More and more attention has, quite rightly, been focused on the security - and value - of personal data online. One area of this that has mostly, until now, flown under the radar is reviews.
Let us explain: when a consumer posts a review on a review site, or a site that simply hosts reviews alongside its main business (Amazon is a good example of this) - Trustpilot, Yelp, Facebook, Feefo or any other - they do far more than simply review the business or product they have bought. They also give the review site the following (as a bare minimum)...
- their email address
- the fact that they have bought a specific product or service
- the fact that they are a customer of a specific business
- Google reviews have influence that is more far reaching, by far, than any independent review site
- Google reviews are seen by every person searching for any business
- Google will almost certainly already have been given your customers' personal details by your customer (they will have used other Google products and, these days, almost certainly have written one or more Google reviews)
- Google is by far the most popular search engine (87% of the UK search market as of October 2020), and anyone using it knows that Google is tracking their every keystroke already
- Some people reading this will be understandably nervous about inviting reviews to Google; for reassurance read about moderation and why it is such a key ingredient of professional review management