Why You Should Not Fake Your Google Business Profile’s Customer Reviews

I. Introduction


Google remains the leading search engine worldwide, with 85.83% of the global market share for years, given there is a lot of information that people can acquire through research and the ability to shop online. Due to Google’s widely used, businesses can also connect, interact and communicate with their target audience about the products or services.


Google Business Profile (GBP), previously known as Google My Business (GMB), is a free tool provided by Google to help companies manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps. GBP allows businesses to create and update their information, making it easier for potential customers to find and connect with them.


Customer reviews and ratings are one of the notable features of GMB because customers can share their experience regarding the products or services they avail, which hold significant influence over potential buyers, making it essential for businesses to maintain authenticity in their review ecosystem.


II. Importance Of Authenticity


Review authenticity is an essential aspect of customer feedback and plays a crucial role in shaping the perception of a business. When reviews are authentic, they accurately reflect the genuine experiences and opinions of real customers. Below are the reasons why you should have authentic customer reviews:


3 Reasons Why Have Authentic Customer Reviews


1. Build Trust With Customers


Potential customers rely on reviews to decide whether to engage with a particular company or purchase its products/services. When they see authentic reviews from genuine customers, they are more likely to trust the validity and accuracy of the feedback, which helps them feel confident about their choices.


Fake reviews, on the other hand, erode trust and credibility. Once customers discover that reviews are manipulated, they may become skeptical of all reviews associated with the business. This skepticism can lead to a loss of potential customers who were considering making a purchase.


2. Positive Word-Of-Mouth Referrals


Authentic customer reviews often result in positive word-of-mouth referrals. Satisfied customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends, family, and colleagues. These personal recommendations carry significant weight and can influence potential customers to choose your business over competitors.


In contrast, fake reviews can harm word-of-mouth referrals. Customers may warn others against when they have engaged in dishonest business if they have discovered false reviews. This negative word-of-mouth can spread rapidly and have a detrimental impact on the company’s reputation.


3. Repeat Business And Customer Loyalty


Authentic customer reviews contribute to building customer loyalty and encouraging repeat business. When customers have positive experiences and leave honest feedback, the company showcases that it values its customers because they are dedicated to offering exceptional service. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat buyers, increasing customer retention and loyalty.


III. 3 Ethical Considerations Before Faking Customer Reviews


Even though you might think fake reviews are not a big deal, they harm trust, mislead customers, damage reputation, and violate fairness. If you are thinking about faking customer reviews, better dismiss that thought and take note of the ethical considerations below:


3 Ethical Considerations Before Faking Customer Reviews


1. Deceive Potential Customers


Faking customer reviews on your Google Business profile is a deceptive practice that can mislead potential customers. When you present false feedback, you essentially provide an inaccurate representation of your products or services. This deception can lead customers to purchase based on wrong information, ultimately causing dissatisfaction and eroding trust in your business.


2. Violate Google’s Policies


Creating fake reviews violates Google’s strict policies regarding the use of their platform. Google aims to provide users with accurate and reliable information, but faux reviews undermine this objective. Violating Google’s policies can result in severe consequences, including the removal of your business listing from Google Maps and search results.


READ MORE: Google Store Review Guidelines



You risk losing your Google Business listing and facing legal consequences if you manipulate customer reviews. Depending on your jurisdiction, fake reviews could be considered fraud or deceptive marketing tactics, exposing your company to serious legal action and huge fines.


Speaking of legal consequences, Google filed a lawsuit against individuals and entities engaged in creating fraudulent business profiles and posting fake reviews on its platform, as reported by Search Engine Roundtable. The case highlights the severity with which Google is addressing this issue and reflects the increasing scrutiny and enforcement surrounding fake reviews.


DISCOVER: Google’s Public Policy: We’re Taking Legal Action To Stop Fake Review Scams


Google is actively working to identify and penalize businesses that resort to fraudulent tactics, and this legal action serves as a warning to others engaged in similar activities.


IV. Negative Impacts Of Fake Reviews


Like the old saying, “You reap what you sow,” faking customer reviews comes with awful consequences. If caught red-handed by search engines and potential customers, you can expect the following negative impacts to happen to your business.


Negative Impacts of Fake Reviews


1. Undermine Competition


Faking customer reviews to boost ratings and search engine rankings artificially undermines fair competition. Legitimate businesses that provide high-quality products and services may lose out to dishonest competitors who use fake reviews to deceive potential customers. It creates an unfair advantage for those engaging in unethical practices and disrupts the level playing field for businesses striving to succeed based on merit.


Fake Reviews
Image Source: Search Engine Roundtable


2. The Decline In Customer Satisfaction


Customer satisfaction may fall as a result of fake reviews. Customers risk receiving goods or services that fall short of expectations when they base their purchasing decisions on false customer reviews. This mismatch between expectations and reality may cause customers to become dissatisfied and file complaints.


V. What Are Google’s Solutions To Combat Fake Customer Reviews?


Due to the recent case of fake reviews, Google has updated its Product Ratings policies and mentioned that it will mark AI-generated customer reviews as spam. In addition, Google added a new feature called customer support on their GBP to improve customers’ trust.


The purpose of the customer support feature is to encourage potential customers to reach out if they have any concerns about the products or services without leaving the business’s GBP.


READ MORE: GBP’s Customer Support Guide


VI. 3 Alternatives to Fake Reviews


Rather than doing deceptive acts like faking reviews, better implement an effective local SEO strategy. Writing blog articles or copies with geographic tags, such as “in the Philippines”, helps increase your brand’s exposure on local search results.


Nevertheless, below are some alternative ways to fake customer reviews that can help maintain and improve your online reputation:


3 Alternatives To Fake Reviews


1. Encourage Genuine Customer Feedback


The best time to encourage customers to leave feedback is after you have completed their concerns and provided an excellent customer service experience. Satisfied customers will be more than happy to let everyone know good your products or services are without sugar-coated words.


2. Provide Incentives For Authentic Feedback


Giving incentives for user feedback can also help improve your online reputation since customers will have something in return. You can offer a discount on their next purchase when they leave a customer review about their experience with your business’s GBP.


3. Address Negative Reviews Effectively


Instead of posting fake customer reviews, consider addressing negative reviews of your past customers. Guarantee that your response should be polite, professional and provide a possible solution to their concerns.


Your response to negative reviews will highlight that you value the customers’ feedback about your products and services. Potential customers who will view and read your answer will most likely see your business in a positive light.


VII. Conclusion


Faking your Google Business profile’s customer reviews is a practice that should be avoided at all costs. While it may seem like a quick and easy way to enhance your business’s reputation, the negative consequences far outweigh any potential short-term benefits.


Trust is the foundation of any successful business, and faking reviews erodes that trust, leading to a negative reputation, loss of customer relationships, and potential legal consequences.


Instead of using dishonest methods, concentrate on offering superior goods and services while properly using local SEO strategies. By doing this, you should eventually be able to raise your company’s local search ranking and draw in more clients.


ALSO READ: Is Doing Local SEO Worth It?


Contact OOm, the leading local SEO company in the Philippines, at +639173262104 or leave a message on our website if you need help improving your local SEO campaigns!