Since I stared doing Google places optimization for small businesses I haven't really had to worry about reviews in regards to getting my clients places listings ranked in the very top positions on Google.
I'm not talking about ranking at page one D,E,F and so forth. All my clients listings rank page one A,B, and or C.
I really only consider getting reviews to build engagement from existing customers and for that factor alone I've started looking into the reviews more closely.
Here's what I have found which doesn't shock me one bit.
We all know there are services that will do reviews for you on many 3rd party sites like yelp, kudzu, and so forth. Great!
Not so great!
What happens is you pay for 20 reviews lets as for example.
The service sends the jobs to it users. Lets user MikeB as an example.
MikeB gets a project to do a review for a Dallas Roofer, a New York Deli, and a Los Angeles Plastic surgeon.
MikeB posts his reviews and he's done with his project. Guess what happens now?
MikeB has a really FAST airplane and he's rich too. He traveled from his Dallas home to New York for lunch at his favorite deli and then catches another flight to have his nose done in Los Angeles. All in the same day!
The point I'm making is that on most of these sites including Google you can see ALL the reviews made by a user.
Here's just one as an example. His name is John, and he does get around.
John is a google user account and he left over 20 reviews all on the same date! John gets around to, he visited businesses from all over the country all on the same day!
This is what happens when people pay for reviews so guys unless you want to actually damage your clients reputations go ahead and buy reviews.