If we compare their reviews to those of other reviewers, we see a similar pattern: reviews appear in large geographic areas5 , companies often have spammy names6 , they often operate in a service industry where there is a lot of spam7 , reviewers often review similar types of services in different locations8 , and reviews contain conflicting life stories and fake identities9. So I don’t think companies should be penalized for fake reviews, but Google should definitely improve its review filter. Who do users allow fake reviews for? It’s not just Google’s problem, I see the same companies listed here with shiny reviews on Groupon, Superpages, YP and other sites. If paid links are objectionable to Google, why are paid reviews accepted or allowed? The problem with fake reviews is that consumers can be exploited when real negative reviews are suppressed by 90 fake 5-star reviews. Once it becomes clear that Google is punishing companies whose reviews follow a recognizable pattern, you can be sure that these same companies can develop negative SEO campaigns to punish innocent companies. Google has banned fake reviews before, but I believe it’s time to punish companies that do this. I would be happy to contact Google to report fake reviews that a competitor has posted on their profile. Sorry, back to your article. You’d think Google would fight these fake reviews. If the insults violate Google’s terms of service, why would a user report them to Google? I reported a review about Kim Jong-un, and the user posted even more vulgar comments. Fake reviews are bad, but companies with 20, 50 or 150 fake reviews are even worse. I hope there will be a system in place to make it easier for companies to report fake reviews with 4 and 5 stars to avoid a penalty. There is some overlap, but with these first results and a few reviewers, we are talking about 1,200 companies and maybe 25,000 fake reviews. Life is too short to know everything, but if I had to guess, I would estimate the number of companies at hundreds, if not thousands, and the number of fake reviews at tens, if not hundreds of thousands. But if there is a pattern of the same reviews appearing in the same time period for the same companies, it’s not just a coincidence.