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Hey Vortex listeners! We’ve mentioned how important online reviews are for your business. From the SEO benefits to getting those pretty little stars in any Google ads you run and more.

But sometimes we’ll see a client contact a ton of customers for reviews and some will end up getting flagged and removed because the platform doesn’t think they’re legit.

Other times, people in the same building that review the same company will have their reviews flagged as they’re on the same IP address.

Once you understand how review sites spot fake reviews, you can ensure that any reviews you or clients post stick. Here are the key detection methods on sites such as TrustPilot, Yell, Yelp and more.

Number 1: IP addresses. Most people know that using the same IP address again and again is a big flag. Many people try to get around this by using a proxy VPN or even the TOR browser. Thing is, all the IP addresses we checked from proxies such as HideMyAss, TOR and others have all been identified as belonging to a network. So for a company to get 10 reviews or so from a proxy VPN is very suspect. The way around this is by using one of the very few residential proxies. As the name suggests, they use real residential IPs that won’t be flagged. We’re subscribed to a pretty expensive service but the anonymity advantages it provides make it worthwhile.

Number 2: Canvas fingerprinting – a sneaky technique that allows websites to identify and track visitors using HTML5 canvas element instead of browser cookies. You can create a fake fingerprint by using Chrome extensions such as Canvas Defender.

Number 3: Good ol cookies and cache. Remember to clear these frequently.

Number 4: Suspicious review footprint. For example, on Yelp it’s unnatural for all reviewers to go direct to the review page and leave a review. What is natural is for someone to visit your Yelp page, and then a week later leave a review.

Number 5: When we visit a site we pass information such as our user agent & browser details. If the review platform is seeing the same browser leave reviews again and again, it’ll get flagged. Some advanced proxies allow you to spoof this information.

Number 6: The speed of reviews can also arouse unwanted attention. If you get a review every other week, it’s normal. 50 reviews in a day and then nothing for months isn’t.

Number 7: Lets not forget human identification. Typos, similarities throughout reviews or simply generic reviews might discourage regular customers and even get them or competitors to flag your reviews.

We hope that’s given you a better understanding on how review platforms work, and as always, if you need a hand with your review strategy or SEO feel free to reach out to us at http://vortexlocal.com