Fake reviews aren’t overly difficult to spot. Theres been a few businesses that have created tools to detect the volume if fake reviews on GMB and Amazon listings.
With the ability to detect fake reviews becoming easier, various local laws are also starting to catch up. Australia has laws against fake reviews from both the business soliciting fake reviews or from people writing fake or misleading reviews.
Even if laws aren’t in place, businesses typically don’t want to risk their reputation unravelling because they’ve taken a few shortcuts. Getting known for creating fake reviews is a quick and easy way to tank a business fairly quickly.
Best practice for reviews varies depending on the reviews platform. For Google I generally recommend businesses get in place a process to request reviews from each and every customer, as well as responding to each review. To my knowledge Google doesn’t take the location of the reviewer into consideration but rating, frequency, total volume, keywords used in reviews, and locations used in reviews all have an impact on local SEO and local pack.
Yes. Reviews on Google provide valuable information about your business to both you and your customers. Business reviews appear next to your listing in Maps and Search, and can help your business stand out on Google.