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Fake Reviews = Big Fines?

If you're looking to boost your online reputation and Google rank by getting more customer reviews, be sure those reviews are coming from your actual customers.

Need a good reason?  How about this:

19 companies in New York were recently fined a total of $350,000 for using fake online reviews.  

What's even more eye-opening is that the companies who were fined simply hired a 3rd party firm who did the soliciting of fake reviews.  

From the article: 

"The investigation found that SEO companies were using advanced IP spoofing techniques to hide their identities, and had set up hundreds of bogus online profiles on consumer review websites to post the reviews. Companies advertised for fake reviewers on listing site Craigslist and Freelance.com. One SEO firm required fake reviewers to have set up a Yelp account that was at least three months old and to have written at least 15 reviews before they were commissioned to write fake posts."

Yikes. The entire article is worth a quick read and something to consider when working on your online reviews.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/23/new-york-fake-online-reviews-yoghurt

 

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