WHAT IS THE “LIKE” BUTTON?
Google rolled out this function in 2016, and it allows anyone who is signed into a Google account to either give a thumbs-up for any review they like or not. There is no thumbs-down (dislike) button. You only get to give one thumbs-up to a particular review from the same account. The only requirement for giving alike is that you have a Google account and you are logged into it while liking the review. Anybody and everybody can like it. Even business owners can like their reviews.

DO GOOGLE REVIEW LIKES HAVE ANY INFLUENCE?
Quite recently, a quick study on this subject matter was made with twenty local businesses that had sixty total reviews highlighted on the front interface of the Google Business Profile. The study was to know how many businesses out of twenty had a liked review anywhere in their corpus, and did these likes in any way influence which reviews Google highlighted on the front of Google Business Profile?
The results were surprising. More than fifty percent had earned more than like somewhere in their review corpus, and fifteen percent of the time, Google highlighted only reviews with zero likes. However, eighty-five percent of the time, if a business had some likes, at least one of their liked reviews showed up on the front of the Google Business Profile.

WHAT THEN?
Well, it will seem that the likes which we crave so much do not have that much effect on what Google does or doesn’t do. Our advice, therefore, is that, as a business owner, there is no crime in liking a positive review of your business. It may have some influence on what makes it to the Google Business Profile front page. If it does not, it is still a way of appreciating the customer who gave the review.
There is no need to force anyone or tell anyone in your company, especially your employees, to thumb up our company or brand’s reviews. This would simply be tagged as spam and will not help your business in any way. Also, there is no need to buy likes. Buying likes is just criminal as buying reviews. You may be found out, and that will deal a deathly blow to your company’s reputation, which is what you are trying to build with all the likes and reviews in the first place.

Also, there is no need to act in bad faith. It might be tempting to like the bad or negative reviews that your competitors get. Don’t. It won’t get you up the Google Business Profile frontpage, and it simply is not clever.
On your priority list, review likes should be down the list. No one goes out of their ways to read these reviews, not to talk of noticing which of them has more likes. You can always invest more in good customer service and excellent in-store experiences. This will go a long way in ensuring that your brand or company gets a better reputation by the day, and it is far more honorable than buying likes or reviews or going out of the way to like the negative reviews of competitors. There is a fair way to the top. Go through that.