Sep 18, 2012
Reaction score
If I am offering some kind of incentives (like 10 to 15% off on particular item) to the customers if they will leave review for my place page do you think that is something against of Google guidelines? Or Google can detect that(if yes than how? as they are real users so would be from different IPs) and i can be penalized? As they all are real users.
Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Hi Lauren

Yes, offering anything towards a particular item in direct exchange for a review would likely fall under "conflict of interest", as described within Google's TOS,

Removals of Google Places reviews - Places for business Help

Conflict of interest: Reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased. For instance, as a business, you should not offer money or product to others to write reviews for your business or to write negative reviews about a competitor. As a reviewer, you should not accept money or product from a business to write a review about them. Additionally, don?t review a certain way just because an employee of that business asked you to do so. Don?t post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with the place you are reviewing.


Sep 18, 2012
Reaction score
Actually one of my competitor having 80+ reviews on their place page. And all are positive (seems doubtful). And I came to know they are providing such offers than why they are not being penalized.

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Lauren, here's an analogy...

You park in a no parking zone. You come out and your car gone because is got towed. You tell the police that gives you the ticket - "that's not fair, another guy was parked there and he didn't get towed or get a ticket." Cop would say, just because someone else got away with it does not make it right or mean it's OK for you to violate or that I shouldn't give you a ticket. It clearly states no parking and you violated.

There are thousands and thousands of businesses getting their reviews deleted. Some didn't even do anything wrong. BUT many used incentives or did something else that was against guidelines.

Here are one of many threads at the Google forum. You should read. It has over 330 complaints about missing reviews. Google Groups
Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Don's reply is correct but I live in "Realville" so let me give you my honest opinion on this topic;)

These policies that Google and Yelp spell out for obtaining reviews is a little ridiculous. I think the main intent behind these policies is they don't want you to outright buy reviews - as in having people who aren't even customers leave you a positive review in exchange for something of value (money, discounts, gifts, etc.). In other words, the policies are meant to curb fake reviews.

Small businesses have been soliciting reviews from their customers for years. This is a common practice. I personally see absolutely nothing wrong giving your customers an incentive to leave you a review. The keyword is "review." I don't think it's right to give them an incentive to leave you a positive review only (i.e. Leave us a positive review and we'll give you 15% off your next purchase).

I think it's perfectly fine to give your customers an incentive to leave a review AFTER the transaction has taken place. For example, you send them an email, postcard, whatever after the sale that says you appreciate their business and for taking the time to leave you a review, you're giving them 15% off their next purchase.

Even if that crosses Google's policies, who cares? How are they ever going to find out? They aren't.

Now my caveat...I wouldn't advise that you go back to all your past customers and ask them for a review with an incentive. This could potentially lead to a flood of new reviews, which would definitely raise some flags with Google.

Travis Van Slooten

P.S. Your competitor who has 80 positive reviews does sound suspicious but you never know. They could be legit reviews. If they aren't, Google will eventually catch up to them. Even if Google doesn't, I wouldn't take that as a sign that you can get away with the same thing.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Jac Google My business Photos - Uploaded but not reflecting on contribution page Google My Business & Google Maps 1
AndySimpson Google My Business Opening Date - What Date Should You Use? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
Lanerizz Google Analytics 4 Organic SEO 1
M Google Local Services Ads - Lack of Leads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 14
rustybrick Google Local ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 11
harmony How Does Google Choose Service Options in a Review? Local Reviews 6
abbiebeltran Google Reviews Now Have 'Service-Testimonial-Tags' at the Top Local Reviews 1
Tim Colling I'm getting calls from "Google Maps" at 650-206-5555, asking about clients' hours - are they legit? Google My Business & Google Maps 14
JoshuaMackens Google Posts & Ranking Local Search 10
A Listing suspended due to account manager spamming? Google advise to create new GMB Local Search 13
djbaxter Webinar Get together with Google Search at Search Central Live - February 23, 2021 Events 0
djbaxter Google Maps Removed 55M Reviews & 3M Fake Business Profiles Spam on Google 2
Professor M Google slapped in France over misleading hotel star ratings Google News: Important Changes & Features 0
D Google Spam Fighting Question Google My Business & Google Maps 6
C Fake google reviews on google my business Contact Us Messages 2
U Google showing location of Service Area Business Service Area Businesses 2
Lluc Google launches Years in Business in Search Google My Business & Google Maps 3
PaulSteinbrueck Average Google rating no longer in Google Knowledge Panel? Local Reviews 8
Professor M Is Google thinking of adding payment capabilities to GMB listings/website? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
NickB-Tampa How can I unsync Google My Business from my Bing Places listings? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
D Google "Find Results on" Error Local Search 3
F Turkish post: Google My Business local seo Recycle Bin 0
D Google Maps, Years in Business Google My Business & Google Maps 4
H Google COVID 19 posts getting suspended Google My Business & Google Maps 2
F Google My Business local seo Google Local 101 3
Vickyboli Google maps pin misplaced Google My Business & Google Maps 6
M Google rule for collecting reviews from a dedicated tablet inside a store ? Local Reviews 8
djbaxter Google on Interstitial Ads: Do what we say, not what we do Organic SEO 0
djbaxter Google Posts No Longer Expire After Seven Days Google My Business & Google Maps 5
B Discrepancy in Google SERP Info Local Reviews 2
M Can I Use Google Voice for Google My Business Phone Number? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
L Google Maps 'Details' section - Can you add to this or edit? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 3
A Google My Business Provider Program API Access İssues Recycle Bin 0
djbaxter vs. Google's Structured Data Rich Results Organic SEO 0
M Google changes client's 5 year old, verified GMB to a duplicate listing Google Duplicates & Merges 7
R Facebook reviews dropped to 0; Google filtering reviews temporarily? Local Reviews 2
W Accepted Health Insurance Feature on Google My Business Google News: Important Changes & Features 14
M Google keeps reverting our clients address, no matter how many times we send a postcard Moving or Name Changes 4
K Google & Google Users Removing Items From Service Menu Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Jon Hall Google Messaging: Are you turning it ON or OFF? Google My Business & Google Maps 26
NickB-Tampa Why does Google keep updating changing the main category on our listings to ones that don't make as much sense? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 2
Colan Nielsen NEW Google My Business is Testing "Services" Justifications Google News: Important Changes & Features 6
ryannbull Is there a bank of definitions for Google My Business Categories? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 3
ryannbull We have added a question to our client's Google My Business Q&A section and it keeps disappearing. Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Help & Support for Google Local 4
djbaxter AMP Under Fire in New Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google Google News: Important Changes & Features 1
Adam C. Google Cost Per Click Paid Search and Local Service Ads 2
Koray Tuğberk GÜBÜR Review Schema Mark up and Google My Business Reviews Local Search 4
B Google My Business Product Photo Errors Google My Business & Google Maps 3
djbaxter Google December 2020 core update now fully rolled out Google News: Important Changes & Features 0
Dino Google not updating an address. Any ideas? Moving or Name Changes 2

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom