In today’s episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, Anton answers the question, "Will Doing This Get You Banned From Google?"
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Anton Kraly: Hello, everybody, Anton Kraly here and welcome back to the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. This is my show that is designed to help eCommerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations, and become the authority in their niche. Now, in today's episode, I want to talk about adding supplier reviews to your website, specifically in the context of if that will get you banned from Google. Now, the reason this is coming up right now when I wanted to hop on quick and record this for you is, because I just received this question when I was working with a member and they said, "Hi, Anton, can you please talk about adding reviews? If a supplier has reviews on their site and we have permission to use them, is this okay? I don't want Google to suspend my accounts." So, what they're asking there is specifically about suspending the accounts, not just like from Google organic listings, or anything. They're asking in the context of Google Ads. Anton Kraly: So, this is something that has come up many times over the years throughout the time I've been helping people with my coaching company Dropship Lifestyle. Probably since 2013, people have been asked me about how to get reviews. Now, I have a full training on that, in-depth with templates in the Dropship Blueprint. So definitely check that if you're a member of my coaching program, it's in module five, optimize for conversions, go to the reviews training. But to answer this question specifically, when they're asking about using reviews from their supplier's sites, if the supplier tells you that's okay, you are fine. And in fact, one of the ways I recommend getting reviews early on when you're first building your store, you haven't had any customers yet is talking to your sales reps at these different brands that you sell for. And simply saying to them, we're looking to build up our product pages as much as possible. We're looking to increase our conversion rates. Do you have any existing reviews on these products that we can use? Anton Kraly: And if they say, "Sorry, we don't have any." Then okay, thank you. But if they say, "Oh yeah, we actually do. We have this document we can send you with existing reviews." Or, "Yeah, we actually have reviews on our website. You could take them." Then, yeah. Great. Go ahead and use them and nothing will come of it. Nothing bad will come of that. The way people get themselves in trouble is when they use reviews without other people's permission. So an example here would be if your supplier had reviews on their site already, that you found and you just decided, "Oh, they have reviews. I'm going to take them and put them on my website." Or if your supplier was maybe not that ethical, or maybe just didn't understand how things work. And they said, well, we don't have any, but we do have reviews for these products on website, abc.com, and on amazon.com. We have people selling the product there and there's reviews. So you could probably take those, right? If a supplier ever tells you that, say, "Yeah, thanks, but no thanks." Because that is how you can get in trouble. Anton Kraly: So, taking reviews without permission is something that you're not of course always going to get called out on, or caught for, but it's something that's unethical. And it's something that for many people has led to trouble. Now, why does it lead to trouble? Well, what happens when you're in a niche or an industry and you start to grow and you have competition because you're looking for competition before you even start. When your competitors start to see your store. And sometimes even your suppliers, if they see that you're using their content without their permission. And I'm again, speaking of this, in the context right now of reviews, but this also could be unique product photos that they've taken, or unique product descriptions that they've written, anything unique. If you take that and you put it on your website, then you can, and you probably will get reported. So where do you get reported to? Well, they can file a DMCA and they can do that with Shopify. If your store is hosted there, they can also report you to Google, to Facebook, to really wherever they want. Anton Kraly: And the actions that are going to be taken from there are really dependent on the place where they're being reported. So for example, if you take somebody's product descriptions, somebody's unique, product descriptions that you do not have permission to use. They find us, they're not happy. They contact, let's say Shopify with the DMCA. And what Shopify will do then is most likely remove those product pages from your store. They're literally just take it down because that is the point of a DMCA. By the way, if anybody ever steals your stuff, you can also file a DMCA and it'll get taken down whether or not the person wants it to. So. That can happen with Shopify or the e-commerce hosting platform. Now with companies more specific like Google, I don't know their exact policies and how things work every single time. But I do know that I've seen situations where people have stolen. I mean, that's what it is. They've stolen content from other sites, they've got reported to Google and they've had their accounts suspended. Anton Kraly: So, to answer this question as quickly as possible, if your supplier tells you, they give you permission to use reviews from their own site, then you will be fine because of course, they're not going to be reporting you anywhere. They're not going to be mad. They told you, "Yeah, sure do it." But if your supplier tells you, "Well, our competitors have reviews. You can take their reviews." No, you cannot do that because the other retailers didn't tell you that you can. And if you just take reviews from your supplier site without their permission, again, they're most likely not going to be happy with that. Anton Kraly: So in this scenario, it's definitely best to ask for permission first. Never use content that is taken from other websites without permission, and you'll have no problems. So, hopefully, that answers the question, hopefully, that helps some people out and provides you with some peace of mind. Again, just don't steal content and you'll have no issues. So thank you, everybody. I appreciate you. Hope you got value from this episode. I'm going to head out for the weekend and I'll be back on Monday with a brand new episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. Talk to you soon.