Why You Should NEVER Buy Google Reviews

If you’re just starting a new business, or you see that your competitors have a sudden influx of Google reviews, it’s understandable to feel anxious and wonder how you can compete. You may even think, “Well, maybe it’s easier to buy Google reviews.” 

It’s an intriguing question: can you buy Google reviews?

But before you go too far down that road, pause here and take our advice. There are viable alternatives to the sketchy practice of buying reviews that will help you get legitimate, quality Google reviews over time — and for a whole lot less money and reputational risk. 

In this article, we’ll explain what it means to buy Google reviews, why this is a bad idea, and what you can do instead. 

What does it mean to buy reviews on Google?

Businesses that buy Google reviews often start with the right intentions. They might think they’re just trying to boost their online reputation, improve search engine rankings, and attract more customers — all valid reasons why any business seeks Google reviews in the first place.

To be fair, it can be tempting, especially since buying Google reviews seems pretty easy and straightforward. Do a quick search online, and you’ll come across a variety of sites that promise positive reviews from real customers. Pick one, provide your Google business listing, email, and credit card, and it’s off to the races. 

But here’s where it gets serious: 

Buying reviews on Google is an unethical and often illegal practice of paying individuals or companies to write fake positive reviews about your business. Some sites promising the moon might seem legitimate; some are downright scams. But no matter what, buying reviews is a misguided shortcut that carries significant risks and long-term consequences, which we’ll discuss next.

Four big reasons NOT to buy Google reviews

Buying Google reviews can harm your business way more than it helps. Here’s why:

1. Buying reviews could cost you more than you bargained for

First and foremost, buying Google reviews violates FTC guidelines and could put your business at risk of fines and legal action. Google could also penalize your business. Like many other review platforms, Google explicitly prohibits the posting of fake or misleading reviews and actively works to identify and remove them. If you’re caught buying reviews, Google could suspend your business listing, and you could suffer a drop in search rankings as a result, impacting the ability for new customers to discover you.

Buying reviews on Google can seem like a clever tactic to get a leg up on your competition. Still, it’s ultimately a waste of money and a poor investment if those reviews are ever identified and removed. You could end up paying a lot for nothing in return.

2. Buying reviews can confuse and mislead customers

Potential customers rely on reviews to make informed decisions about your products, services, and overall business. If you buy Google reviews that are fake, you could be putting content out there that completely misrepresents the true nature and quality of your business. That’s because there’s no way to guarantee that the reviews you buy will accurately reflect your business. 

Worse, if any of the reviews are off base, getting Google to remove them is very difficult. Unsuspecting customers could continue to come across misleading reviews and repeatedly get the wrong idea about what you sell or do. Their disappointment or dissatisfaction won’t help your business regarding sales or reputation.

3. Buying reviews ruins trust and credibility

Trust is critical when you run a business, especially if you sell in an online marketplace. That’s why there’s no clearer way of stating it: when customers find out that a business has purchased fake reviews, it can seriously damage their trust in that business. They’ll have no qualms at all about skipping right over an untrustworthy business and checking out the competition.

Plus, let’s be honest: many consumers are much savvier these days and can quickly spot fake reviews. If you don’t want to be caught with fake review content on your hands and lose significant credibility, there’s just no reason to buy reviews.

4. Buying reviews gives you short-lived results at best

While buying reviews on Google may temporarily boost your business by artificially inflating your online reputation and gaming your search rankings, the long-term consequences can be severe — for all the reasons we listed above. No company wants to fork over hard-earned profits to pay fines, penalties, and legal fees or deal with the public fallout of a fake review scandal that turns off your customers.

So, while the answer to “Can you buy Google reviews?” is technically “Yes,” it’s far better to tighten up and improve your business to earn genuine positive reviews that help convert and win customers.

How to legitimately get Google reviews

Instead of buying reviews, follow these tips to develop a consistent, productive Google review strategy that can help attract new customers to your business:

  • Ask for reviews: Proactively asking your customers for a Google review is a tried-and-true method that can pay off. Though satisfied customers might leave reviews independently, giving them a little nudge is better. Making the process as easy as possible is essential so people will follow through. Wondering “Can you buy Google reviews?” should never be a substitute for “Hey, I think I’ll just ask my customers for some.”
  • Focus on the customer experience: It seems really basic, but ensuring that your business sells high-quality products and services and provides excellent customer service goes a long way toward impressing your customers—many of whom will be happy to publicly share their sentiments. A great experience is the foundation of customer satisfaction, which is the driving force behind positive reviews. 
  • Enhance your efforts with AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) can play an important role in your review strategy as well. You don’t need to buy Google reviews when adopting a review management platform that automates much of the review generation and management process. And if you choose one with built-in AI capabilities, the platform can analyze the reviews you get and craft human-like responses to them — removing the time and creative burden of doing it yourself. When others see your business responding to reviews and taking feedback seriously, they’ll feel much better about leaving their own Google review.

To learn how GatherUp’s reputation management platform can support your review strategy, start a free trial.



We'll help you build a better business

Our goal is to help you connect with your customers to gain valuable insight on what’s important to them. While you happy customers will help your marketing, your unhappy customers will point out where you can improve and our system will help you communicate with them to keep them with you.