Fake Google Business Reviews....Is This OK?

I have noticed lately an increase in fake Google business reviews. 1 Business in our area has 20+ reviews all in the last 2 months (after having none). Now mind you the weather has not been what you would call conducive to washing in the NC area, what with all the snow, ice, teen & sub-teen temps. 2 of the reviewers don’t even live in the US, 2 more don’t even live in the State. It has taken us 2 years just to get the few we have, but all were from “Legitimate” Customers we serviced.

Is this an accepted business practice? As a business owner are you alright with this? Does Google look for or penalize Businesses with fake reviews?

If you are alright with this can you explain why?

That’s a great question Guy! My wife just spoke to Anya this past week and booked her to do our SEO(we like to keep our work in the family :cool:) My wife after talking to her suggested we get some of our customers to give us reviews like what your stating above that you did with your business. I would think out of the country reviews aren’t going to mean squat but as far as the fake reviews go?? I bet there is a high percentage of people who do just that.

I’m going to forward this post to Anya to see if she can add some input here because that is an excellent question your asking and I bet many I wondering the same thing.

John, country of origin doesn’t show up on the review, just the reviewers name & their review.

Sounds like somebody paid for fake reviews. Definitely bogus.

I’ve also noticed contractors giving each other good reviews on Google or on their Facebook pages. That is troubling.

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∆∆ k Gotcha. Tells ya what I know about this stuff which is nadda zilch zippo. Techies needed here.

I’ve seen the same thing Thad. I mean it’s ok to give props or an atta-boy on FB, but to pose a review on Google for another Contractor…I just wouldn’t do something like that…for anyone.

I really take this pretty seriously because potential customers put trust in these reviews, and call us because of them. I don’t mind or care about competition or Competitors… but to employ tactics like this tells me a lot about the business owner.

I have always done my best to help, support & network with Contractors in our Service area…Can’t help but take this Personally.

Oh well, Karma works everything out.

Ive seen contractors from different areas of the country reviewing each other and i don’t agree with it. Granted, we should be fraternal. I am of the opinion that outright falsehoods will eventually have negative consequences. Anya spoke in Nashville about Google’s quest to smack down those trying to unnaturally develop their internet rankings and i suspect facebook, google+, etc… Will be on the same path (if not already)
I even quit liking other guys pages. I read it actually works against their efforts to reach out to their customers.

All Clean Power Washing Solutions, LLC

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The day I have to resort to fake google business reviews is the day I will do all the honest contractors
a big favour- I will leave the business!:slight_smile:

Bill Sullivan
Bill’s Window Cleaning.

I would never advise a company to obtain reviews by false means, and there are ways to report reviews that are not legitimate. As the world around us gets more digital, the business owners who were doing shady things in person will now start doing them on the Internet. There’s not much you can do about it in person, and not much you can do about it online besides BE THE BETTER COMPANY. There will always be people with lower morals and standards, so keep your head high and do right.

In the meantime, here are a few links that will help point you in the right direction:


This is just another thing we have to deal with in this business. I look at my local ads here and some Powerwashers advertise themselves as the #1 business in this field. They also advertise themselves as “The most professional” company etc etc etc. Who do you supposed said that about them? They did…lol

Like you Guy, I am a big believer in integrity. Always have and always will. I see guys around me be “Unethical” all the time. Personally I am no whistleblower so I obviously won’t mention names. You can easily find these unscrupulous types on the net. Most of them disappear in a few short years.

If guys are willing to give themselves or allow themselves to have “Fake Reviews” then there work most likely sucks. For the very few who do this and actually do decent work it just shows that their vulnerable for corruption eventually… and when that day happens they all cry in the end because the first ones to figure this out are their families(something wrong with this dude)… Then it goes from there.

If some actually do get away with certain types of fraud like this… At least I know my conscience is clear and no one can put a price on that.

maybe you could put a link on your site that says “If you’ve enjoyed our services please write a short review at “link to review site””

UGH, no edit button!!!

I wanted to change my statement above to read “Please review us at “link to reivew site””

The other thing to consider is that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of fake reviews. No biz can make EVERYONE happy (including myself!), and so 100 5 star ratings becomes suspicious. Having a negative review amongst your good reviews legitimizes your company, and your response to a negative review can let prospects know your level of professionalism when things don’t got exactly as planned.

Man I miss the days where print advertising was the main way to go. You got what you paid for then. I’m starting to sound like my parents(I must be getting old) when I say life was so much easier back in the day :slight_smile:

Anya is 150 percent correct when she says no business can please everyone all the time, ( been there,
got the t-shirt). What is good after a while in the service industry, you pick up the ability to decide if
after several minutes conversation with a potential client if it is time to “Run forrest run” :slight_smile:

Bill Sullivan
Bill’s Window Cleaning.

