How Can Fake Reviews Hurt a Business?

It can be very overwhelming when you see that your business is rated with 5 stars. You can feel accomplished even when you know it’s done with false comments that are paid or you just told your friends to support your work. Even this type of feedback is considered fake and it’s something you shouldn’t do.

When starting a business, you should know that your customers are not only valuable for purchasing what you have to offer but also for an honest opinion about the product. This can give you valuable insights that will help you make positive changes and grow faster. But, with the spread of agencies that provide these services, many don’t think about the consequences. If you want a reliable source check this out.

Financial Risks

You will rarely hear that someone paid fees for using fake feedback but there are great examples where they had to pay around $250,000 because they used these services. It can be hard to determine if they did it on purpose, or there are just a lot of people that are doing it on purpose. But, when the number of comments is huge, there’s no doubt they messed with it.

The second type of financial risk is the amount you have to pay for each feedback. Sometimes it can be $5 per comment but it usually depends on the platform. Google Business is the most common target and it can backfire hard if they figure out what is going on.

Google is very clear about their opinion on this topic and they will remove your listing entirely if you do it. Because everything is connected, if they figure out your attention, there’s a big chance your visibility score will be 0 on this search engine.

It’s not just considered misleading but also spam which means that some algorithms are made to recognize this and flag it. So, it can happen that you paid for the service and didn’t get the full potential because most of the bulk orders will have the same sentences.

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People Know the Difference

It was a bit different a few years ago when the majority didn’t know how to recognize the difference between a real and fake review. Most of us didn’t even try to see if a certain product has feedback that isn’t very reliable. Nowadays, almost every younger person knows what is going on and how to spot something suspicious.

This is also the problem of some companies that buy too many comments on their products. For example, if they are in the car wash business and most local locations have around 50 ratings, there’s no chance that their company will have more than 1000. These unrealistic numbers are one of the first indicators.

In the near future, you probably won’t be able to have fake reviews because the systems that will recognize them will be better and it won’t be worth it. People will just know the difference and they will visit only websites with a great reputation to find the products they like. These websites are very useful especially if you own a small business and you need to find the best product for growth.

Why Do People Post Fake Reviews?

Besides paying for this service, you might get fake bad feedback for multiple reasons. This is a very bad situation you can be in but that’s why you should have your listings on well-known platforms that can have a positive impact on your business. Avoid websites that are suspicious because they might want you to pay to be on a certain list.

The first reason why you might get bad feedback is the competition that doesn’t care about honesty. They are willing to push you down so their service can come to the spotlight. Others do it for fun and you will need to know how to resolve this issue.

To resolve these issues you will need to contact the customer service of the review platform and let them know what is going on. When they have a good reputation and care about their visitors, you won’t have any issues resolving this problem.

Some people will make a mistake and leave a comment on the wrong product and others will have personal reasons to hate. These situations happen but it’s much different than buying reviews. This can also be one of the reasons why not to buy them, they can easily be removed.

Bad Reputation

It doesn’t matter how many people realize that you have fake reviews, the word is spread very quickly and you will end up losing your reputation. This doesn’t only apply to one product or service, but the whole organization can suffer, so there are certainly more downsides. Still, some manage to pull it through by applying for review websites that don’t do their background check.

You wouldn’t want to search for what you need on these pages because it needs to have better security. Everyone can make a website with the top 10 list but it’s less likely that the majority will make a decision based on it. This happens when they are great at SEO and rank the page but you should always look for websites that do this on a higher level.

How to Remove Them?

If you already did this and thought it was a good move, you still have the chance to remove them on any platform you bought it for. If you are on Google Business, you can let them know that certain comments are suspicious and you think is spam. You shouldn’t have any issues when you confess that something is wrong.

It can happen that someone bought positive reviews for your business just to mess with you so Google will take that in the notice. If you are on other platforms, make sure they have great customer service where you can sort things out. They will most likely have some time of the flagging option. The first step will always be to reply to these comments to check if they are a real person.


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.