Negative SEO and your Online Reputation
We get a lot of clients who come to us with tales of woe, their emails are passionate, sometimes even frantic: ‘Some idiot opened a Ripoff Report about us! Our phones are not ringing and we’re losing business.’ Or: ‘I made a mistake a few years ago–can you remove a mugshot?’ Or: ‘My competitors are slamming us online and our reviews are now terrible; what can we do?’ We get it.
The internet is a wonderful tool for finding information quickly and staying in touch with friends and family, but it is a double-edged sword because people can also use it for ill.
The three main sources of our client’s woe are:
- Ripoff Report: this little gem is the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the online world. All someone has to do is say whatever they want, whether it is true or not, about you or your business, and within a couple days, WHAMMO–the lies are on the first page of Google for your name, business name, or keyword(s). The site does serve a useful purpose when used properly–it is good to get consumer feedback when a business is shady. However, they do not substantiate the claims made, nor do they allow authors, who might have typed something in a fit of jealous rage, to delete their posts. So what? Well, imagine you’re a physician and you want to remove a Ripoff Report, because you’ve spent years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars obtaining your degree and your reputation has just been compromised for as long as the internet exists (it’s not going anywhere, Doc!) because someone decided they knew medicine better than you do.
- Mugshots: essentially the mugshot publishers and the removal companies are in collusion together. Pretty nice gig huh? Publish embarrassing photos charge people to have them removed. I think I saw something like this in a movie…who was in that one again? DeNiro? Pacino? Brando? Yep, the last time I checked, putting people in an vulnerable position until they pay you some serious money is called extortion. Terrible, predatory practice.
- Review sites: some of our clients are restaurant or bar owners whose reputation is at the mercy of unknown patrons with unrealistically high standards.
Others are just ridiculous. Food was 3 min late? You get a thumbs-down. Waitress was rude? Forget the fact that you have the best chef around who is an all-around great guy, your restaurant just got one star! A lot of these people have nothing better to do than to complain, but when they complain about your business, it hurts your sales and makes your competitors look better in other people’s eyes.
Wait, you don’t think that some of those reviews were written by a competitor…nah, couldn’t be…why would they want to see your business fail?
So what does this have to do with you? Basically, we’re trying to reach out, to spread the news that there is hope for you, to let you know that if you’ve got a situation like the one above that is ruining your online reputation, that we’re here to help. Get in touch with us right now, tell us your story, and we’ll help you restore your rep so that you can focus again on building your business!