April 7, 2022

Why Copying and Pasting Reviews on Your Website Is a Bad Idea

On the surface, copying and pasting reviews on your website sounds like a smart marketing idea. After all, when your company and your business locations are getting great online reviews, it’s only natural to want to brag a little and show them off on your website.

However, there are better, more effective ways to syndicate reviews so that your website visitors can read them. The good old copy-and-paste method should be the last of your options. Why? Here are some of the reasons why copying and pasting reviews on your website is a bad idea. 

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4 Reasons Not to Copy and Paste Reviews on Your Website

Let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages of simply copying and pasting reviews on your website as text. Keep in mind that there are alternative ways of sharing reviews on your site. We’ll go into more detail on these ways as we move along.

Reason 1: Google Might Penalize You for Duplicate Content

When you copy the text content of a review that was originally posted, say, on Tripadvisor or Google, you’re creating duplicate content that search engines are likely to penalize and choose not to display in search results.

Remember: when you are displaying reviews on your website, you are the publisher, not the author of these reviews.

There’s a way around this. If you’re embedding the reviews or displaying them using a website review widget, you’re letting search engines know that the embedded content is a representation of the original post. Technically, you’re not duplicating anything: embedded content are not penalized by search engines. This is the recommended way of promoting reviews and social proof without potentially harming your search engine optimization (SEO) performance.

Users of reputation management software platform ReviewTrackers can use the review widget suite Amplify to embed or display all or a curated set of customer reviews on their website. Amplify uses snippets of code to attribute the embedded reviews to their rightful author and original source. Not to worry: you don’t need a web developer to get this done. You’re only copying and paste the code, not actual review content. 

Here’s an example of how this might look on one of your website pages:

Reason 2: It May Contribute to Poor User Experience

If you’re copying and pasting reviews on your website, you’ll likely be sourcing them from business review sites like Google, Tripadvisor, Facebook, and Yelp.

This means you’ll have to link to these reviews one by one (unless you’re using a review widget). Not only will this take up a lot of time; if one of the links is broken, or if you’re linking to your online listings or profiles on, say, Google and Facebook but not the individual reviews on these listings, the user experience won’t be seamless.

To make the reviews look presentable, you’ll also have to do more than copy and paste the review content as text on your site. You’re probably going to need a designer and developer. Otherwise, reviews in plain text might not have the kind of impact you want them to have, and could even lead to potential customers doubting the authenticity of your reviews.


Reason 3: The Review Might Be Removed

Online review websites often have ever-changing review policies, guidelines, and terms of use. If you’re simply copying and pasting reviews on your website, you’re at the risk of having these taken down.

Proper attribution is necessary. Even if you get permission from the original reviewer, you must follow each individual review website’s policy to make sure you’re linking back to and attributing the source correctly.

Reason 4: The Reviews Won’t Update on Their Own

Another disadvantage of copying and pasting reviews on your website is that you’ll have to do this regularly. That’s because consumers value newer or more recent reviews. 

If your Google My Business listing consistently generates a fresh stream of Google reviews — yet your website is only displaying reviews that are 6 months or older — you’re not really going to be able to capitalize on the opportunity to convert visitors into buyers. You’ll also miss out on promoting great reviews that talk about, say, a new product or service you launched, which your website visitors won’t know about since they’re reading outdated content.

Final Thoughts

Displaying online reviews on your website is a tried-and-tested marketing strategy that helps improve SEO performance, drive conversions, and attract new customers to your business. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that, if you’re using this strategy, your role is as the publisher — not the author. Attribute properly, consider investing in a review widget solution, and ensure that the review content is regularly updated.

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