11 min read
- A business can sue if an online review is untruthful, libelous, slanderous, defames character, intentionally interferes with business expectancy, violates privacy rights, or breaches a contract.
- A lawsuit is usually not usually the preferred course of action when dealing with negative reviews.
- In most cases, online reviewers are protected as long as their statements are truthful. In fact, in the US, most states have laws that make it illegal for businesses to interfere with or manipulate online reviews.
It's the golden era of online reviews. No one is spared from the judgment of strangers anymore. If you're a business owner, you might cringe at that idea – and then wonder how to change it. Spoiler alert: suing the reviewer is usually not the best course of action.
6 min read
Reviews matter. They make your business more credible and directly impact revenue. No matter if you're a small business or a major brand, online reviews affect your reputation and conversion rates. They can make or break your business.
This is even more true as we continue to navigate tumultuous economic times. U.S. digital revenue skyrocketed a record-breaking 44.4% between April and June 2020. Now, more than $1 in every $5 spent on retail purchases comes from online orders. As more people continue to shop online, they’re also reading online reviews to decide where to spend their money.
33 min read
Online reputation statistics change regularly. This guide was last updated in January 2022.
If you’re like many brand management professionals you might lie awake at night wondering when the next emergency will upset your well-laid plans - take for instance COVID-19. We understand. The online reputation management world smolders with tales of tragedy, falls from grace, and salacious rumors that can destroy careers and entire businesses. As with any threat, a little online reputation marketing knowledge can go a long way. These facts and statistics should help.
5 min read
Fake reviews are like fake news but on a smaller scale
8 min read
You aren't the only one contributing to your online digital footprint. This article provides ways to protect your online profile from those who would do you harm.
What is online profile defense, why is it important, and how to get started?
- The online profiles of your company and its executives are vulnerable to attacks from multiple threats.
- Because online reputation has such a large impact on your company value, you must protect it vigorously.
- You can reduce the impact of negative content by fortifying search results with positive, high-quality content.
- Unhappy customers, bad publicity, competitors, disgruntled or former employees, and unmanaged corporate social responsibility can be vectors for reputation damage.
- In this article, we lay out the steps to protect your online profiles.
7 min read
When it comes to running a successful company, customer satisfaction is one of the most important elements to keep in mind for obvious reasons. A satisfied customer is a customer who is more likely to be loyal to your brand. They are also more likely to recommend your brand to others, therefore improving your brand’s reputation and your likelihood to attract new buyers.
14 min read
Let's get this out of the way first: Reputation X doesn't do fake reviews. Really.
But the question of fake Yelp reviews does come up quite often - usually after a complaint from business owners that Yelp has been hiding some reviews (real ones) and not others. Some business owners even believe Yelp hides good reviews as a marketing tactic - for the record, we don't think that's true.
Yelp does filter out real reviews all the time. It's understandably frustrating for business owners and marketing professionals who feel they are at the mercy of a heartless algorithm, because they are at the mercy of a heartless algorithm.
That's why businesses feel compelled to pay for ads and why users say that Yelp has become a pay-to-play game. In this article we have included only some of Yelp's most recent issues, because the list is just way too long.
Yelps' algorithm is a big secret, but we've found some of the reasons both honest and less honest reviews are filtered out. We'll share them here.
9 min read
Reputation marketing is the promotion, monitoring, and acquisition of positive brand content, such as reviews, social media comments, online forums, and traditional press. It is a strategy used to better understand what is being said about you or your company online, and to use that understanding to improve your brand and overall online reputation.
9 min read
Consumers of all ages and walks of life are turning to the internet first when they want to learn more about a business or product. Specifically, they’re checking out online reviews. Websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, OpenTable, and Google Reviews are considered to be trusted consumer resources, where discerning buyers can get a feel for how different products and services stack up to each other.
7 min read
Monitoring your online reputation will provide the insights you need into what is prospects, customers, and other stakeholders are saying about you. You’ll improve your understanding of customers, and that will shed light on to what degree your products or services perform in search results and commercially. To top it off, you'll have a better chance to avoid a crisis or controversy by catching it in its early stages before it has a chance to get out of control.
8 min read
Think about the last time you bought something online. How did you decide what to buy? You probably searched for whatever you wanted and read a few reviews. Maybe you found a negative review and that was your cue to move on to the next option.
12 min read
Every additional 1-star improvement can increase business by 9%. Think about that.
If you are in business, chances are one of your main sources of business is from your review and star-rating websites.
By this point, you’ve surely put the time and effort into making your profile stand out from the rest of the crowd. But the work doesn’t end there. You must continue to manage your business reviews to make sure qualified (real) customers are leaving reviews, the positive reviews outnumber the negative ones, and that any issues are being addressed so that lower star ratings don't appear as often.
An easy way to do this is to put a review management plan into action. You can use tools to do this yourself, or have an agency do it for you.
13 min read
Reputation matters, whether you’re an ordinary individual, an extraordinary individual, a crook, a saint, a political figure, or an entertainer. But reputation matters for more than just individuals. In the world of business, reputation has an ever broader impact than ever.
12 min read
Negative Google reviews are the plight of modern business. 91% of consumers between the age of 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With so much trust in reviews, you'll want to make sure your reviews are an accurate representation of your brand.
