Google has issued a warning to SEO firms and businesses: use fake reviews and they will get taken down.
Due to an update on its spam detection algorithms, an increased number of reviews will emerge on some Google+ Local pages and the Internet search engine giant was warned it will use a firm handed approach to tackle any fake ones.
Google was warned SEO companies, reputation management firms and business owners alike, that it will immediately act to remove any kind of "fake glowing testimonies".
Of course a positive review has the potential to draw in new customers, but the search engine firm has been quick to confirm that it will also continue to post negative reviews - as long as they adhere to Google's review guidelines.
Understanding that some restaurants or businesses may accept paper comment cards and then digitise them in the form of reviews for Google+, the firm offered the following advice to SEO firms: "We ask that all reviews come from first hand experience and do not allow posting reviews on behalf of others."
The announcement, made on a Google Group forum thread by Google's Dasha, also contained further advice for reviewers on best practice when it comes to writing a review, offering advice including not to write a review of a current employer and to tailor reviews of the same company, such as a fast food chain, to each individual restaurant.
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