How to Deal With Hateful and Damaging Online Reviews
One of the most one-sided aspects of online review sites is ability for malicious people to post defamatory feedbacks and false reviews about your business. Anyone can visit a website and post a common on just about any business, product or services and even if a website has a registration system, it is still easy to make a fake identity.
Even though review sites are trying to put measure in place to subdued this practice, small business owners are still susceptible to malicious reviews and feedbacks from annoyed ex-employees, jealous rivals, bitter friends and relatives or anyone with a dislike against them.
The following are a few tips on how to deal with malicious reviews and bad press:
- First, make sure, if the bad reviews has any truth to it. Use your business records and information from your staff to validate if things really happened the way the critic said they did.
- If the negative review is indeed hateful, it is best to respond to it on the website where it was posted or published making it clear that your research has found no proof of the case occurring and if the reviewer can get in touch with your company for further help.
In this way, you have set the record straight;you have aired your side and put the ball in the reviewers’ court, all in the public domain.
- If the reviews are very damaging and makes a personal and malicious attack on you or your business, then you may want to consider getting rid of those negative reviews from your website. This step should be completed AFTER you have done everything required to remedy the situation.
Getting bad reviews eliminated from external sites such as review sites and blogs comprises requesting the webmaster of the site to get rid the upsetting content.
Armed with your facts from the first two steps, the webmaster may agree to eliminate the content from the site or get rid of keywords from the content that appear in the search results especially Goggle such as your company name or make the page a no-follow so that search engines do not index that page.
There is also the option of posting a free legal request to the Google Team, which may be helpful if the damaging content is a Google Image or a YouTube video.
- The last tip, if all else fails to work is to overflow the bad review with lots of positive ones.
Use a customer review campaign and ask as many of your customers to post and submit reviews online especially on review sites such as Yelp, Google Places or whichever review site rules search engine results for your company-targeted keywords.
In this way, the negative feedbacks and reviews will actually shows up as the act of a hateful person due to the massive number of good reviews surrounding it.