Should I copy and paste reviews from online review sites onto my website?

Reposting (copying and pasting) reviews from popular websites such as Google Local, Yelp, and Avvo may Duplicated Online Reviewsseem like a good idea. After all, someone went out of his way to review your goods or services, and he posted to a reputable site, so why not use their words to your advantage?

Here are four good reasons that our team does not recommend reposting online reviews:

  1. Poor user experience. When a potential client, patient, or customer reads the same review on multiple sites (your website, on Google+, and your Facebook page), it provides them with a bad reader experience. The more places the reader finds the review, the less likely she is to view it as authentic.
  2. Permission repercussions. You should never repost a reviewer’s comment from another site to your own website without asking the reviewer’s permission first. Ever. This violates the writer’s rights and is just plain shady.
  3. Review removal. If you repost a review, even with permission from the reviewer, the original review could be taken down. Why? Because review sites have stringent and ever-changing terms-of-use-policies and guidelines. This makes reposting reviews a bit too risky for our liking.
  4. Duplicate content issues. Google and all other search engines frown upon duplicate content. When you repost a review, you must rewrite it verbatim, which is, of course, duplicate content. In some instances, it has been found that a reposted review gets the original review page—from Yelp or Google—taken out of search results. And this is the last thing you want to happen.

Instead of Reposting Reviews, Utilize Unique Testimonials

If you’d like to harness the power of reviews on your website, without reposting reviews from elsewhere, we recommend using a form of reviews on your own website: testimonials. These testimonials lend credibility to your business and can be a powerful converter. Also, asking for testimonials is a fantastic way to start a conversation with the satisfied customer or client about reviewing your business on an independent review site.

To learn more about our best practice review strategies, read our article, “Why Your Local SEO Efforts Better Include an Online Review Strategy.” And to keep up with all things in web marketing, be sure to follow us on Twitter.
 

Laura Johnson
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SEO Manager and Web Marketing Strategist