Can You Remove Bad Reviews?
Attempts to manipulate the review system, such as as post positive but untrue reviews on sites such as Yelp dont work–in fact, they usually just get removed, according to the article (and Yelp). Its NOT possible to remove bad reviews from Angie’s List or Yelp.
Attempting to review negative information is possible, however, but usually only if it is a clear violation of a persons privacy, such as publishing a bank account, social security number; if it violates the site’s standards; or if the link points to a page that no longer exists. Online reputation management helps repress or, in some cases, remove negative postings from showing up in search engines.
So, according to Google‘s official blog, “…businesses can reduce the visibility of negative content about them by ‘proactively publishing useful, positive information.'”
See Related Article: Each Negative Link or Review Loses Thirty Customers or $30,000
What does this mean?
Simply put: publish content that people find useful and helpful.
This includes adding or creating interesting information or blog posts that draw clients in and show a high level of expertise in a particular subject.
Another interesting point in the Wall Street Journal article is that, “24% of small and midsize businesses in the U.S. currently monitor what is being said about them online, only about 5% use paid reputation management services…” but many more will be shifting towards a paid service because its just too hard to keep up. Some additional tips the article mentions are:
- Dont just look at Yelp and Angie’s List for reviews, although they could be the obvious choice. Be sure to review other social media sites such as Facebook Twitter, and Foursquare.
- If a complaint or problem crops up, be sure to listen and address it in a polite manor. Doing otherwise could inflame the situation. Also, contact the complainee directly rather than on a complaint board because that could increase the site’s ranking.
- Don’t overreact: If a complaint shows up three or four pages into an online search, it’s not a major issue. Remember: 90% of all clicks occur on the first search page result.
Most importantly, continue to add good, positive, informative content frequently. If necessary, consult with an online reputation management professional for a hand to recover a tarnished online reputation.
See Related Article: “25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools“