Listings on any negative review site website can do serious damage to your company. Some of the techniques that you can use to battle these listings include the following:
1. Refute The Report Through A Written Response
Writing a rebuttal to the report allows you to tell your side of the story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do anything to remove the offending report. Instead, your response appears below the original text, much further down the page. This is not optimal for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the blurb in the search engines is usually taken from the content at the top of the page, which is a negative review in this case. Second, adding more content to the page gives the search engines more fodder to index.
Never use your company’s name when writing a response. The last thing that you want is for the page to rank even higher for your business name. Instead, try using a generic phrase like “The company in question”.
Check out our guide to removing this sort of thing from your branded searches.
2. Look Into The ‘Corporate Advocacy Program’ Offered By the Negative Review Site
With this service, you pay a fee for a Negative Review Site to investigate the offending content posted about your company. Whatever they find, they will publish it at the top of the page, above the first report. Even when the offending information is true, this can be beneficial since a negative review site may state that your company has successfully resolved the issue. They may even include a bit about your commitment to customer satisfaction as long as you can guarantee them that you will do your best to satisfy your customers in the future.
Even though the original report is still there, this provides a section of positive content above the negative. Of course, your company’s name is still published on a site that provides negative reviews, which can automatically damage your reputation.
Recently, a well known Negative Review Site introduced a VIP Arbitration Program. With this option, an arbitrator will evaluate your case for a fee to determine whether or not it is accurate. If the arbitrator discovers false information, they may choose to redact it.
Even though this option is supposed to be more cost-effective than the Corporate Advocacy Program, it still seems a little bit shady. It almost seems like blackmail since you have to pay a fee to the company that published the negative content to begin with.
3. Consider Suing The Original Author
Even though you can sue the person who wrote the report, this usually isn’t recommended. Most people who leave reviews on sites like these don’t have a lot of money, meaning that they probably won’t be able to cover the cost of any judgment that you obtain. Even if you get a court order forcing the person to remove the content, most Negative Review sites doesn’t allow the original poster to take down the report, making the whole thing meaningless.
4. Think About Working With A Reputation Management Company
In the recent past, reputation management firms have been popping up all over. These companies use search engine optimization to essentially bury the negative information about your business. They accomplish this by publishing positive information about your business on other sites. The goal is to get the negative review site to fall off the first page of the search engine results.
This works a lot of the time. In some cases, however, the negative review site has too much clout and can’t be pushed off of the first page, even with significant effort. There is always a chance that the report could resurface, as well, if you don’t stay on top of SEO.
5. Consider Suing the negative review site
Filing a lawsuit against negative review site is a long shot. Most lawsuits in the past have been unsuccessful since negative review site is protected by the Communications Decency Act. You can find more information about why they consider themselves immune to lawsuits on their website.
This negative review site is notorious for fighting any lawsuits, which can make this an expensive prospect – especially when the outcome is uncertain at best. Fees from attorneys can quickly add up, costing you a lot of money for something that may or may not be successful in the long run.