Car Dealer Reviews:Veracity Updates!
First, I must say that I’m more than a bit surprised by what my investigation into the ongoing car dealership “phoney” reviews in Google Places/Maps has shown me over the past week or so…they appear to be “down!”
Almost 10 months ago, we covered this then popular trend in car dealerships acquiring what can only be labelled then as “phoney” reveiws here…and a quick read of same will show that many many of the sites that we found via a search in Google Places/Maps showed similar or exact copies of reviews appearing for dealerships that were local here to us in Ontario and we updated that blog piece a bit later too…with more dealership names and reviews….and it appears, that things DO change – at least in googl.ca land…and here’s why.
First, we found that local dealerships had obviously used someone – staff maybe, consultants maybe, marketing agencies maybe, SEO firms maybe to “salt” their sites with 5 STAR reviews over a period of a few months. Similar dealerships showed similar phoney reviews from the exact same reviewer for different cars and buys or leases and they made no attempt (at least that we could find) to hide same.
For instance, one of those dealerships was Leggatt Pontiac Buick (note to turn off ALL google personalization/history etc) and they showed then this page of Maps results…
As you can see, and may remember…we then drilled down on that first review — from a “beatrix.misner” who not only reviewed Leggat on July 20/10, but also in Scottsdale, AZ, bankruptcy in Los Vegas and more….obviously all these reviews lacked any kind of credability….and we pointed that out then.
And to be totally honest, we expected not a blessed thing to happen.
No notice from Google. No notice or comment from the dealership. No notice really by anyone but those of you readers who do visit (big tip-O-the-hat!) and comment….and now I have rechecked and low and behold, there are some changes! And here’s a current screenshot of that same Leggat review page in Google Maps…
As you will note, there have been NO updates or reviews posted now in 11 months….and a really nice thing is that the obviously phoney reviews are gone! Disappeared! Vanished….
So, is all ‘well’….well not quite, but I’d have to say better….why that caution though you might ask?
Take a look above at the review posed on July 2/10…but someone called “natureseeker” – and then drill down on all the reviews made by that person by clicking on their name…and yup, what do you see?
41 various reviews, stretching from Bozeman, Montana to Lubbock, Texas…from Las Vegas to Australia…..sigh….yup and all 5 STAR reviews. Somehow, the dealership “missed” this one….or someone at Google did…but it continues to put out favourable review juice to the various sites reviewed…and that’s not a good thing, eh!
Other dealerships noted in my original column on Canadian SEO and Google Maps were also looked at too, in the past week….and here’s some of what I found too!
Taylor Chrysler Dodge, a local dealership had as it’s newest review, one from March 2/11, from someone called “Mag” and when I clicked on that name, I found that this 5 STAR review was joined by others including an Escort service in New York city….not the best of company, eh! There’s more of same for other reviewers too if you care to look yourself.
“BEWARE!!! lies and hidden fees!! Every one of the 9 reviews posted are lies. If you click on some of the generic names and check some of the other reviews you will find that they also have had high reviews of the other dealerships in the “Car Nation” family. It looks to me like they are writing their own reviews. (-Troy -Nick -Ralph)…”
<big grin here!>
Looks like others have noticed this too….folks that I’m assuming are not search engine experts nor anyone who’s skilled at “sussing” this kind of review scam out…but as they point out and may be true, these reviews are all “lies”….
How’s that for a real catch! Tip-O-the-Hat – D!Google