The Strategy of Review Gating

In the current digital marketing environment, the practice of review gating has gained significant attention. This strategy involves businesses encouraging only satisfied customers to post reviews on platforms like Google or selectively showcasing only positive reviews on their websites. This is typically achieved by initially gathering private feedback, which then helps the business to pinpoint and prompt only those customers who are likely to give positive public reviews.

Google’s Stance on Review Gating

Google’s guidelines are clear: review gating is considered deceptive and is strictly against their policy. Non-compliance can lead to severe consequences, such as the removal of all reviews from a business’s profile, not just the ones suspected of being influenced.

FTC’s Position on Review Gating

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also addressed review gating, guided by the Consumer Review Fairness Act. This Act disallows businesses from blocking consumers from leaving honest reviews. According to FTC guidelines, businesses should not exclusively seek reviews from those expected to provide positive feedback, nor should they give undue prominence to positive over negative reviews. The FTC has enforced these guidelines by penalizing companies, such as Fashion Nova, for selectively showcasing positive reviews.

Ethical Review Request Practices

For businesses looking to ethically request reviews on Google, it’s crucial to ask for feedback in a way that does not emphasize reviews. Encouraging honest responses from all customers, including those who might have negative experiences, is vital for obtaining authentic and deserved reviews.

Conclusion: Transparent Practices in Digital Marketing

The essence for businesses in digital marketing is to adopt transparent and inclusive practices for customer feedback. Aligning with both Google and FTC guidelines is key to maintaining business integrity and steering clear of legal issues.

Let RobiDigital help your small business put the correct systems in place to safely and consistently gather honest feedback and reviews from your customers. Contact us today!