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Don't let negative reviews ruin your reputation

Apr 1, 2011 12:00 AM

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The Internet has changed the game when it comes to voicing your opinion. Everyone has free rein to get on a blog or forum, post a complaint on one of the thousands of regional and national complaint sites, and destroy your reputation. If you don’t manage your reputation online, you might wake up with a brutal comment on top of the search results when typing your name into the search bar.

Ever go to Yelp! and search “printers” for your city? Some printers have 10 or 20 reviews. I recently stumbled onto a white paper published by that highlights several practical ways to protect your brand and company from malicious content.

Many potential customers, investors, and employees will do an online background check before working with you, and while a best practice is to monitor performance and constantly deliver beyond customer expectations., things happen and there are those out there out to get you. Be prepared.

The problem with complaint sites is that complaints are never removed. Take a look at the mission of, one of the top complaint sites with over 610,000 reports. They state “Some people have criticized this policy as being unfair, but we strongly feel this policy is essential, fair, and far better than the alternative – rampant censorship.” They have been sued by Fortune 500 in both state and federal courts and has won 20 of 21 times. You probably should consider another way to combat ballot stuffing or removing bogus content.

Protecting yourself involves posting positive content to drive down any negativity or garbage content when searching your company. Try searching your company and see what you come up with. It is amazing how many printers have a dot come business listing on the first page search results.

Here are a few things you may want to consider to drive up positive results when people are learning about you on the web. The goal is to have positive information on the first page of search results.

Google Alerts tells you of new results for your keywords.

Facebook to increase your ranking using both Fan Pages and Groups.

YouTube videos are ranked higher for SEO.

Twitter because shortly this is going to become visible as Google implements real-time search.

LinkedIn is great for controlling your image, and it ranks high on search engines. for the Yahoo community is great for images and video.

Start a blog to drive up ranking and your voice on the Internet.

Join Yelp! to place your own reviews and become part of the community.

Google “Free Press Release Distribution” to get press releases out.

Google Maps can put you on the top of the search criteria.

Post Job listings since they get high ranking, as well, especially on Google searches.

You don’t need to do all of these, but most are free. Even doing a few and sticking to it will help keep positive things out in front on the Internet.

Michael Casey is president & founder of Survey Advantage (, a strategic partner with several associations and franchises. Through partnership with MIS providers, Survey Advantage offers automated customer survey services.