If You Are Going to Spam Reviews, At Least Do It Well (You Dirty Rotten Review Spammers!)

Dead Obvious Review Spam

I was poking around at some competitors listings like this one and I found some really bad review spam.   So I decided to make a video and post about it because I think it’s so stupid to participate in review spam, but if you are going to do it (and I know some of you will) at least do it well.

Here are some tips for dirty rotten google review spammers: (are you catching the sarcasm…? :) ) 

  1. Create a real profile with a realistic looking profile image
  2. Have activity on your account before reviewing
  3. Write reviews that are not 5 out of 5 all the time
  4. Write reviews that make sense
  5. Write reviews for lots of different businesses in the same city – not 50 reviews on the same category in the same city as in the example in the video above  (dumb asses!) 
  6. Drip in reviews over time
  7. Have an active social profile and email associated with the account
  8. Get some circles and circle others
  9. Post some stuff
  10. Use country specific IP’s when you
  11. Use crowdsourcing of “real” people to set up accounts for you
  12. Don’t use a bot to do it
  13. Don’t post fake reviews under your own business profile
  14. Don’t use companies like this one, who looks like they are getting sued according to this

Better Advice

Just don’t be a dirty rotten review spammer AND don’t participate in it!    Not only is it unethical, it can also even cost you a ton of money in lawsuits or just embarrassment from someone like me calling it out publicly.   Your business reputation is worth more than just a few fake reviews on Google.

It’s much easier to just ask your customers and clients for reviews.   Create a review funnel like this one and then be diligent about letting people know that you are on all the major review sites and that you appreciate all feedback from your customers.  Try to make it as easy as possible to get them to those places with handouts or website review funnels.

Questions for the Local SEO Community

  1. Does anyone know a better way to report the ‘user’ of a review spammer in Google? If so, comment below.
  2. Does anyone know if Google will actually review the ‘flag if not appropriate’ submissions? If so, comment below.
  3. Do you want to offer any advice on how to be a better review spammer?  If so comment below.
  4. Do you want to share some really obvious dumb ass review spam examples? Fun!  If so, post a link to your examples in the comment section below!

 The Big Take Away

Don’t be a dirty rotten spammer!


Tags: google local, google places, review spam

7 Responses to “If You Are Going to Spam Reviews, At Least Do It Well (You Dirty Rotten Review Spammers!)”

  1. Get article Matthew! It’s obvious that creating fake reviews that look real actually takes more more effort than getting real reviews from real customers.
    We can only assume that Google and other review sites that wish to be trusted by readers will get better and better at filtering out spammy reviews over time. It’s better to roll up your sleeves and work to get reviews the right way than it is to look for ways to get reviews that won’t have any staying power.

  2. @mary – great point. takes more work to create fake ones then it does to get real ones. great advice too.

  3. Hey Matt – To get big G’s attention create a HIT on Amazon Mechanical Turk and instruct them to flag the review en masse over a short period of time (eg: 24-36 hours). If you hit them with 15-25 flags over that time period there’s a good chance it will catch G’s attention.

  4. @Dev – brilliant idea. What would be dirtier is to do that to all competitor’s reviews. Now I’d never do that. Might have to test this out. Have you? Turk is just for US folks right. I think we’d need to use http://microworkers.com

  5. Hey Matt,

    Nice observations and nice (well…) tips. I’ve written a couple of times in the past about fake review spammers. First was back in 2011, when I explored a case of a small town, where seemingly ALL photographers were spammed with bad reviews from their competitor… and it, of course, fired back: http://www.ngsmarketing.com/review-spam-on-google-places-photographers-torment/

    And the second one was about a few ways of how to discover fake reviews and track the whole network of review spammers (because usually they work for the same company or companies): http://www.ngsmarketing.com/ways-to-recognize-fake-google-reviews/

  6. @Nyagoslav,

    Thanks for tuning in and posting those links.

  7. Great video. It’s always disappointing when you see Google allow so much spam rank in the local pack.

    @Mary- I have had some clients have success by managing their front staff with a spreadsheet marking off every time they informed a customer where they could leave a review. Just by informing customers, reviews started to drip in and by opening up that conversation any problems were also addressed.

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