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Want to Rank Better? Google Warns: Don’t Pay for Reviews

DOn't Pay for Reviews on Google PlacesOne way for business owners to get better rankings in Google Place Search is to get more positive reviews by consumers. Many businesses have taken advantage of this by offering discounts and free products in exchange for reviews. Google has long stated that it was against their policy to offer incentives for consumer reviews but they recently clarified this guideline and included an ominous warning.

Here’s the new wording aimed at consumers who write reviews:

“do not offer or accept money or product to write positive reviews about a business, or to write negative reviews about a competitor. Please also do not post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with the place you are reviewing.”

Google states that they have methods in place to automatically remove reviews that they believe may have violated their guidelines. They also pre-apologize because they know they might incorrectly remove some perfectly valid reviews.

If you’re a business owner who needs more reviews, what should you do?

The safest approach is to simply ask your satisfied clients to add reviews about your business without any additional incentive. While some customers won’t write a review for no incentive, some will. The secret to success is in how you ask for the review. 2theTop can help you manage a customer review campaign that’s affordable, meets Google’s review guidelines and (most importantly) delivers bottom line results. Contact us today if you need to get more visitors to your website from Google.



  1. It’s amazing how many companies insist on posting fake reviews and fake testimonials of their services. Even some SEO companies post fake reviews of themselves on various reviews websites, and they’re always easy to spot. Good to see Google cracking down on this stuff.

  2. Many of my legit reviews were removed and several that we asked customers to post if they were happy. Not sure if this algorithm can distinguish between the real and the bogus reviews.