SEO in a review?

seo-896175_1920Search engine optimization (SEO) is the way people and companies increase visibility to their webpage or website.   Think of it as a free way to get unpaid clicks, and have your site appear near the top of search results.  You may have also heard the term ‘organic traffic’ which is any traffic coming to your site that is not the result of paid advertising.

I am not an SEO expert by any measure, but I do employ some SEO tactics on my own website, and I get modest pay offs from it since I do not do paid advertising (yet).   But beyond having a personal website, why would SEO be important for a reviewer to know about?

Some companies who are looking for reviews will request that the reviewers include certain words or phrases in their reviews.    This is done for SEO purposes.  I personally don’t like the practice because in many cases it makes the review sound contrived, especially if they have dozens of reviewers on the same product, saying the same phrases.   I understand that from an SEO point of view this can lead to more eyes on their product page, but ultimately the savvy shopper will be turned off if they read more than a few reviews that sound the same.  It will seem fraudulent, even if the reviews are genuine.  I wish that sellers would realize this, and they would drop the practice of asking for certain phrases.

Don’t lose site of why you review.  It’s not for the seller, it’s for the consumer – and the byproduct of that is your own personal reputation.  This is why I reject all requests to use certain phrases.   I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to comply with those requests, I think it’s a grey area.   At worst, it could be considered a mild version of review manipulation in that they are putting “words in your mouth”.


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