Why You Must Not Involve Your Business in Fake Online Reviews


A report by Brightlocal Local Consumer Review Survey in 2020 revealed that 82% of all customers did a proper checking of reviews before trusting a local product or service. 

The report indicates that many consumers across the world rely heavily on reviews when making purchasing decisions, both physically and online. This means that in today’s digital age, online reviews play a crucial role in shaping a business’s reputation.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) said in a report that fake online reviews are so prevalent that they influence $791 billion of e-commerce spending annually in the United States alone. In Japan, it influences $6.4 billion, $5 billion in the United Kingdom, $2.3 billion in Canada, and in Australia, it influences $900 million.

Due to the popularity of online reviews, many businesses are now being tempted to engage in the practice of fake reviews to boost their ratings—an act that can spell doom for your business in the long run. 

Read Also: The Unexpected Benefits of Dealing with Angry Customers

How Fake Reviews Are Done 

Some business owners use deceptive means to generate fake online reviews, which are mostly  generated by bots or through “review farms” by hiring some people to write fictitious reviews so as to give false impressions about the business.

 This is the opposite of the consumer’s neutral and genuine opinions about the product or service of the business being reviewed. 

Many companies or business owners invest heavily in fake reviews with a view to attracting the confidence and loyalty of their customers. 

Fake reviews usually occur when unveiling a new product or service that has yet to be reviewed. They are desperate to make positive online reviews.

Here’s why you should steer clear of involving your business in online fake reviews:

1: Lack of credibility:

Out of the 10,000 global shoppers surveyed by BazaarVoice in 2022, almost all (97%) of the respondents noted that fake online reviews make them lose trust in a brand. 

Fake reviews can quickly erode the credibility of your business. Customers are becoming increasingly savvy at detecting fake reviews, and once they catch wind of dishonest practices, they are likely to lose trust in your products or services. 

Building a strong and reputable brand takes time and effort, and fake reviews can negate all the hard work you have put into establishing trust with your customers.

2. Damage to Reputation:

A single fake review can have a lasting impact on your business’s reputation. If customers discover that they have been buying fake products online through manipulation of reviews to deceive them, they are likely to share their negative experiences with others. 

This can lead to a domino effect of bad publicity that is challenging to recover from. It’s essential to prioritize integrity and transparency in your business practices to maintain a positive reputation in the eyes of your customers.

3. Legal Consequences:

Engaging in fake reviews can have legal repercussions for your business. In many jurisdictions, fake reviews are considered a form of false advertising and can lead to hefty fines and legal penalties. 

This trickery has become so popular in today’s keenly competitive cyberspace that business review sites like Facebook, Amazon Yelp, Google Yelp and even the America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have been  taking measures towards curbing the influx of fake reviews

It’s crucial to abide by ethical standards and comply with regulations to protect your business from facing costly legal consequences. It’s simply not worth the risk to engage in deceptive practices that can harm your business in the long term.

In 2022, a popular fashion organisation known as Nova was fined $4.2million by FTC for suppressing all bad reviews from customers. This serves as a warning to other brands against tampering with honest reviews by consumers. 

4. Loss of Customer Trust:

Customers value authenticity and honesty when making purchasing decisions. If they discover that your business has been engaging in fake reviews, they are likely to lose confidence in your brand.

 Trust is the foundation of a strong customer-business relationship, and once it is broken, it can be challenging to regain. It’s essential to prioritize genuine customer feedback and focus on delivering quality products and services that speak for themselves.

5. Negative Impact on SEO:

Search engines like Google are continually refining their algorithms to combat fake reviews and promote authentic content. Engaging in fake reviews can harm your business’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, leading to lower visibility and decreased organic traffic to your website.

It’s essential to focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your target audience and builds credibility with search engines to drive organic growth.

The Importance of Authenticity in Online Reviews:

Building Trust: Authenticity is key to building trust with your customers. Genuine reviews, whether positive or negative, signal to consumers that your business is transparent and values their feedback.

Improving Customer Relationships: Authentic reviews provide valuable insights into your customers’ experiences with your products or services. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and enhance the overall customer experience.

Boosting Search Engine Rankings: Search engines like Google prioritize authentic and high-quality content. By focusing on generating genuine reviews, you can improve your search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic to your website.

How to Encourage Genuine Reviews:

Provide Exceptional Customer Service: The best way to receive positive reviews is to provide excellent customer service. When customers have a positive experience with your business, they are more likely to share their feedback organically.

Ask for Feedback: Encourage customers to leave reviews by actively seeking feedback. Consider sending follow-up emails after a purchase or displaying review prompts on your website.

Incentivize Reviews: Offer incentives such as discounts or rewards for customers who leave genuine reviews. However, be sure to comply with platform guidelines and regulations to avoid any accusations of bribery.

Read Also: Consider These Key Factors before Patronising Any Loan App

My Final Take

In conclusion, the risks of involving your business in online fake reviews far outweigh any short-term benefits. It’s crucial to prioritize authenticity, transparency, and integrity in your business practices to build a strong and reputable brand. 

By focusing on delivering exceptional products and services that genuinely resonate with your customers, you can cultivate a positive reputation that stands the test of time. Remember, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to building a successful business.

Regulatory agencies across the globe should also emulate the FTC of the US by taking strict measures against fake online reviews. 

By following these guidelines and avoiding the temptation to take shortcuts, you can protect your business’s reputation and credibility in the long run. Remember, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to building a successful business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it tempting for businesses to create fake online reviews?

The allure of fake reviews lies in the potential for quick and easy credibility. Positive reviews can attract more customers and boost sales, making it an attractive option for businesses looking for a competitive edge. However, the short-term benefits of fake reviews are outweighed by the long-term risks.

How can fake reviews impact your business’s SEO?

Deceitful reviews, especially fake five star reviews can negatively impact your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google prioritize authentic and relevant content, and fake reviews are considered spammy and manipulative. Engaging in this practice can result in penalties that lower your website’s visibility in search results, ultimately hurting your online presence.

What are the ethical implications of using fake reviews?

Engaging in fake reviews goes against the principles of honesty, transparency, and integrity that consumers expect from businesses. It creates a culture of deceit and undermines the credibility of online review platforms. 

Businesses that resort to posting fake reviews are not only misleading consumers but are also disregarding ethical standards that are essential for building a sustainable and reputable brand.

What are some ethical ways to improve your online reputation?

Instead of resorting to fake reviews, focus on building genuine relationships with your customers. Encourage satisfied customers to leave honest feedback on review sites and social media platforms. The way you respond to all reviews should be professional and timely. 

By authentically engaging with your audience, you can cultivate a positive online reputation that resonates with consumers.

Can businesses recover from the damage caused by fake reviews?

The WEF report makes us know how customers are losing from fake reviews. It may be challenging for businesses to recover from the damage caused by fake reviews because it will be difficult for a customer to rebuild trust in a business that is known for fraudulent reviews. Therefore, transparency is key in building trust with consumers. 

However, admit to any wrongdoing and outline the steps you are taking to rectify the situation. By demonstrating a commitment to honesty and integrity, you can gradually regain the confidence of your audience.

Author: pqrmedia
I am a professional journalists with years of experience. My aim in life is to educate people through well researched contents

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *