The other day while reviewing a new customer's store I noticed they were using a new Shopify app for their reviews.
Usually when that happens I'll take a deeper look at the app to see if it would make sense to add an integration with JSON-LD for SEO.
Turns out the reviews app wasn't built to collect reviews from customers...
It was a way to generate 1,000s of fake reviews along with "proof" of them to fool customers and Google into thinking the product was a best-seller.
Not only this is app doing unethical, it's also doing something that can get stores kicked out from from Google.
Google puts a lot of energy into making sure their search results are relevant and spam-free. They hire 100s of smart PhDs and experts who monitor and evaluate the search results. Their entire job is to make sure fake reviews and other spam is kept out of the search results.
One really useful rule-of-thumb I found in Google's guidelines was:
A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee.
or ask I call it, the grandmother test.
And I know my grandmother would be pissed if I told her my business was faking product reviews in order to sell more products.
What would your grandmother say?
(And to close out the story, I told that customer that they should immediately remove that app from their store)
As long as you're following Google's guidelines, one great optimization is to make sure your product's structured data is setup correctly for Google's Rich Snippets. With those you'll get more traffic and better converting traffic.
You can either audit your store's structured data by hand or install JSON-LD for SEO and have all the structured data you need.
It's already helping thousands of Shopify stores with their structured data and it could help you too.