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Posts tagged ‘online review sites’


Places, Pluses – and a Lot of Confusion

With Google’s most recent changes to its local listings functions, users are once again left to figure out exactly what it all means. For the small business owners dependent on local reviews, stars, smiley faces and other rating indications this may be one of the most frustrating aspects of using the Internet as a core-marketing tool.

An attempt to understand basic concepts of search engine optimization (SEO) is daunting to most daily business users. Expanding on that platform in an endeavor to discuss local search and SEO quickly sends local businesses heading for the exits. Dozens of consultants, vendors, college students and friends-of-friends all offer to clarify exactly how to benefit from these various services and search algorithms – for a fee. In the middle stands small business. Owners who are focused on the challenges of day-to-day business understand that the Internet is changing the way business is done but have little time to learn a whole new set of skills.  Read more »

Sep Discusses Online Sites that Offer Ability to Post Negative Content

In the past several years, online review sites have become increasingly widespread and easily available, allowing consumers to query information about individuals, services and products. Seldom is the origin of the content questioned. At we see firsthand that the lack of transparency by a reviewer/commentator – coupled with no attempt to independently validate claims – has created challenges that few imagined could happen.  When reviews are offered anonymously and statements, claims and criticism fill a review, it should raise questions of credibility – however many times it does not.

The team at spends a lot of time listening to potential clients as they vent their frustration. observes daily the inability to confront an accuser, attempt to rectify a misunderstanding or discuss an online opinion posted. The nature of these online sites is to allow free speech with anonymity. empathizes yet delivers a straightforward message; the Internet does not play fair.

The challenge with many online review sites is that generally the posted comments, ratings and reviews face no review or approval process. The team at knows that all too often these reviews are posted maliciously, with no recourse available when false and misleading statements are posted. As those of us at have frequently pointed out, individuals seeking information online may not stop to consider the truthfulness of content found or the identity of the one providing the content. When people take online information at face value they set aside a natural filter that is used when engaging other forms of media observes

When taking calls at, we often hear prospective clients make the assumption that a negative review is coming from an unhappy customer. In fact, these reviews could be coming from a related third party seeking an advantage by damaging the online reputation of the person or business named. As another post from pointed out, “Jason M.” from Wisconsin could actually be an employee at one of that company’s competitors. The team at has often noted that reviews can and do come from disgruntled former employees and dissatisfied current employers. “Consider the source” is difficult to apply in a world where anyone can pretend to be someone else at any time. There’s no way to prove Jason M. is in fact Jason M. at all.

So what can companies and individuals do when they find defamatory information on the Web? At, the first question asked may be whether or not a customer or potential customers will see it. The prominence of negative reviews in basic web search determines how much it can impact a business’s bottom line. regularly informs clients that many web searches rarely go past the first page or two of search results. If a rating site or opinion site has low authority with the search engines, such negative content may have little impact on the bottom line. Conversely, most rating sites that have high page rank can be very detrimental to a business. Many businesses are able to directly tie declining revenue to false online content. Thus, discusses the economic evaluation process when a potential client is considering retaining the company to assist with derogatory content. believes that any project considered to be tied to a return is clearly an investment.

2.3 billion searches are initiated on Google every single day. In many cases, the first source customers are using to find out information about your business is an online search. will discuss this with you and is able to help evaluate whether or not such online queries are hurting your business.

If customers are presented with a hefty dose of criticism when they search for you or your business, can help. With veteran specialists on hand to evaluate the specific origin, structure and authority of any given complaint, recommends appropriate action to correct online presence and visibility and restore your ability to attract new business. The goal of our work at is to deliver cost effective results that can be traced back to restored profitability. provides a free evaluation to all potential customers. During this evaluation, the experts at will research your online presence and determine what can do to help you re-establish your reputation online.  You are under no obligation by having this evaluation conducted. However, should you need the services of an online reputation company, can customize an online clean-up plan to help you.

While it is said that people are innocent until proven guilty, Steven Wyer experienced first hand that the Internet has interrupted such long held notions of justice. As managing director of Reputation Advocate, an online reputation management company, Steven Wyer now helps others who have been slandered online as he was. Adding the title of published author to his string of professional accomplishments, Steven Wyer has written Violated Online. In the book he offers more than 50 specific tips on how the reader can better prepare for an unexpected online attack. For more information about how Reputation Advocate can help you repair your online reputation, call 888-229-0746 or go online to