Google Issues a Warning: "Spam Reviews" Will Not Be Tolerated

A recent algorithm update over at Google should make more local business reviews visible to users on Google+ Local, which could definitely be good news for local businesses looking for positive online exposure and customer feedback. But, although the change is exciting for some, Google was also careful to make it clear to business owners, online marketing companies, and business reviewers that fake or “spammy” reviews will face deletion.

Google wants the reviews that appear on Google+ Local to be written first-hand by customers and clients of your business, and the search engine giant doesn’t seem interested in leaving any loopholes open for “black hat” marketing tactics or people who want to trick the algorithm. Google explicitly mentioned that writing reviews on behalf of your clients is forbidden, even if you are simply copying the review from a hand-written comment card. Additionally, Google says that it will frown upon customer reviews that are solicited by a computer station or tablet in your office or store, and the company also says that employees should skip reviewing a company they work for—even if they are or have been clients.

Although offering incentives for Google+ Local reviews is discouraged, Google did say that businesses could consider sending email reminders to clients or customers asking them to review your business through the service.

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