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I just read this article today from this week's Automotive News. It is very discouraging when a dealer works so hard to get reviews from satisfied customers just to have not a few but sometimes in the hundreds disappear without an explanation! I agree with the article that a set list of rules need to be established in plain English so that not only dealers but companies in general know what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable. 

 

Many of us do know that the following seem to flag reviews:

1. Reviews resulting from the same IP address.

2. Reviews where incentives are offered whether good or bad reviews.

3. Reviews written for other people. This can be flagged when different people are showing the same IP address.

4. I have heard that reviews from the dealership location use to be acceptable by Google but now it is being rumored that reviews from the dealership are being flag with their IP address.

5. Reviews are pulled randomly to prevent abuse. Ok. I understand this but how ironic the reviews pulled are never negative ones.

 

 

Early this month, dealer Scott Pitman watched in dismay as Google deleted 400 of his customer reviews over two days.

Google left his Suzuki of Wichita dealership with just nine reviews -- all negative -- on a Google page, which cratered the store's stellar consumer-review rating of 29 of 30 possible points to no score, Pitman said.

The purge came without notice or explanation, he said, and Google offered no chance to appeal.

Here is the link to read the entire article.



Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120827/RETAIL07/308279962#ixzz24r...

 

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Replies to This ADM Discussion

Tricking the system will only get you busted.  It's illegal to post fake reviews.  Our system

post real reviews from the actual dealers customers.

"Our system post real reviews from the actual dealers customers."

Peter,

I don't want to put words in your mouth, are you saying that you post on behalf of the consumer?

That is one way that we do it and yes it is 100% customer approved.  In other words

we get permission to do this directly from the customer.

...and it is 100% FORBIDDEN by the 3rd party sites hosting those reviews!

  1. Google's TOS strictly prohibits what you are doing: "Don’t post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with the place you are reviewing." (This is clearly stated under a bullet point entitled "Conflict of Interest")
  2. Many people much smarter than I am believe this is one of the chief reasons WHY Google's algorithm wiped out dealer's review content. Read Mike Blumethal's post and corresponding comments from June 30th. I'm going to be blunt, the service you are offering IS one of the things that caused the mess this post is about!
  3. I'm not trying to be a jerk Peter, but you mentioned the illegality of posting "fake reviews" and seem to have missed the illegality of posting compensated endorsements without a proper disclosure statement. I'm no lawyer, but you may want to take a look at § 255.1 part (d.). You need to stop offering account creation and posting services "on behalf" of a consumer to dealers. You are exposing them to a potential FTC fine in excess of $25,000.

Dealers, YOUR reputation is YOURS to promote and YOURS to preserve! There are simply no shortcuts worth taking when it comes to YOUR reputation.

Since Google dropped so many reviews dealers are trying to load their "baskets" with more reviews/eggs. I have been working with a few dealers recently that want to perserve to ability to request reviews at time of sale or service. I have found several ways around their problems.

If you can get the user to use their phone without taking the time to download the Google Local app, you will make their decision to review easier. Since it is on their phone, it's unlikely it will be on your dealer's wifi. Unlike, your computers and tablets, their mobile device will be on their network resulting in a different ip.

You will notice on iPhones that the mobile site for Google Local has removed the "Leave a Review" button. Unfortunately, you can't force the site to open as a direct link. You must access it through a precise search and use that direct link. I have found the best way to get the customer there is to use a QR code or text to receive solution.

There is a work around for this that I have been implementing for dealers. If you need help moving to a solution like this feel free to contact me. 703.593.1343

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