A common issue facing local business owners and SEO Agencies is the proliferation of spammy or false reviews. Here is a great post about an agency finding out that a website is allowing spammy reviews to proliferate.
I was checking out LSG’s GMB description after Colan Nielsen had posted about them showing up in GMB Knowledge Panels the other day (They’re gone again btw) when I noticed in the “Reviews from the web” section we had a lousy 3/5 rating:
Like any business owner, I wanted to see where these reviews came from and what I could do to turn those three stars into five. Imagine my surprise to find the source was that well-known business reviews site CMac.ws:
Isn’t that a beauty? Hard to imagine the site even has four users let alone that all four of them would bother to rate LSG.
Besides the fact they are using a screenshot of our homepage that is 2 years out of date, you don’t even have to sign in to click the star rating. And of course you can open the URL in a private browser, vote, open the URL in a new tab and vote again ad infinitum. Not that anyone would ever do such a thing:
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this site is getting such prime placement. After all, as Google says in its Review Snippet Guidelines:
“When Google finds valid reviews or ratings markup, we may show a rich snippet that includes stars and other summary info from reviews or ratings.”
Nowhere in its guidelines does it say “When Google finds valid reviews”. It’s only the markup that needs to be valid.
And Cmac.ws has Aggregate Rating markup, although it is missing a “required” field. But you know, when Google says “valid”, it doesn’t always mean “valid”. It’s a RankBrain thing.
You may want to check if your business is rated on CMac. If not, who knows, maybe you might even want to add your business and get it rated? NAP consistency and all that, right? Hey, and maybe just for kicks you might want to rate your competitors’ businesses? They deserve a star or two right?
Joy Hawkins and Jason Brown are constantly beating the #StopCrapOnTheMap drum. Think it may be time for #KillReviewScrannelInTheKnowledgePanel (you try finding a good word that rhymes with “panel”).