UK Businesses Caught Buying Five-Star Google

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Google is failing to do enough to combat fake reviews within its business listings, and must be held to account by a UK watchdog, according to Which? Google says it has “significantly” invested in tech to tackle the issue. The consumer group set up a fake company and bought bogus five-star reviews as part of an investigation.

Which? conducted its research by essentially setting up a “sting” operation to catch unscrupulous operators in the act. It created a fake business listing which it called “five-star reviews”, and searched online for companies advertising paid-for Google reviews. It then spent $150 (£108) on their services.

It has threatened enforcement action against platforms which have fallen short of their responsibilities. When we find scammers trying to mislead people, we take swift action ranging from content removal to account suspension and even litigation,” the company said.

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