This article discusses the consequences of falsifying positive reviews online. Read on to learn more about the damage fake reviews can do to your business. 

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According to multiple studies, over 90% of internet users turn to online reviews to make purchasing decisions. Your online reputation directly influences what prospective clients or patients think of you and is a deciding factor in if they will pursue your services or not. It is guaranteed that most new clients or patients you acquire have researched how others felt about your services online. 

 Nurturing your business's online reputation can be extremely daunting. Maybe you feel uncomfortable asking your client or patients for reviews or have found that the number of reviews you receive does not increase even if you do ask. Or perhaps you have received many negative reviews and hope to combat the fall in your rating with positive feedback. These scenarios can be highly frustrating, and many business owners often opt to purchase positive reviews from third parties or even create their own! You may be wondering, is buying fake reviews such a bad thing?--- The answer is ABSOLUTELY. Read on to learn why you should not use fake reviews online!

1) Business Listing Removed from Google 

Online reputation is crucial to success in most businesses, especially if it provides services. However, falsifying reviews, particularly on Google, is a one-way ticket to losing credibility and revenue. Google clearly states that purchasing falsified reviews is against their guidelines. Their proprietary software immediately vets each review submitted to google. If Google finds a business guilty of falsifying reviews, they can and often deplat-form that company's entire google business profile listing. 

2) Loss of Consumer Trust

Consumers and clients can often tell when a business has posted fake reviews. If they suspect a business of not having legitimate reviews, they likely will not go to that company for any services or products, and they will tell their friends and family to do the same. False reviews also hurt your company's ability to improve the quality of its products and services. Feedback is crucial to success, and Review Gating is a sure-fire way to hinder progress and success. 

3) Face Fines from the Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission can fine companies for fake reviews. Buying reviews is unethical and stifles your company's ability to learn from feedback and improve. Your SEO will be damaged if google catches onto the reputation fraud, but it can still be so much worse. The FTC fined multiple online sellers in 2019 for purchasing falsified reviews on amazon. Many of those fines were upwards of 5 million dollars!

Getting reviews is crucial for improving your SEO, gaining trust from potential consumers or clients, and understanding how well your product or service is performing in the marketplace. Companies purchase reviews because attaining them can be extremely challenging and time-consuming. Instead of buying false reviews, look into reputation management services for your industry. 

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