Search Engine Optimization has been at the forefront of internet marketing, ever since Google has crawled its way into the hearts of our browsers. And thus making the name, Google, synonymous with internet search. Throughout the years, Google has become quite an authority when it comes to our everyday online lives.
As far as I can remember, the dawn of the internet age welcomed us with keyword-heavy websites and irrelevant search results – then came Google. The development of Google’s ranking algorithm greatly changed the quality of the websites that are online now, and with it, the algorithm help create a new industry: Internet Marketing.
Now, everything seems to be going well, but people have begun to find dubious ways to manipulate Google’s search result algorithm. And the trend seems to continue, up to now. Which clearly explains why Google’s algorithm updates have been happening more often than they did in the past. And because of those updates, SEO Specialist have been adjusting their methods, whether they are white hat or black hat, in order to cater to the updates requirements.
Google’s vigilance in promoting a positive online user experience is even more evident this week, when Google’s spam detection algorithms have been screening the number of reviews appearing on some Google+ local pages. And this is because of a huge influx of “fake glowing testimonies” written by SEO or reputation management companies have been running rampant in our times.
Google has warned those that are investing in this questionable method that their fake reviews will be taken down. Other than this statement, Google has not announced other reprecussions of creating fake reviews.
Now, it really is about time that Google takes action on this kind of search engine optimization method. Fake reviews are really running rampant on social media sites for the past few years, and Google+ is just a tip of the iceberg. Facebook Pages, and a couple of microblogs that serve this purpose, and users are being misled. By now, almost all of us should be aware that an online review has an impact on as to whether a user will actual trust an online entity. More often, reviews promote businesses and services, which from time to time, causes users headaches, and confusion.
Google also said that, “if a business accepts paper comment cards it might be tempting to collect them and ‘digitize’ them by posting the reviews on Google+ Local,” Google says in its advice for SEOs. “We ask that all reviews come from first hand experience and do not allow posting reviews on behalf of others.”
Clearly, positive reviews on Google+ Local can possibly help attract new customers. But when it comes to negative reviews, Google emphasized that it won’t and doesn’t take down negative reviews, unless they violate Google’s guidelines, or work with third-party reputation management companies. Google urged business owners to respond to such reviews and address the reviewer’s concerns.
As for reviewers, Google asked that they should:
- Write reviews are about one specific location if a business has multiple locations.
- Not write reviews for a company they currently work for.
- Not include links in the text of reviews.
Anyway, it really is about time for Google stepped it up a notch when it comes to making sure that reviews are genuine. This would greatly help users in making their online decisions, and further improving our online experience. As for search engine optimization specialists, if white hat methods are being applied – then again, they will not, and will never be affected by this. So, you guys can breathe a sigh of relief. You are safe.
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