Estate agency accused of paying for glowing Google reviews

first_imgThe gaming of online reviews by estate agents and other businesses is under scrutiny once more following a critical report by consumer organisation Which?.Its investigators found that paying for Google online reviews via third-party platforms has now infiltrated Google’s reviews system ‘at scale’.As well as setting up its own Google account under a false name to ‘buy’ glowing reviews of its fake business, Which? says it found 45 companies who all shared the same ‘positive reviewer’.These  included an unnamed London estate agency but also a wide range of other business types and locations.The Which? report will be more grist to the mill for the Competition and Markets Authority which is already investigating the problem of fake reviews.“Natalie Hitchins (pictured), Head of Home Products and Services at Which?, says: “Businesses exploiting flaws in Google’s review system to rise up the ranks are putting honest businesses on the back foot and leaving consumers at risk of being misled.“The regulator must stamp out this harmful behaviour and hold sites to account if they fail to protect their users, otherwise the government must urgently increase websites’ legal responsibilities for misleading content on their platforms.”Google says: “When we find scammers trying to mislead people, we take swift action ranging from content removal to account suspension and even litigation.”Google is not alone in being gamed by sophisticated fake reviewers.  Separate investigations by The Times and the BBC three years ago accused both Purplebricks and Foxtons of gaming another reviews site, Trustpilot by both acquiring large numbers of positive reviews over a short period and also being able to remove critical ratings from their streams.Read the Which report summary. Google Purplebricks online reviews Which? Foxtons March 10, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Estate agency accused of paying for glowing Google reviews previous nextRegulation & LawEstate agency accused of paying for glowing Google reviewsWhich? says London estate agency and over 40 other businesses all share the same positive reviewer, just one example of third parties gaming Google’s review system.Nigel Lewis10th March 202101,217 Viewslast_img

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