Google’s John Mueller seemed to get annoyed the other day around people faking who they are with fake personas. He posted a PSA, public service announcement, on Twitter Monday saying, “PSA making up fake people for your review site is awkward, even with fake Linkedin profiles. Copying YT reviews from others together to make your own is cheap. Submitting it as a ranking question to the office hours, uhm, what do you want us to say?”
He went on to say that not only is it awkward and cheap to use fake personas on the internet but it is also not necessary, even for small businesses. He said, “To be honest, none of this would be a problem if you just do it all as yourself; it’s fine for one person to run a site, you don’t need multiple fake personas.”
So someone asked how does one be “credible” if they only are a single-person business. He asked, “Tell us how you can be credible just by being one person in a one-man outfit then.” John replied, “You lose *all credibility* once it’s obvious that you’re running a fake operation. And to all of the “nobody can tell because I do it so well” people: you’re deluding yourselves.” The guy went on to say he dodged the question, and John replied, “What do you want me to say? “Wear a badge and get business cards?” You become credible by doing good work.”
Here are those tweets:
To be honest, none of this would be a problem if you just do it all as yourself; it’s fine for one person to run a site, you don’t need multiple fake personas.
— John Mueller (official) · Not #30D (@JohnMu) July 17, 2023
I should add, that using fake personas and people to post on sites seems unethical. But using these fake personas as internal methods to come up with content ideas, ideas on how to make your website better, etc are good. You should always be thinking about all the personas that might visit your website and see if you can answer those people through your content. But to post these fake people on your site, as if they are real, does not seem genuine.
Forum discussion at Twitter.