The internet has made it possible for people to say pretty much whatever they want about any brand or company they want and to an audience that could potentially be huge. Forums, blogs, review sites…. they all allow and even sometimes encourage users to share their own experiences with companies.
That’s great for users – to a point. If a company is bad news, we’d all be in agreement that consumers have a right to know. But review sites have been open to abuse for as long as they’ve been online. Former employees, disgruntled clients and even competitors could write whatever they want about your brand online.
What makes this such a big problem is that these websites will often show up highly in Google – and if someone is writing about your brand on that site, a Google search for your company name could return negative commentary listings on the first page.
A fine example would be that of oil giant, BP. Typing “˜BP oil,’ into Google shows up news results from the massive oil spill of 2010 more than 6 months on.
We’re a nation of Googlers. Despite its market share dropping to just over 60% in the USA, Google still has almost 90% of the market in the UK. Consumers with access to the internet (so almost all of them, surely?) are armed with information about your company. A quick search engine search on a company you have never heard of would be “˜due diligence’ to many consumers, before parting with their cash. And if the top ten isn’t particularly favourable to your, for whatever reason, that could be enough to sway someone against becoming your customer.
You can’t just call Google and request the removal of listings that contain negative commentary. They won’t oblige.
There are things you can do such as responding appropriately to reviews on the websites that are rankings. You can also start engaging in social media to build a more positive and prominent brand for yourself online.
For help building a positive brand online and in the search engines, contact us about our online reputation management services.
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About the Author
Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.Visit Stacey's Page
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