In fact, there has been a cottage industry of sorts that has popped up and gotten a lot of people’s feathers ruffled by offering “paid” positive reviews. Obviously, this is frowned upon by the almighty Google and has since changed their review guidelines to address the issue of paid reviews.
From Google Places support:
Ratings and reviews: Review Posting Guidelines & Policy
Keep it real
People read reviews to learn about real experiences from real people, so be authentic. Keep your reviews to your own, direct experience with a place. Try to describe your experience as accurately as possible, including both positive and negative aspects.
Conflict of interest
Reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased. Even if well-intentioned, a conflict of interest can undermine the trust in a review. For instance, do not offer or accept money or product to write positive reviews about a business, or to write negative reviews about a competitor. Please also do not post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with the place you are reviewing.
What you probably find more often than not is the company themselves posting positive reviews, or getting friends and relatives to participate. This falls under the “keep it real” category and should be avoided.
How to get good reviews?
Ask for them! The best time to ask for a review or testimonial is when you just finish the work and your clients or customers are at their happiest. This is also a great time to ask for referrals!
Photo Credit: Rachaelvoorhees