Updated : Mar 06, 2021 in Uncategorized

Is Buying Reviews an Ethical Business Practice?

As soon as you throw around words like “Ethical”, I get ready for a lecture on morality and religion. That is not the intent of this article. However I will provide you with a sliding scale and you can impose your own sense of ethics and morality to determine which end of that scale you are comfortable with. I am quite convinced that ethics is a sliding scale affected by Risk, Reward and Motivation.

· Risk = Likelihood of punishment

· Reward = Size of the prize

· Motivation = Emotional drive derived from positive or negative circumstances.

As an example, if you ask most people if they would eat food from a dumpster, most would say “Hell No”. However, as your hunger grows and your options for something better recede, your willingness to partake of the dumpster dining experience will grow.

When it comes to reviews there is the obvious question of what will reviews do for me. I believe there are four primary benefits for reviews:

1. Ego boost for the business owner. “They like me!, They really like me!”

2.
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Social signals to the search engines that people are engaging with your company. This tends to effect ranking to a small degree.

3. A visual indicator that makes your business listing stand out. In the instance of a Google listing, the 5 yellow stars show up after you get 5 reviews and that makes your maps listing more noticeable and more likely to get clicks or calls.

4. Positive affirmations to your new potential customers that others have found what you provide to be of value.

Obviously, the fourth is the primary factor of interest. 60% of online shoppers look at reviews before making a decision. Refer to link at the bottom.

Most business owners already know this. So, reviews are something that business owners want. However, I’ve seen a lot of confusion about where the reviews should be placed and how much value and weight they carry. The primary value is based on credibility from potential customers and possibly search engines. Here are where most of the reviews end up and the value that they carry.

· Company Website: Written Review – This type of review carries no weight with search engines and very little credibility with potential customers because everyone knows you control the website and you can put anything you want on their regardless of the truth of the statement or if the customer is a real person or not.

· Company Website: Video Review – This carries more weight with your potential customers because people can see that it is a real person and not just a creation of your imagination. They still don’t know if this person is actually a customer of yours or just a good friend that owes you a favor, but it looks more realistic. Many times these types of reviews are great for a specific product page or the page that discusses a service you provide.

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