II have noticed how when I type something in the search bar of my browser; looking for a service that a painting company would provide; I see the results shown - first on the page; are the paid advertisements, and then next going down the page; are the companies that have the best reviews on GOOGLE.
Companies that people like and recommend, should be first, this makes sense.
"Google places" is where anyone who owns a business can sign up and list their business for FREE with Google's local web search results.
Both the contractor and the client can post pictures; the client can write reviews, comments, etc...
Google's algorithms are designed so that the companies with the most and the greatest reviews will show up at the top of the search results; and scam artists have figured this one out and are using this loop-hole to deceive you - so that they can be listed first.
Dishonest contractors are writing their own awesome reviews.
The dead giveaway is this:
Blue (or some other icon) of a faceless person with no last name or addresses - or no other reviews anywhere on the web; just names like; "Bob", "Bill", "Mary", "Stacey", "John", etc...
...and I've also noticed that some companies have lots of these faceless reviews, which also is a red flag.
How many times have YOU given someone a good review?
Most people don't; simply because they don't want to post their info on the internet.
Think about it next time you see a company that has all those great reviews - from anonymous people.