Why Buying Reviews is a Black Hat? (+More About Reviews!)

Reviews are the +1 Factor

Since the proliferation of Google Plus as the most profound way to climb the Search Ranking ladder, search algorithms have imbibed in them more Google authoritativeness of a Web Page. Google Places is definitely on the imbibed list, just like more +1s are.

Getting customer reviews on your Google Place page thus, has become all the more substantial. Every review on your Google Place page is a +1.

Definition of a Black Hat Technique

“Black hat SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways that are disapproved of by the search engines, or involve deception.” – Wikipedia

There’s a whole black-hat industry going on to get improved results in a very short span of time. These results are generally harmful in the long term.

Yelp taking down fake reviews

Yelp trying to take down black reviews!

Black Reviews Vs Negative Reviews

Any complimenting reviews acquired by automation and/or payment in any form, from non-customers, or paid customers are known as Black Reviews. Buying and/or automating reviews for your business listings account for “unfair or deceptive advertising” which is illegal according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Negative reviews simply refer to criticisms on your services. Anything people didn’t like about your service or found missing comes in this category.

Negative reviews are often true reviews, as opposed to Black Reviews. What business owners need to understand is that people expect you to help them and that you offer them your best. They will generally not write about the ‘non-exceptional’ good experience. But if they had a bad experience, they tend to get angry and they just want to go back to their homes, find out your online page, and warn people about your not-so-good services.

Since happy customers won’t write for you, as an active marketer, you need to ask people to write reviews for you.

How to Get White + Positive Reviews?

Google Place page accounts a lot for your search rankings, but search algorithms take in to account other Place pages too, Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Testimonial Shield for example.

Send emails to your customers. How do you get their emails? Get down to your subscribers, recent visitors of your place pages, your offline review cards, etc.

Ask your customers to write about you. Share with them your Google Place page, Yelp, Testimonial Shield, wherever you have your business listed!

Dealing with Negative Reviews

You know what to do with those positive reviews you got. You thank them for it. But how do you deal with those black spots on your page!?

In fact, don’t be scared of them at all. Take them up as an opportunity to show people you care. Reply to them quickly giving them a solution, apologize for the inconvenience, and tell them what you’ve done or are planning to do to correct this.

However emotionally aggressive their review may be, you should always reply to them in a professional manner. Try not to get emotional or angry yourself, and you’ll see less and less of these negative reviews.
Yelp taking down fake reviews

We all love reviews about our services, about our content, about our progress – and we love to hear from just about everyone! What is important here is the fact that those were real people who had real experiences with you. Promote that, and your business will be promoted itself!

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