4 Ways to Ensure One Bad Review Won’t Impact Your Reputation’s Search Results

After working very hard to establish an attractive, informative website for your business, you may sit back and wait, expecting visitors to come pouring in demanding your products or services. When this doesn’t happen you may wonder why, which can lead you into search engine optimization, or SEO.

Simply put, SEO is the science of maximizing website visitors by ensuring that the website ranks high in search engine results. A website can suffer from either failing to appear anywhere on the first one or few pages of search engine results, or from showing up in ways that damage their reputation–like with bad reviews. Consumers today are both picky and impatient, and are unlikely to spend any time at all considering businesses that appear negative through search engine results. This means that a business which provides stellar products or services can come off as untrustworthy and therefore be passed over due to one bad review showing up on the first page of search engine results–unless they take action to prevent bad reviews from impacting their reputation and search results.

Preventing Negative Impact From a Bad Review

Any established business knows that bad reviews happen. It is simply inevitable that clients or customers will occasionally experience disappointment, and reach out to express this to others. Following are four ways to ensure that one bad review won’t negatively impact your reputation’s search results:

  1. Monitor and respond to reviews. In many cases, a dissatisfied client or customer can be handled through direct, honest and immediate communication. When a business monitors their reviews, they are able to know immediately when a bad review is posted so that they can do something about it. This can be as simple as reaching out to the client or customer, apologizing to them for their negative experience, and offering to make it right. Stellar customer service in righting a wrong–whether real or imagined–can cause a client or customer to either remove or change their review. That said, it is inadvisable for any business to directly ask a client or customer remove or change their bad review, as this can make it seem like one is “buying” the individual off rather than rendering good customer service for its own sake.
  1. Request that the website owner remove the bad review. If you feel that the review paints a false and unfair picture of your business, you can try and ask the owner of the website to remove the review. This can be tricky, especially on websites that pride themselves in never deleting posted reviews–even when court action has declared them to be false and slanderous–but it is an option and can sometimes result in success.
  2. Ask the search engine to remove false and defamatory reviews. This involves a series of legal steps designed to prove the review false and defamatory, but can result in having the page the review is on being removed from search engine indexing. 
  3. Push undesired search results down off the first page. This is done by creating a multitude of desirable pages that rank high on search results. You will benefit from having multiple websites, business profiles on several strong domains as well as several strong social media profiles. You should also try to contribute to other sites frequently enough to garner an “about the author” page on those sites, and get others to write positive pieces about your business.

    It is never wise to ignore even one bad review and think that it cannot possibly harm your business, since it can actually have a fairly significant impact on your reputation’s search results. With proper online reputation management, you can work to prevent bad reviews from occurring, and quickly handle those few that do come up before they cause harm.