On the one hand I wonder if colleague pats on the back are well-meaning, but on the other hand I think you have to be sort of dumb to think that it’s okay to, lets say, get a fellow washer from Michigan to recommend you when you are in PA.
It’s one thing if you subbed or passed-on a reference to another company and know for sure the result was good. That’s a valid reason for a good review.

Guy- Since you didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to address me directly, I will reply to your post here since you have decided to start a smear campaign against a fellow PWRA member that’s operating in your service area as well. It’s an absolute shame too, especially considering that I just messaged you not even 5 days ago asking for your help and/or guidance with an equipment issue that I was having. Had I known you had THAT big of a problem with my company (DCS of Fayetteville) or myself, I would’ve never asked for your assistance.

Fellow Members of the PWRA and Guests - I am grateful for those of you that let me know I was getting bashed online. I am honestly flattered that it is believed that I have fake Google business reviews and have my first (I think the kids are calling them “haters” now?). I hate to be the one to burst anyone’s bandwagon bubble, but I can completely understand why you would believe what an industry “professional” would say about other people working in his service area. So, allow me to elaborate and tell you all a little about myself (for those of you that do not know me very well - Including you, Mr. Blackmon).
After 13 years of service in the Marine Corps and Army, I was medically discharged from the Army almost 3 years ago. I served in the Infantry and Special Operations throughout my time in the Army (the final 7 years of my military service) and I had been stationed at Fort Bragg since 2007 (for those of you that don’t know, Fort Bragg is one of the largest military bases in the US and is the home of the Army’s Special Operations Command and it just so happens that this huge military installation is located IN FAYETTEVILLE <------I capitalized that because you will want to remember that tidbit of information). So after I got out of the Army, I started looking for a job almost immediately and submitted my resume to hundreds of places. I interviewed quite a bit, but the moment the companies found out that I was a disabled Veteran and had to go to the VA multiple times a week for physical therapy, they pretty much blew me off after I disclosed that information to them. But, I DO happen to have integrity, so being honest with my interviewers and recruiters was very important to me. To make that LONG story a little shorter, that’s actually what got me into pressure washing and what sparked my interest of being a business owner and my own boss! For those of you that have served in the military for any amount of time, you can understand the appeal of being your own boss, hahaha. So that’s how it ALL started and what sparked my passion for pressure washing.
Well, MANY of you have no idea who I am, but a few of you do, and you KNOW about my struggles in getting my company off of the ground and earning an income for my family and I. I just made it through my FIRST winter as a professional and unestablished company. If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve been in my shoes. There were days that I had to choose between putting fuel in my machine and truck OR going to the grocery store and buying food for my family. ‘But what about the VA, don’t they help you military guys out?’…Well, you’d be sickened if you knew the ways the VA has hung me and my family out to dry after 13 years of service and being blown up. So, we’ve been all on our own with the exception of a little help from family and a friend or two. Anyways, you might ask what I did all winter since I didn’t have that much work. Well, I focused on building my online presence and learning everything I possibly could. I would literally read about websites and how to build them, pick my friend’s brains with questions, and asked for help. I turned ALL of that energy and effort into my website! I literally invested HUNDREDS of hours into building my site, seeking help, and applying everything that I learned to my own site. Mainly because I had an absurd amount of time and no money to hire someone to do the work for me. Each day that I didn’t invest into my website, or if I needed a break for a couple of hours, I would simply hop on the forums and YouTube and study every single professional’s advice, videos, and posts (Yep, I’ve seen ALL of your videos and how-to’s as well Guy, and I learned quite a bit from you).
In knowing that I needed to build my online presence, I know I needed reviews. So, what did I do? I contacted EVERY SINGLE CLIENT who’s home I serviced within the past six months and ASKED them if they would be kind enough to leave me a Google Review. I would simply tell them that I am working on building my website and SEO and if they had a moment and could leave a review, it would help out my company tremendously. So, MANY of them did what I asked (although some of them got confused and left me reviews on Facebook or Angie’s List, or elsewhere. Hahaha). But Jared, you have reviews from people not even living in your state or even this country…what the hell is up with that?!! Well, I’m glad you asked me instead of just posting something online to bash my company. Well, remember that part about me being a Veteran and Fort Bragg (one of the nation’s largest military bases being located in Fayetteville) being in my MAIN service area? Well, through THAT many years of service and networking with friends, many of my old friends asked me to wash THEIR properties! I attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, so most staff NCO’s in the military live off post. Also, not only my friends, but because we live in a military town, MANY of our clients live out of state (and yes, even different countries) and they call or email us