Why Copying and Pasting your Good Reviews is a Bad Idea

Aanchal Narad

4 min read Last Updated Apr 7, 2020

copying reviews

When you get a glowing review on a site like Google, it’s only natural to want to brag a little. Some businesses like copying reviews onto other sites like Facebook and TripAdvisor, hoping each review will reach more prospective customers this way. It’s easy to see why they might assume this: content shared in more places means content seen by more people, right?

Wrong. When it comes to review marketing, there are important guidelines to keep in mind.

Why copying/pasting reviews is a bad idea

Simply copying and pasting the review text and publishing it on other sites violates Google’s policy: “Do not post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or connection with the place you’re reviewing”. Pasting in someone else’s words about your own business is a double no-no, and gives Google grounds to remove the pasted reviews.

Even if policies weren’t being violated, copying reviews word-for-word wouldn’t fool Google’s algorithm. Google’s goal is to showcase the best content out there and deliver the best search experience to each user. Therefore, they only want to deliver a given piece of content to each user one time. If Google comes across the exact same review on multiple review sites, it flags this as duplicate content — and Google is not down with duplicate content.

What’s so bad about copying reviews?

By definition it’s not unique, therefore it’s less valuable. When Google’s bots run into duplicate content, they try to figure out which version is the original. That’s what they’d prefer to show. If they can’t determine this, they choose the site with the most authority. All the other versions of this content are penalized and moved down in search results.

Read also: How does Google search work?

So what happens if you copy a review originally written on Google? The Google review would be selected to appear in results over duplicate versions on TripAdvisor or Facebook. If you took things too far and had dozens of duplicate reviews posted on multiple sites, you could risk harming SEO for all your review site profiles.

It’s also important to consider user perception of duplicate content in reviews. If a customer is researching your business online and scans multiple review sites only to find identical reviews on each one, your business is going to appear way less credible.

Best practices for marketing online reviews

Remember, you are the publisher, not the author. There are ways to promote your reviews across the web without being penalized. For example, BirdEye lets you embed reviews on your company website, social channels, and 50+ consumer sites. Embedding reviews involves using snippets of code to display the review on another site while still including its original URL.

This way you’re publishing the review in a different place but attributing it to its rightful author and review source. What about that whole duplicate content issue we just ranted about? Not a problem. Google identifies embedded content as a representation of the original post. Embedded reviews are not penalized.

BirdEye’s integration with Google’s API makes review marketing easy and automatic. As new reviews are posted on Google, they’re automatically embedded on sites of your choice based on the criteria you’ve defined. BirdEye also creates a custom review profile for each of your business locations, displaying an updated feed of your recent reviews from 150+ sites.

Since they’re constantly refreshed with new reviews, BirdEye profiles rank high in search results. To make sure you cover all the bases, BirdEye also lets you embed a live feed of your best reviews on your website. Just because someone lands on your site doesn’t mean they’re sold on you already. Often, authentic customer reviews can provide that final push needed to convert site visitors into new customers.

You might also want check out How to understand Google Business Reviews

Reviews are an extremely effective form of marketing content and you should absolutely promote them across the web–just be smart about it and don’t copy reviews.