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Reputation Management: Is There Anything We Can Do Anymore?


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#1 kevs

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:09 PM

With the proliferation of cheesy for profit compliant sites, is there anything one can do to get a bogus complaint removed?

Some of these sites are run by heavy duty slim-balls who change their web hosters every month.

They are geared to besmirch the small business owner reputation as much as possible by putting the company name in title tag and on page.

Any idiot can post anonymously anything he wants to.

I know the strategy of getting good links at top of searches for your company name. That is fine, but I do not consider a long term resolution of this abomination.

#2 glyn

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:58 AM

Yes, it's bad and I've seen something like that recently to one of my properties.

Potentially there is a lot you can do technically, but at the end of the day you run the risk of becoming like the slime balls themselves. You can also outsource your conscience to a company that will make you pay through the nose for the service.

Better to let go and believe in Karma, what goes around comes around.

:)

#3 kevs

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:43 AM

Glyn, not a great reply.
the Karma thing is meaningless.

Clients, friends, may see some reprehensible thing about you on page 2.
I don't get any benefit knowing the owner will have bad Karma in 50 years.

Who could do what at what price?

#4 cre8pc

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:59 AM

If you have a concern that's effecting your business, contact Andy Beal http://www.andybeal.com/ This area is his specialty.

The best way to fight back is to prove them wrong via testimonials, spot less record, huge following and more.
It stings, but people who do this are sick and sooner or later, they lose.

#5 AbleReach

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:12 PM

Miriam Ellis says it better than I can: The Local Business Owner Who Would Not Be Mollified

Warning for skimmers - to really get this, you're really gonna hafta really read the whole thing. :)
Suddenly, I have that sinking feeling.
OK, just for you skimmy people, here's the cheat sheet excerpt version:

implement a staff-wide program for gathering positive reviews from happy customers to push down the bad review as time went by. I recommended he branch out and start getting reviews from other review sources, and that he meet this negative action with a deluge of positive effort.

Let's say he hires some lawyer to send some type of cease and desist letter, demanding that the offender remove his review. Well, Social Media and Internet Reputation Management have both been around long enough now for anyone who is paying the slightest attention to have noticed just how huge the reaction can be when a company decides to try to silence an unhappy customer and that unhappy customer happens to have a blog or an account on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. The company never, NEVER comes out looking good and more attention has been drawn to the negative situation than could ever have happened around the initial scenario of this single, bad review. Not a winning move, and I tried to tell the business owner this.

Let's look at the second imaginable scenario. The offending reviewer is frightened off by the letter printed on scary legal stationery and the owner pays the lawyer's fat fee. The reviewer removes his review, crawls away into a dark hole and is never heard from again. Hooray!!! But wait...what about that next guy? That next reviewer who got sand in his salad, a double charge on his credit card or a lousy auto repair job? When he leaves his bad review, do we start all over again, marching furiously back to our attorney's office? Get out that scary letterhead again, we bark, rubbing our palms together in furor. Who cares if I can't be on the job today, winning new clients, making money, running my business? At least I'll get that guy!



#6 SEOigloo

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:35 PM

:wave: Liz!

Thanks!

#7 AbleReach

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 04:22 PM

:wave: :cheerleader: :thankyou:

#8 kevs

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:41 PM

KIM,
Thanks for the link.
It's not affecting business.
And I already have the good stuff going you mentioned.

But I don't like the idea that this stuff just sits there for all to see and sometimes you may have a site that wont remove it, even if it voilates their own terms and conditions.

They may lose or be losers, but some of these sites have been up for 10+ years.

I think the big issue, is there currently is no law that punishes web hosters from hosting sites that slander.

#9 IncrediBILL

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:51 PM

Start by getting your terms correct because you can't sue a website for slander, you sue them for libel.

Slander is an oral comment, libel is in print.

If what's posted in an opinion, and states or infers that it is, there's nothing you can do because anyone is entitled to their opinion.

However, if they libel you with bold face lies and easily proven falsifications and defamation, then it turns into libel.

Another angle to use with sites like that are "tortious interference of a business", but it has to be a seriously libelous piece causing real damage to your business to pull it off.

#10 kevs

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:12 PM

Thanks Bill, so defamation could be an issue.
But they only have a PO Box, and move around, and change web hosters.

In fact, I think some of these places just scan and cull the reviews/ complaints and start a new site with those.

#11 glyn

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:27 AM

Kevs, I've been around the block a few times, and am not giving throw away advice.

Things need to change online, and slowly they are,but for the time being, you can either chase ghosts or expect to pave the office of your lawyer in gold.

Both lead to dead ends and bancruptcy.

Glyn.

#12 JVRudnick

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 08:20 AM

I really dont' think that there is much one can do....our own experience in trying to get a neg rep removed (about 3 years ago I think) led us to the realization that you can NOT remove a bad review....only place positive ones above same on the forum or site or even google et al.

Getting positives was a real set of tasks....placing same even more so....and the client ended up happier...but it did take I think like 5 months....

ymmv of course....but in our exp, you can never get something 'removed' -- only buried -- and with folks being so short-attention-spanned in this millenium, just off the first couple of pages is about all you need to do...

:-)

Jim

#13 kevs

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:22 AM

Glyn,
what needs to be changed online?
Clearly these lowlifes know that the laws have not caught up to the internet correct?

JV,
you may be right with Yelp or something like that, but reviews, or better stated, just libelous statements can be deleted. I've had it done several times at forums or complaint sites.
Some stuff is just malicious and does not even conform to the terms and conditions of the site.
An ethical site will delete. Some of these places as mentioned are run by complete low-lifes.

#14 glyn

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:57 AM

Kevs,

How do you apply a law that has National or Regional barriers to a global marketplace. I think you need regional frameworks (EU) and these are appearing slowly, but even with the advent of - for example - national privacy bodies (see cases of Facebook and Canada among others) you have problems in an international context.

In the US was it not the Trade Commission that published something regarding all those Fake review sites, and there was the case of a plastic surgery practice paying for fake reviews. In Italy some Google employees also fell foul:

http://news.bbc.co.u...ogy/8533695.stm


Think out the box and you can be sure of doing your own style of reputation management.

:)

#15 kevs

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:54 PM

thanks Glyn, good post. I do think some international laws do need to be passed.

Some of these folks would never publish stuff in a hardcopy newspaper, but feel free to do so online.

#16 glyn

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:55 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-10796584

Sorry but this was sooo going to happen, seemed appropriate.

Watch for governmental knee-jerks

#17 notepage

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:27 AM

Reputation management can be a challenge. Your best bet is to use profiles, guest posts, etc... to push poor content off the first search pages. There are a number of new tools that help with monitoring including SocialMention.com in addition to Ego Feeds, and Google Alert so you can comment when someone says something about your person or brand.

#18 kevs

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:59 AM

thanks note, I could not find ego feeds.
anyway, that's cool, but does not solve the issue.
I already have 3 good pages at top. My concern is how to get lowlife sites to remove pages that are libelous. Sure, i'ts great if it does not come up on page one. But even coming up on page 4 is unacceptable.

#19 Scratch

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:17 PM

I've had couple of experiences of this.

The first was back in 2007. After doing a design for an SEO company (seocompany.ca I think). The guy decided he didn't want the design and demanded a refund. Frankly, I think he was just fishing. He threatened that, if he didn't get his money back, he'd make sure that s negative and critical review of me and my company would rank at #1 on Google. He sent me links to times he'd done it before, so this was obviously a common scam of his.

I was inclined to call his bluff and to ride it out, but my ex was worried about the impact on our reputation, and refunded the scoundrel.

More recently, I was angered by my book getting its first sub-4-star review on Amazon. This was from a reviewer on the Amazon Vine program. He admitted he wasn't in the target market, and that he hadn't read the whole book, then proceeded to give it one star. This is on top of 23 x 5* reviews and 4 x 4* reviews.

The stupid thing is, Amazon highlights the most useful positive and most useful negative reviews - which is unbalanced as this single bad one isn't valid, as the guy got sent the book to review in the first place.

Rant over. Search for "Amazon.com Convert Ben Hunt" to see for yourself.

#20 kevs

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:36 PM

Scratch,
timely response to an old thread. Funny, the site in question seem to have folded.
But some review site for example are very evil sites, again any nut-job can put anonymous posts- and they could care less.
We live in the scarlet letter era. Hopefully those ****** sites will all fold one day.

#21 tam

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 12:37 AM

This thing that struck me about that article was the comment that a page of 5 star reviews can seem fake and put people off rather than a page that includes the odd bad apple.

We had a sales guy round last week, and he was pulling up google to show how this independent review site had 144 reviews of their company and they had 5 star rating. It just looked completely fake, everyone loved them just a little too much - stepford wives sort of style.

I think it's a little bit reassuring that you don't have to be perfect, and in fact being too perfect can be a bad thing.

#22 Scratch

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:35 AM

Thanks Tam. I get your point.

That ties in with the idea that, if you're not inspiring passionate negative feelings in some people, you're not trying hard enough.

I guess that's true in many areas, but mainly in writing/marketing. It certainly isn't the case if you're a nurse or doctor etc. (Or childminder!)

Edited by Scratch, 19 September 2011 - 01:37 AM.


#23 glyn

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:05 AM

"More recently, I was angered by my book getting its first sub-4-star review on Amazon. This was from a reviewer on the Amazon Vine program. He admitted he wasn't in the target market, and that he hadn't read the whole book, then proceeded to give it one star. This is on top of 23 x 5* reviews and 4 x 4* reviews."

You should learn to accept critisicm.

The biggest mistake I've seen companies make in this field is to assume that a rational human being decides to buy something based on 1 bad review. It happens all the time with that big site that does Hotel reviews. Spoken to countless managers schizing out about how to remove that comment. When in fact they should just keep going and improving.

PEOPLE ARE GENERALLY RATIONAL!

One of my favourite books on Reputation Management is this one:
http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/0198297793

What I learnt from this book is that it is sometimes better to let something pass than address it because if you address it, some of your customers that didn't think you had a problem, might actually start to have a doubt. Know your customers, mine them and bring them closer to you.

:)

#24 Scratch

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:45 AM

Glyn, I agree with you. One of my students actually told me to back off because it made me look sensitive. But I was genuinely p***ed off that this guy posted a review without reading the book.

#25 glyn

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:49 AM

I used to work in the publishing industry, no-one reads the books except the punters. Even book reviewers of the big nationals get their reviews spoon fed by publicist, don't sweat it!

#26 Scratch

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:41 AM

I pretty quickly realised there's no money in dead-tree publishing. I'm unlikely to see a penny in royalties for two years.

I saw getting my book published like an honourary degree, never as a profit centre.

The most useful thing about writing the book was actually the process of writing it. It helped me to solidify my understanding, which has fundamentally changed my career.

#27 tam

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:48 PM

I just self published by second book, Amazon reviews are a little nerve racking, I do worry about a bit about negative reviews from people I've annoyed. It's a great feeling to get good ones from total strangers though.

As a shopper I know that the odd negative one won't necessarily put me off. It's a much more complicated thought process than just counting stars.



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