If you compare their reviews to those of other reviewers

If you compare their reviews to those of other reviewers, you find a similar pattern: reviews appear in large geographic areas5, for companies that often have spammy names6, often work in a service industry where there is a lot of spam7, reviewers often review similar types of services in different places8, and reviews contain conflicting life stories and outright false identities9. So I don’t think companies should be penalized for fake reviews, but Google should definitely improve its review filter. Who do users allow fake reviews for? It’s not just Google’s problem, I see the same companies listed here with shiny reviews on Groupon, Superpages, YP and other sites. If paid links are objectionable to Google, why are paid reviews accepted or allowed? The problem with fake reviews is that consumers can be exploited when real negative reviews are suppressed by 90 fake 5 star reviews. Once it becomes clear that Google is punishing companies whose reviews follow a recognizable pattern, you can be sure that those same companies can develop negative SEO campaigns to “punish” innocent companies. In the past, Google has banned reviewers who leave fake reviews, but I think it’s time to punish the companies that use them as well. I will gladly contact Google to report fake reviews that a competitor has posted on their profile. Sorry, back to your article. You’d think Google was going to fight these fake reviews. If cussing violates Google’s TOS, why should a user report it to Google? I reported the Kim Jong-un reviews, and the user posts even more vulgar reviews. Fake ads are bad, but companies with 20, 50 or 150 fake reviews are even worse. I hope there will be a system in place to make it easy for business owners to report fake reviews with 4 and 5 stars to avoid a penalty. There is some overlap, but with just these first results and a few reviewers, we are talking about 1,200 businesses and maybe 25,000 fake reviews. Life is too short to follow through, but if I had to guess, I would estimate the number of companies at hundreds, if not thousands, and the number of fake reviews at tens, if not hundreds of thousands. But if there is a pattern of the same reviews appearing over the same period of time for the same companies, it’s not just a coincidence.

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Steven has over 12 years of internet experience, from design, to programming to internet marketing. It's his background in branding and marketing that led him to the path of protecting his clients reputation online, a specialized field that he has received years of training. When he is not researching the latest online marketing trends, you can find Austin meeting with clients and working to deliver businesses the results they need.