Late last month, fresh York Attorney General’s office announced the findings of investigation it conducted into the business of creating fallacious online reviews for various businesses. Although it is not a ubiquitous practice for Internet marketing firms, some companies did perform these tasks. google review posting service
Attorney General Eric G. Schneiderman confirmed that 19 enterprises signed agreements to refrain from posting fake online reviews and paid fines ranging from $2,500 to as high as $100,000. Essentially, the objective of the fake online reviews, mostly on Yelp, Google and Yahoo, is to raise the company’s awareness, improve its appearance and even increase revenues.
“What we’ve found is even worse than old-fashioned false advertising,” said the York attorney general in the statement. “When you examine a billboard, you can identify it’s a paid advertisement – but on Yelp or Citysearch, you assume you’re reading authentic consumer opinions, making this practice even more deceiving. This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that need to approach online reviews with caution.”
What New York State investigators also found was that companies reached to be able to seasoned Yelp users and attempted to remunerate them with gift certificates some other types of offers in order to get them to post positive reviews. If that failed then they used freelance websites such as Craig’s List, oDesk.com and Freelancer.com to find writers and paid them between $1 and $10 for reviews.
Schneiderman also cited a 2011 Harvard Business School study, which examined Yelp reviews that were listed as fraudulent by the enterprise. Its four primary findings were chain restaurants were less likely to participate within scheme, restaurants with intense competition were more likely to write fake reviews in addition to competitors, restaurants with bad reviews or little reviews were more likely to take part in fake reviews and 16 percent of restaurant reviews called fake were quite likely going to leave extremely positive or extremely negative reviews than regular reviews.
The Internet marketing, or search engine optimization, industry pretty competitive and businesses try to innovate their products and services as much as they can to attract more clients. Essentially, it is suggested that clients looking to hire an online marketing firm must perform their due diligence and do many of these research on the organization.
In the end, as any Internet marketing or SEO professional will say, it will take time to display on the first page of Google, increase PageRank and develop domain authority. The most beneficial practice is adhere to the guidelines posted by search engines, review websites and other Internet venues. Indeed, there is certainly a difference between sending out a press release and falsifying reviews.
Furthermore, it appears that law enforcement is continuing its efforts in catching companies offering products and services. Schneiderman confirmed it will still try to cease business from lying to customers.