It’s a well-known fact that savvy consumers check online reviews before purchasing something, dining somewhere, or selecting an attorney to represent them. Because positive online reviews are powerful ranking factors and can increase a company’s revenue, it’s no wonder why every business owner in America wants great customer reviews on Google+ Local, Yelp, Citysearch and more. However, these reviews need to come naturally.
Not only can fake reviews cause your attorney website to take a hit, but you can get fined if caught. In fact, 19 companies in New York are facing $350,000 in fines for writing fake online reviews. This was part of an undercover investigation dubbed “Operation Clean Turf,” conducted by investigators with the New York State Attorney General’s office. When writers are hired to write fake online reviews called “astroturfing”, it is technically “the 21st century’s version of false advertising,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
While the state of New York is taking false advertising and fake reviews seriously, phony online reviews will continue to plague the Internet until more states do something about this problem. Until then, consumers need to be cautious about relying too heavily on online consumer reviews, and companies need to be careful not to mislead consumers.
At Foster Web Marketing, we know that good online reviews are essential to attorney SEO, but we also know that these reviews need to come naturally. To learn about organic reviews and how to boost your online reputation without putting your law firm at risk, call us at 888.886.0939 or fill out our online contact form at http://www.fosterwebmarketing.com/contact.cfm.