SEO: Reviews on sites that sell the products?

by rmnnet
11 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Does Google penalize sites that review products that they sell?


I have an affiliate site in an outdoor niche. I have mulled the idea of setting up a web store and dropshipping, since the margins are in the 20% range for most of the products, versus the 5% I get now.



My question is: does Google "penalize" these sites in the SERPs if they also sell the products they review?


If I were Google, I would rank sites that DON'T also sell these products higher, in the interest of delivering users a less biased experience, but I am not Google.


Is there any data on this?
#products #reviews #sell #seo #sites
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  • Profile picture of the author Hazard Niki
    Ahrefs tool
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  • Profile picture of the author Toshio Haruto
    Google will not penalize you for this under their current guidelines. You can't control what your reviewers do, and if they choose to copy and paste the same review to multiple locations, that's not anything you can be expected to be responsible for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gohar Ilyas
    Reviews help people decide which products or services they should buy, where they should travel and even where they should eat. Reviews have slowly become an integral part of business on the internet.

    So dont worry about that Your website wont be penalized. To make sure the reviews that you are getting these are geniun.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Not at all. Why would Google penalize sites with reviews that sell those products but not punish sites that earn affiliate commissions from products they review?
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    • Profile picture of the author rmnnet
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      Not at all. Why would Google penalize sites with reviews that sell those products but not punish sites that earn affiliate commissions from products they review?

      I don't do well with the "Why would Google" questions, because that implies that Google uses the same logic as myself.

      The reason why Google probably SHOULD take potential bias into account is because when users do a search for "2019 Ford F-150 Review" they are looking for an unbiased review of the vehicle.

      Now, imagine you are looking to shell out $50K + on a new truck, would you REALLY lend any credence to a review from your local Ford dealership? Of course not. The dealership that stands to make thousands of dollars on a sale and ONLY sells Ford vehicles is obviously biased.

      Now, a site dedicated to reviewing pickup trucks that might make a couple hundred off the sale is certainly biased as well, but which is more likely to give you what you want (a review devoid of writer bias): your local Ford dealer? Or your wereviewpickups.com which reviews pickup trucks of all manufacturers?
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      • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
        Originally Posted by rmnnet View Post

        Now, a site dedicated to reviewing pickup trucks that might make a couple hundred off the sale is certainly biased as well, but which is more likely to give you what you want (a review devoid of writer bias): your local Ford dealer? Or your wereviewpickups.com which reviews pickup trucks of all manufacturers?
        Answer: Neither. The wereviewpickups.com site is more than likely going to push the one they make the most commissions on.

        Real customer reviews are the only thing I would trust and even then, only ones that were done by third party review sites like ShopperApproved, Yotpo or even Google Reviews. I'd never trust a customer review on the actual website because those can be edited and bad ones deleted.

        Google apparently agrees with me - their latest guidelines for their Quality Raters told them that they should only trust reviews done by third parties and not the reviews on the website, itself.

        Bottom Line: My contention still holds ... If Google is going to trust one and give it a boost for SEO, they are going to trust the other. They are not going to make the distinction "well, this review only stands to benefit by 'x' amount vs. this one which could benefit a lot more" (as if the algorithms were even capable of making that type of distinction).
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        StoreCoach.com- Learn How to Dropship the Right Way - Buy & Sell Websites - Partner with Coach
        My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox News, the NY Times & Flippa
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  • Profile picture of the author CherryMiss
    Google doesn't penalize for this. However, as for me, reviews industry has been changed drastically. All these scandals with fake reviews on TripAdvisor, Amazon, Trustpilot make people think that all positive reviews are fake and negative reviews are paid by competitors. That is why you may add some validation by order number or client ID and describe your verification process so website visitors will know that they can trust these reviews.
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    Best and worst brands, reviews from real customers - https://www.pissedconsumer.com/

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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Nope M. And as long as you are genuine in all you do online, you will have zero problems. With Google, or anybody. Build business with integrity, be honest and you will be in the clear buddy. This is how to sleep well at night, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author ncodetech
    Unique reviews are always helpful for product sell. If you are giving a fake review than it is not good for your product selling strategy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    The trouble is that when you do that you become less objective. You will end up giving reviews that are not genuine in the name of wanting to sell more. Eventually, people will discover and that is how you will go under.
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    I'm in agreement with Dave about his answer
    Bottom Line: My contention still holds ... If Google is going to trust one and give it a boost for SEO, they are going to trust the other. They are not going to make the distinction "well, this review only stands to benefit by 'x' amount vs. this one which could benefit a lot more" (as if the algorithms were even capable of making that type of distinction).
    The evidence is always in the SERPs what Google will do.

    What Google can see clearly is what users do on webpages using clickstream technology combined with Chrome.

    So check out what is ranking for reviews and model them.
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