asking us to clean their home which is now a rental property. This is VERY commonplace here in Fayetteville and I’m terribly disappointed that someone would leave that tidbit of information out in an effort to pit people against me. And I’ll save everyone some suspense…I think I’m the best pressure washer EVER and so does my wife and our two dogs! Hahahaha. In all seriousness, we have NEVER had a bad review (yet at least) because we go above and beyond to ensure that our clients are VERY happy with our services and love the results. We constantly communicate, build relationships, we even talk to our clients about their families, current events, and anything else they want to talk about. We don’t simply show up, clean, get a paycheck and run to the next house. We’ve realized the importance of BUILDING LASTING RELATIONSHIPS with our clientele to make them clients for LIFE instead of a one-time cleaning. This often leads to myself or my wife becoming “Facebook Friends” and talking with them fairly often. Also, I will tell you all one of my HUGE SECRETS TO BUILDING PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS (especially since my business model has been formed from learning from all of YOU!). My wife and I use this little desktop calendar we bought at Wal Mart for $7.00. The moment we complete a job for a client, we move ahead 3 months, to the day, in the calendar and mark it. Once that 3 months has passed, we call our clientele to just speak with them for a moment about their home and ensure they are STILL happy with our services and we ask them if there is anything else we can do for them (also a great time to bring up add-on services they didn’t immediately need). By doing this, our clientele seem to REALLY remember us and they have a tendency to refer us to everyone they know! At the very least, they won’t forget who we are.
In closing, I would like to address everyone that reads this post. If you have ANY questions for me at all, literally anything, please feel free to contact me directly. If you have a problem with me at all, I ask that you have the intestinal fortitude to contact me directly instead of trying to rally people against me online. Although this is flattering, it IS quite annoying. I may have been overly aggressive and violent during my time in the Infantry over the course of my military career, however, I can assure you (and MANY will attest), I’m probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet and I would give you my last piece of bread or the shirt off my back if you needed it. And Guy, for the record…I wish you had a clue about how many people and businesses I have referred to you. I’m NOT one of those people that needs recognition for it so I didn’t feel the need to tell you. But if a commercial job needed something I wasn’t capable of or if a client needed a last minute wash that was impossible for me to complete for whatever reason, I ALWAYS referred them to your company. I am just so damn disappointed with the manner in which you decided to handle this. All you had to do was ask and I would’ve happily answered your questions. As an adult, a fellow PWRA member, and an industry professional, I expected SO much more from you. I really did.
Well, if I tried making everyone happy, I’m pretty sure I would get taken advantage of or worse. But, I felt that this derogatory and uncalled for post deserved the other side of the story since it was made public versus just calling/texting me to ask me directly. As with anything, take what you read on the internet with a grain of salt (“If it’s on the internet, it MUST be true” hahahaha). To reiterate, if anyone would like to talk to me directly, about this or ANYTHING else, I will make sure to take the time to reply to you. Just be patient with me because fortunately I AM getting very busy. And Guy, Fort Bragg’s population alone is 42,000 people and that’s just a piece of Fayetteville. I’m truly sorry that you felt threatened enough to slander my company online. I really think if you would’ve taken a moment to get to know me, or responded differently when I have messaged you in the past, we could’ve become a huge asset to each other’s company and reached a higher level of financial success. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand why you felt the need to burn the bridge, but I guess that you have your reasons and they’re none of my business. Again, my only concern right now is my family, friends, business, and my clients. It’s truly unfortunate that you chose not to work with me.

Hey Jared… While lounging around today(We power washed last night) I read your whole post above. Reminds me of the old days when guys would post long and interesting things on the bulletin boards. Your post was interesting and you can see you have great passion to succeed… But… I have to say I never read anywhere that this was your company that was called out.

By me I’m sure we have companies doing phony reviews and because I said this I wouldn’t expect now a company by me now call me out on this. Like I said I never saw you or your company mentioned at all in here.

Same here, John.

Sounds like a phone call is in order and not a big slap fight on the forum.

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Here is what my Webmaster told me about reviews. He said that Google, kudzu, yelp, and one other I forget the name. Any way, they have software set up to know if it is coming from the same IP address. Also, they are set up to know if the same email is being used. It might work in the short run of things. It will not work in the long run. They will get caught. 20 reviews in a couple of months is massive. I have 12 over a 2 year period on Google plus. I have 16 over. 10 year period on kudzu. If you want some good reviews, tell your customer you will give them a 5.00 discount the next service. You will be amazed at how well it works. Also you will be able to live with yourself. You will not have to worry about Google catching you doing something wrong. Good luck.