This Blog Is About How to Combat Fake Reviews and Social Signals from Disaffected Customers, Competitors and even Former Business Partners.
Has This Scenario Ever Happened to You? If “Yes”, You Need Online Reputation Management Services.
You just had an argument with a business partner/employee and you had to let them go, and now they have started a smear campaign online – your reputation, economic survival and perhaps personal relationship (with your spouse or partner) is threatened! Google won’t remove the offending listings even though they are bogus. What do you do? Take them to court? Sure, if you can afford the time and money. Or, you can get even…by using a negative SEO or de-indexing strategy to push the offending posts so far down the search engine that no one will read them, or by making them disappear altogether.
If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that not everyone – I don’t care what industry you’re in – is ethical. The same goes for digital marketing. In every niche, there are black mustachioed villains (cue your best evil laugh) who are more willing to wreak havoc on their competitors than do the hard work of making their site more visible to search engines, and more effective conversion and sales vehicles.
“IS ABC INC A REAL BUSINESS OR A SCAM – READ MY SITE REVIEW HERE TO FIND OUT THE REAL TRUTH”
You see posts like this all over the internet these days. Baseless allegations purporting to be “FACTS” when the only fact is that they are at best someone’s personal opinion, and at worst a complete fabrication designed to ruin the reputation of a person or business, or even more sick, a complete fabrication designed to make people wary of that particular person of business, but at the same time sell themselves or their business as a safer/better alternative.
The internet is a dangerous place to find truth. Anyone can post anything the like. Google doesn’t “FACT CHECK” stuff that gets posted. But try getting them to take down a post or site run by someone who is intentionally telling lies or engaging in dubious behaviour designed to damage and you’ll have no luck. You’ve got to deal with it by taking the person or company that is committing the act to Court! Well that’s what most people think.
I was one of them until I realised that there is another way.
Online Reputation Management Guide. How to Combat Fake Reviews and Social Signals…
Gather product reviews: Encourage your customers to submit reviews of your products and services on Google as well as other trusted review sites.
Post customer reviews on your website: There are many ways to do this, but one option is a site called TrustPilot. You can integrate TrustPilot with your website and send emails to customers encouraging them to review your products or services.
Monitor reviews: Determining whether a review is fake or not is not extremely difficult. Bogus reviews include a lot of hints that they’re fake. If you suspect reviews left on any site are fake, contact the website owner and explain why you believe the review is not authentic. They may not remove it, but they may give you the opportunity to respond.
Respond to every review whether you believe it is fake or not: Google includes responses to reviews into their algorithm, so a positive response to a negative review can yield positive effects. Furthermore, it shows your customers you’re willing to make good on bad customer experiences.
Claim social profiles on every popular social platform: Even if you have no plans to use these platforms, you should own your brand on places like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and any other platforms widely used in your niche.
Don’t purchase fake reviews: Finally, don’t ever consider (not even for a second) to use a service like Fiverr to generate reviews! There are more than 100 offers to post “Google Local Reviews”, from people who most likely have never purchased your products or services. Chances are they do not live in a ZIP code your business services!
What is Negative SEO – and What Are Negative SEO Strategies?
Negative SEO refers to the practice of using black hat and unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s rankings in search engines. Negative SEO attacks can take a number of different forms:
- Hacking your website
- Building hundreds or thousands of spammy links to your website
- Copying your content and distributing it all over the internet
- Pointing links to your website using keywords like Viagra, poker online, and many others
- Creating fake social profiles and ruining your reputation online
- Removing the best backlinks your website has
As a suite of tactics, negative SEO is nothing new. The dark arts of SEO have been around since the industry began. The methods used today have grown and become more sophisticated as nefarious agents and the marketers who hire them are increasingly knowledgeable. Google too, has become more advanced.
Is it worth the risk (of engaging someone to fight fire with fire)?
If your livelihood depends on it, and the livelihood of your family and your staff and other stakeholders like investors is being threatened by the malicious actions of an individual or company – YES! Court action as mentioned earlier is costly and takes time. You are not guaranteed to win. Even if you do, you still have to get a court order addressed to the Search Engine Companies requiring them to delete the bogus links.
The Goal Is To Disable Search Indexing
Not the part that would be used. The suppression or deletion of fake reviews/scam reviews does not require the team that is carrying out the work to carry out a malicious attach on the website (if any) of the person or company that posted false or misleading information about you or your company. They would only work to suppress the offending links (push them lower down in the search engine rankings) or eventually de-index them so that the search engines no longer “saw” them (it’s called crawling) at all, hence the listing would disappear entirely.
What is the success rate of such action and how long does it take?
In my experience the success rate is 100%. Does that mean that the same person or company can’t create an entirely fresh batch of false links. No. Do most of them do that. If they really have an axe to grind and if your business has become their business/meal ticket, then it may be more like a “whack a mole” game for a while, but over time, you have to overcome their resistance with your persistence.
It can take 45 – 60 days to see links completely disappear, although you will often see a particular link disappear in a matter of weeks, but then reappear, this process repeating itself 2-3 times before in many cases people have not got the patience/time/resources to keep re-posting false content over and over again.
The Solution – Hire An Online Reputation Management Expert
We offer a comprehensive solution to everyone who is interested in restoring their online reputation (brand value). It involves:
- An audit of the offending Search Engine Listings as identified by the client, as well as a full audit of all search engines to identify possible additional links to be included in the negative SEO strategy
- A report with recommendations about potential paths to restore the client’s reputation
- Where required – introductions to Negative SEO Consultants, option to manage the process as the Client’s appointed agent
To set up a 15 minute no obligation FREE Skype or Zoom Conference Call, please complete and submit the contact form below.