More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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Fake Reviews, Review Management, and the Review Site of the Future

If you're the type of person who is perfectly fine faking reviews, there's a good chance Jason Brown has your number. If you need a guy to hunt down the latest fake review scheme, Jason Brown is your man.

The founder of is an expert when it comes to figuring out a business's dirty tricks. You can find him on twitter providing tons of local SEO insights via the handle @keyserholiday

He's also an expert (here at the forum and) at helping his own clients generate and launch great review strategies over at Over the Top Marketing.

In this interview, Carmen asked Jason some questions including:

How has local SEO changed over the past 5 years?

Where does review management and marketing fit into your recommended digital marketing strategy?

How do you explain the importance of online review management to clients?

What advice do you give to clients who have been the victim of negative fake reviews?

How can businesses prepare for the future with review management? Do you have any predictions for Google, Facebook, Yelp, and industry-specific review sites in 2019?

What piece of advice would you provide to someone who wanted to start selling online review management services to small businesses?

You can read the entire interview here.

Question for the forum, when it comes to fake reviews, how do you handle explaining a negative fake review attack to clients? Does it matter with regards to the type of client? Do you have any tricks from your playbook?

(Thank you to @keyserholiday for the interview!)

Let us know in the thread below!

Great interview. Jason's suggestion to get clients motivated on reviews by showing them "comparisons" is particularly important. Some people are only gung-ho when they see what a competitor is up to.
Good highlight, Phil. I think this is probably even more heightened for Lawyers and the automotive industry that are already using reviews as a competitive advantage.

I wonder what other industries pitting the prospect against their competitors would really prime them for your services.
@Garrett Sussman, contractors and doctors. There's usually good volume, and high payoff in getting reviews right. Also, in some cases pretty healthy egos are involved :)
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There will never be a way to stop fake reviews. It's impossible. The only way to crack down is review every single reviewer on a platform (google, etc) and audit their review history and remove any suspicious reviews. This will probably cause an outcry from businesses who then lose reviews that may or may not be legit based on reviewer history.

I'm not pro-fake reviews...just saying. Until the internet stops being anonymous, or gmail accounts become much more difficult to create (strict security protocols/identity verification/location monitoring?) there is no way to stop it.
I think the one thing that's great about Facebook is that at least it's really difficult there for reviews to be anonymous. I have had friends get busted on Facebook for not using their real names so the concept of getting a fake review from someone pretending to be someone else (or anonymous) is less of an issue there.
@adammaxum Many of the fake reviews i've come across have had some type of pattern. Whether that be a ton of reviews in a row without comments, reviews that use the same sentence structure with a couple words swapped out, multiple reviewers all reviewing the exact same businesses etc.

As far as I know Google and most other review sites don't have any sort of algorithm to detect and remove fake reviews. No algorithm is going to be able to capture all fake reviews, but I'm sure the engineers at Google would be able to create an algorithm that looks at some of the patterns I mentioned above. Especially since they have more info than you or I e.g. IP addresses.

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