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April 20, 2012

IP addresses and reviews: are you posting your own reviews?

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: — admin @ 10:49 am

Are you posting your own reviews? 

We have a New York Notary Public who keeps getting review after review.  After a while I became suspicious.  Hmmm. Was he writing his own reviews?  How can you get 58 legitimate reviews?  So, after a few months of wondering, I checked my files for an hour in detail. I went through all of his reviews and checked the IP ADDRESSES of where the reviews were coming from. Each review was from a different IP address – every single one.  I was very impressed with him from the moment I met him ten years ago, and now I’m even more impressed.  However, my suspicion was not unwarrented.  HE was playing by the rules, but many others were not!!!
I looked at about 15 notary’s reviews and the IP addresses.  I found that about five of the notaries were posting their own reviews.  That is a definate no-no.  Perhaps clients had emailed testimonials to the notary public, and the notary public published them on their own. 
Notary Public Pennsylvania – a problem situation!
I checked out an Ohio Notary Public profile and found his reviews to be legitimate.  I found that a Massachusetts notary had written their own reviews close to a dozen times.  But, the worst situation was with a Pennsylvania Notary Public.  This individual had used three IP addresses over and over and over. There were a dozen reviews from one which I will assume to be the Pennsylvania Notary’s home computer, and then a handful from another which I’ll assume to be their work computer, and about four from another, which could have been a relative or friend’s computer, or perhaps a laptop or ipad working from a different network.  On the other hand, this particular Pennsylvania notary had more than a dozen “legitimate” reviews too — so, I am still impressed.  The other notaries I checked had only “unique” reviews from unique IP addresses. 
A New Policy – only  one review per IP
Although I only check the high performers as far as reviews go, I will only accept ONE review per IP address otherwise I will assume that the notary is publishing their own reviews which is a fast way to look good online.  Google keeps track of who publishes their own reviews, and google will not reward us, or you for doing this.  Get real reviews and we all benefit.  However, if your client can’t figure out how to publish a review, and emails you the review; — if you publish your first emailed review from your home computer, your second from your work computer, and your third from your iPhone, we will not know the difference, and you can get away with it!  That only buys you three reviews, which is not enough to really stand out, but is a great start. 
Teach your clients
If you have a client who loves your work and tells you so, then teach them how to write a review.  Send them a link to your review page, or teach them how to find it using the search features. It is not rocket science, and if you put in the effort, you might get results that change your life!!!

You could also print out multiple copies of your listing page and use a red pen to circle the LINK to the review page above your name, and also circle the advanced search page, where they can find a way to locate your city, and then your listing.  Maybe this technique will help.  You could also offer a coupon for any client who writes you a review.  Write a review, get half priced travel fee on the next job! Can’t beat that!


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