This starts with good customer service, branding, and deliverables. But even if you're doing everything right, you can still be the subject of displaced anger in online reviews. Your first thought may be to delete them -- but this can be harder than it seems. Most reviews can't simply be deleted, but there are a few cases where you can.
Google reviews can be deleted if the review violates Google's terms of service or if you are the one that posted it. If neither of these two options fit, then the third option is to get the person who posted it to either remove or delete it. Here's how each of those options works.
12 min read
The success or failure of your business can hinge on its online reviews. But more and more people are asking themselves if online reviews are even trustworthy.
From choosing the best hotels and restaurants in town to consulting the right doctors, most people rely on online reviews. Reviews are quickly replacing friend recommendations to become the main way we vet businesses against one another. In fact, we rely on online reviews so much that a single bad review can completely ruin the online reputation of a company.
One study suggests that 91% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations—as long as the reviews are authentic. But about 20% of reviews are fake. So can you really trust Yelp business reviews?
People see star-ratings first
Yelp itself states that 88% of people are "more likely to look past a negative review if they see that the business has responded and appropriately addressed the issue." But that statistic is based on people actually reading reviews. Most people look at the star-rating first. If it's not high enough they may not even read the reviews.
Yelp has been suspected of allowing businesses to pay for more prominent placement in search results. This would be a problem for good reason – this practice can destroy the credibility of the reviews we read.
This makes it even harder for honest reviews to rank over various types of review manipulation. And it also makes it difficult to constantly monitor all the new reviews for a business.
Yelp algorithm vs. motivated humans
The fact is, businesses with higher star-ratings and better reviews get more customers. While Yelp may not always be a trustworthy source, they do make an attempt. Yelp tries to improve its algorithm to weed out fake reviews, but it's tough. It's a lot easier to create fake reviews than it is to create an algorithm to detect them.
If a business is found to have faked reviews Yelp puts a nasty message on the business' Yelp page. Many business owners just shrug this off. After all, they're trying to feed their families and in their eyes Yelp is just getting in the way.
Let's remember that businesses don't ask to have Yelp pages created. And for those businesses that don't want to be listed on Yelp, getting a page deleted is almost impossible. What's a business to do?
The cost of creating fake reviews is generally far less than the cost of finding waiters who never, ever, have a bad day. So if the cost of creating fake reviews is less than the cost of perfection, and the worst thing that may happen is a nasty message on a Yelp page the business doesn't even want, many business owners ask the question "why not?".
It turns out that staying in business is a great motivator for trying to game Yelp.
Common types of review manipulation
This blog will share some of the most common types of review manipulation, and what you can look out for to become a more informed buyer. It's time to stop trusting reviews at face value and take a more critical stance when researching businesses online.
4 most common types of review manipulation:
7 min read
Have you ever bought anything online without looking for customer reviews first? If you’re like most adults in the U.S, your answer should be a straight “No!”.
Studies suggest that 72% of online consumers read between two and 10 customer reviews and testimonials before actually making a purchase.Having no online reviews about your company is not a choice either.
Because, according to research, even if you get one negative review from a dissatisfied client (or a shrewd competitor who hires fake reviewers to defame you), you’ll need about 12 positive reviews to counter its effects.
7 min read
You Google your company and BAM! Everything changes. How is this affecting prospects? Are sales down? Will this ever go away?
Of all the categories involved in managing online reputation, reputation repair is the one most fraught with confusion and a lot of stress. It happened suddenly, but it can take a long time to fix, depending on the issue.
Humans hate criticism - founded - but especially wen it is unfounded. Any sort of negativity directed toward your personal brand (everybody has one) or your business —earned or otherwise—holds an immense power to inflict damage in both the present and the future. How you respond can either improve the situation or exacerbate it, and with the stakes so high, not many can afford a misstep.
9 min read
Fast food restaurants occupy a special place in the dining ecosystem - at least when there isn't a pandemic happening. Restaurants get blamed if a waitress is having a bad day and lets some of her mood slip in front of guests.
Problems come either at the regional level as in the case of Chipotles E. coli snafu, or at the local level like when Domino's was sued over wire brush bristles found in a Dominos pizza. Both cases were dramatic and affected the overall brand.
But individual fast food restaurants can suffer a quieter, less dramatic online reputation problem - review decay. Some embrace a bad reputation, as in the case of Botto Italian Bistros' Yelp reviews, but most see a slow leak in prospective customers that can cost an individual restaurant thousands or more in lost revenue.
4 min read
PissedConsumer offers a place for, well, pissed consumers to vent about supposedly sketchy businesses. But how to remove PissedConsumer.com posts is the question on most people's minds.
4 min read
Review websites are not just for people seeking a good restaurant. Prospective employees looking for their next place of gainful employment often look to business review sites like GlassDoor, Indeed and Vault to get an idea of the working environment from people who've been there. Conversely, from the business' viewpoint, acquiring the best employees is key and unfair reviews can keep companies from hiring new talent that might improve the company. Our client was a mortgage firm who'd had a single employee post many negative reviews on GlassDoor posing as different people. But the reviews were not flagged as they didn't seem to violate the community guidelines.