Google Updates Spam Detection Algorithm and Advises Against Fake Reviews

February 5, 2013

With Google growing in authority every day, the site continues to attribute its success to its ability to give web users relevant and reliable results. The key for search sites like Google is to maintain credibility and provide web users with a sense of trust—that’s why, more than ever, fake reviews simply will not fly.

With a rising focus on the Local search experience and the announcement of new improvements to their spam detection algorithm, Google prompts businesses and SEO companies alike to keep a few “review rules” in mind and warns that fake reviews will not be tolerated.

If a businesses or an SEO company think that faking a glowing review is the key to successfully improving your reviews, Google’s here to let them know they’re wrong. It’s not difficult to tell which reviews are actually genuine and which are excessively affirmative. Rave reviews that aren’t real won’t do any business any good. Suspicious testimonies that seem over the top (whether written by an SEO company or a business itself) will be taken down.

Reviews that seem spammy (reviews with links, for example) will also be taken down, as well as ones written by the company’s current employees. And on the other hand, existing negative reviews won’t be taken down (unless they violate Google’s guidelines), so it’s best for businesses to try to respond to the reviewers and acknowledge the negative reviews instead.

Also, while many brick and mortar businesses may collect comments from customers on cards, in review books, through paper questionnaires, and more, these aren’t online reviews and can’t be made into online reviews, says Google. While all that positive feedback is great, and very real, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those paper reviews can be translated into digital ones. Google asks that all reviews come from real customers, who are really online leaving the reviews themselves, not from businesses posting on a customer’s behalf.

More than ever Google knows the difference between a review that’s real and one that’s not, a post that’s authentic and one that’s a fake. And if you’d like to know more, you can get even more advice from the folks at Google themselves.

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