How to Discover What Matters Most to Your Internet Reputation
When it comes to fixing a damaged online reputation, private individuals and business owners alike have a lot of questions. Foremost among these is often something like this: “Should I focus on repressing negative information or putting more positive information out there?”
It’s a tough one to answer, but we have all the facts right here. To figure it out, let’s look at the benefits of each in turn.
Benefits of Hiding Negative Information and Reviews
The writers at SearchEngineLand know how important online reviews (both positive and negative are), and recently wrote an article detailing how 72% of customers trust online reviews equally to personal recommendations.
The other thing to keep in mind here is that most potential customers do not go through every single review and read every word – they pay attention to your aggregate score and common themes in reviews. This is good news if you have only one or two bad reviews – they shouldn’t matter much anyway if you have a much greater number of positive reviews.
But also keep in mind that if you have a few five-star reviews compared to a lot of average or negative ones, the few great ones won’t help you much at all. That’s just how customers’ minds work.
Negative news articles and other types of non-review online content can affect your business even more.
Although many potential customers don’t trust news sources or advertisers as much as reviews by other regular people like them, negative articles usually rank very high on Google and can sway opinion a great deal because in a negative article there’s no one sticking up for you – unlike on a review page, where there is bound to be a mix of opinions. Also, a negative news article often seems much more serious than a bad review, because whatever happened was considered by the writer to be “newsworthy.”
What does all this mean? Negative content related to your business online is one of the biggest things that could drive customers to never even give you a chance. That means that the benefit of hiding this information in the back pages of Google can give your business a huge boost.
What about Creating Positive Content?
Creating positive content can help negative reviews and articles seem less significant to potential customers. This is especially true on review sites.
Although review writers often focus on creating negative content, review readers are widely believed to focus more on positive content. This means that having positive reviews is much more beneficial to your business than simply not having negative reviews.
Having no information on your business available and easily accessible online will worry potential customers a great deal. Although they may not assume that they’ll have a bad experience with you, they’re more likely to go to a competitor than to try something they know nothing about. A little bit of positive content can go a long way toward allaying their concerns.
So… Both Are Important?
That’s exactly right. If your reputation is damaged online, the creation of positive content and suppression of negative content are both equally and highly important to bringing your business back.
It’s also important to note that creating positive content is one way of helping suppress negative content. If a positive news article ranks higher on Google, it pushes a negative review down a spot. If reviews are sorted by date, new positive reviews will appear before old bad reviews.