not all cases, your IP address will be logged. They will be able to tell the accounts were created from the same computer.
Not only that, but you will also have to have a new email address for each account. You will have to take the time to create false identities for each of the profiles on each of the review sites.
For each profile to look authentic, it must:
- Contain a photo of the reviewer
- Have multiple reviews.
- Have a mix of positive and negative reviews.
You’re essentially wasting valuable time that could be spent in other ways helping your business!
If a review site figures out you are creating false accounts to boost your own reviews, they will not be happy. The accounts will be banned, and you’ll end up doing more damage to your online reputation.
Customers Will Figure It Out
When you have a bunch of half completed profiles and reviews from people who’ve only left a single review for your restaurant, it will become more obvious that the reviews are fake.
When customers doubt the validity of your reviews, they won’t trust you as a company. Writing your own positive reviews for your place of business ends up doing more damage to your credibility and thus your online reputation than it does good.
How to Spot a Fake Review Online
Doing it the Right Way
If you are worried about the impact negative reviews are making on your online reputation, or if you are worried about what the lack of reviews is doing, take real action. Real results take time—and you can’t fake your way to the top.
- Offer customers who post a review (positive or negative) a discount. You don’t want to buy positive reviews.
- Claim your business listing on each of the review sites. Use it to diplomatically reply to each comment, particularly the negative ones, to show customers you care, and you are paying attention.
- Let customers know where you are online so you can communicate with them.
- Ask customers who connect with you on social media to leave a review for you.
Hire an ORM Company
While you can do a lot of this work on your own, it can be time consuming.
If you are still struggling with negative reviews and seeing it impact your online reputation, reach out to a professional online reputation management (ORM) company for help. They can help you learn how to manage the reviews the right way. They can also help shift the negative results further down in the search engine results so they are much less likely to be seen.
It is completely legal, and fair. ORM companies don’t force anyone to delete any negative comments. They don’t force anyone to edit their reviews of your company. Instead, they focus on:
- Developing new, search engine optimized content that sheds your company in a positive light.
- Press releases and other content the search engines love that will naturally get picked up and spread far and wide.
- Pushing the negative results so far down in the search engines no one will see them.
Did you know that most people who search for a product or service online will not go beyond the end of the second page of results? As long as the results on the first few pages are positive, you are much less likely to see a negative impact on your reputation.