In today’s world, nearly every household has access to the internet. It’s not unusual for someone to shed a negative light on another person’s reputation over the internet. This is true for businesses too. Unhappy customers leave negative reviews all the time. Some might even go as far as filing a complaint on Ripoff Report and other scam-related forums.
A report like this can damage the reputation of a business. Negative reviews or complaints on scam boards and Ripoff Report can appear in search engines next to your name, your website URL, or even in the first ten results of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
The worst part is, these websites have a tendency to show up on the first page of Google Search Results. This is a crucial matter because as we all know, the majority of internet searches are done using Google. We are also aware of the fact that there have been dramatic increases in brand-related searches. (Brand-related searches are when someone searches your business name on a search engine).
So, who writes these negative comments and complaints?
After extensive research, we have learned that it’s difficult to pinpoint and identify the exact individual who wrote the review. In some instances, the writer could be an unhappy employee at the company. It could also be a competitor who is unable to compete with your business ethically and utilizes these non-ethical methods to get ahead.
One of the most shocking facts is that the target is not always limited to business. These reviews could target individuals who do not have any public presence at all. Since the writer is on the public internet, they could be using a fake name and fake email account to hide their identity.
One of the most common practices is defamation lawsuits. Litigation is a costly and lengthy process, and defamation suits are not easy, particularly when the defendant is out of state. But let’s not get into the nitty-gritty of defamation lawsuits and other legal remedies.
There was an article on Forbes.com recently about the Ripoff Report (ROR). The article touched on how they can affect your business and what steps should be taken to remove them. However, it is unlikely to remove the ROR. Say you won the lawsuit against the writer. At this point, it is still unlikely that ROR will delete the report from its website. In simpler words, it’s the bread and butter for scamming. Ripoff Report’s website makes money from these complaints in the form of display advertisement and arbitration procedures.
RCC Web Media Agency encountered this with one of our own clients, whom we will refer to as “Client A”.
Client A was named in one of the comments on ROR. The story was fabricated and misrepresentative in nature. Upset by the false accusations, Client A took the initiative of pursuing a lawsuit against the writer. Luckily, Client A was able to identify the individual writer. Long story short, the writer apologized in writing.
However, there was still one major issue: how to remove the report from the ROR site. The writer has no power or right related to content submitted on the website. Once the report is published, it is under the sole discretion of the ROR website to remove or not to remove the report.
There have been numerous cases filed against scam boards where the writers specifically requested the removal of their content. Unfortunately, a lot of them were not successful. This happened to Client A.
For nearly three years, the Ripoff Report was present next to Client A’s website in the Google SERP. This upset Client A because it was a poor representation of their company when people searched them on Google. Client A hurriedly conducted internet searches on how to remove the Ripoff Report. This is what Client A found in the related search results:
- “Ripoff report complaints reputation extortion”
- “Remove ripoff report”
- “Remove ripoff report from google”
- “Remove ripoff report from google search results”
- “How to remove a post from the ripoff report”
The reason we have mentioned the search keywords is to highlight just how often this problem occurs.
As a result, Client A called RCC Web Media Agency and requested that our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists and Online Reputation Management professionals provide a solution.
We analyzed the entirety of the situation and viewed the legal case outcome. We advised Client A to consider and prioritize this negative reputation as the starting point of off-page SEO and Online Reputation Management.
For nearly four years their company had to face questions from customers about this review. RCC Web Media Agency immediately started an intense reputation management service. In only three months’ time, the ROR was on the 4th page of Google. Needless to say, the Client, A client was very happy!
If there is a negative review of your company, we would like to share a small part of our research to help you regain and maintain your positive image in search engine results. In the next part of this article, we have included some DIY steps for people to try if they have a ROR against their website.
DIY Reputation Management, Ripoff Report Removal, and Negative Review Solutions
Here is the do-it-yourself guide to Ripoff Report and Reputation Management. Please note, this is part of our Online Reputation Management service. It should work on most websites.
First, you must revisit your Search Engine Optimization Plan. If you have strong off-page SEO strategies, it’s rare that Ripoff Report will show on the first page of Google. The goal is to dominate the first page of Google’s search results. Please refrain from using spam-like or non-ethical standards.
Consider this an opportunity to build your brand’s image. Every business is different, so ask yourself this question: which search results should show up on the first page for MY business? Make a list of those web search results and see why those results are not showing up on the first page. Sometimes it’s because of the poor off-page and on-page optimization. Utilize best practices of Search Engine Optimization.
Next, optimize your social networks. Social networks tend to rank higher on search results than other sites. Name and list the social networks that show up on the first page of Google, and which ones you want to show up. If your website does not have a social presence online, now is the time to invest in social media.
The Social Media Networks that are most likely to rank on the first page of Google are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr. We recommend having a presence on YouTube as well; optimizing your channel will make it show up on the first page. Similarly with Tumblr, BlogSpot, and WordPress, as can also play a pivotal role.
Optimizing social media networks requires consistency and dedication. Active engagements with followers and fans is a must. Updating your social networks with more information, status updates, and pictures/videos periodically. If these three things are not followed by a consistent approach, it is less likely that social network profiles will rank well on the results page.
As mentioned earlier, this is a part of the Online Reputation strategy. But we have not mentioned the other part of off-page optimization. For intense reputation management, we recommend you consult with an SEO Agency as it requires research, expertise, and time. You need to focus on running your business. Hiring an agency to manage these tasks will only benefit you. This is their job, and they will make sure to highlight your company’s positive attributes and eliminate negativity.
If you are concerned with Online Reputation Management, or if there is a negative comment you need taken care of, contact RCC Web Media Agency today! We would be more than happy to provide you with Online Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media Management services.