Ever thought of writing your own review on Yelp or Google My Business Account? Tempted to hire a company to write those reviews for you at an affordable price? Saw a good deal that promises to get you 1000+ followers in 24 hours? No one will know the difference, right? Not exactly!

Those most tempted to use or compose fake online reviews are businesses that are just starting to see their online presence rise. Their priorities are focused on building a fan-base and publishing reviews with the intent on enticing customers to work with them. They fail to realize that such activity takes time and attention to do.

Here are 5 ways fake online reviews could hurt your Online Brand in the long run:

1. It Is Unethical and Illegal

Every review site that allows users to post reviews has terms and agreements that everyone must follow. If you violate them, you open yourself up to potential litigation or penalties of some sort. Recently, The Link Corporation, was being attacked on Yelp by anonymous negative reviews. When the reviews had gotten out of hand, The Link Corporation decided to take the reviewers to court. The applicant alleges that the Yelp reviews caused the company harm, which it is now seeking damages for.

2. It Is Too Good to Be True

Consumers prefer to deal with businesses that are honest, professional and authentic. They seek accurate and detailed information. If your profiles only showcase five-star reviews – and nothing less – you risk looking too perfect or inauthentic. And remember: no one is perfect.

3. Your True Colours Will Eventually Show

Let’s say that a consumer buys into what your reviews are saying and come and visit your showroom or restaurant. What happens then? They’ll eventually discover that the products or services are not what were described in the review. What we are saying is that you should listen to real customer feedback and incorporate it into your professional development instead of masking your talents or lack thereof.

4. Regulars Are Cracking Down On Negative Feedback

Last year, New York cracked down on deceptive reviews and slapped a total of $350,000 in penalties on those who bought fake reviews. You can be sure that these efforts will be ramped up to combat the growing fake reviews problem. Other states and Canadian provinces are planning to follow suit.

5. Your Local Search Performance Will Suffer

If your reviews have been determined as fake, they’ll probably be deleted. Your local search performance and online visibility will subsequently suffer, and you’ll lose valuable opportunities to connect with potential new customers.

About iRISEmedia

iRISEmedia.com is a Toronto digital marketing agency providing Social Media Marketing, SEO, PPC and online branding services in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.