Online Negative Reviews and Effects on SEO

The question here is do online reviews affect your SEO rankings? The answer is a resounding yes.

Let’s think logically here, people. Google is a trusted source of information. If you get positive reviews their algorithms should push your website up in a search index. If your business is doing well, and proven to be a reliable source of consumer goods and information, Google wants you on top. Conversely, if you have a ton of bad reviews, you should rank low, or not at all in a Google search index.

For example, if too many people were lured into business with a crooked company because it showed up at the top of a Google search index, eventually Google would be blamed. Their bread and butter is people using their links, so angry internet users could eventually add up to Google’s demise. They prevent this by effectively sorting positive and negative reviews and ranking your company accordingly.

A key example of this is the recent New York Times article that featured a business that was supposedly thriving online because of bad reviews. Their whole campaign was based on bad customer service so that people would talk them up online. As a result, they claimed to rank higher than even the manufacturer of the products they sold in a Google search index. After Google heard of this smear campaign, they quickly rectified their algorithms, and that business can’t be found anywhere within a Google search index anymore. While in the short term, it would seem that their negative reviews had a positive effect on business, after Google discovered them, they will no longer rank with that URL ever again. They probably won’t even be able to start a PPC or AdWords campaign. Essentially, that adds up to the death of their company.

Based on this key example you can see that negative reviews will eventually impact your SEO campaign in a dramatically negative way. So, make sure you do what you can to keep your business operating well. Consider what would have happened to the aforementioned company if it had been a single employee responsible for all those negative reviews? Death to the company, and it’s all because of one person. So, make sure you’re keeping track of how your employees are interacting with your clients.

  • Record your customer calls so there’s no he said she said arguments. That way you can use irate calls as learning tools to teach your employees how to handle angry customers and placate them without allowing the situation to escalate to negative online activity.
  • Review all the correspondence between your clients and your business. Make sure it’s always polite and ends with the client’s best interest at heart.
  • Set up a Google Alerts account so that you can be aware of what people are saying about you online, and you can address those issues directly.

The bottom line here is a no brainer – keep your customers happy. While happy customers are less likely to post positive reviews online than unhappy customers, no reviews are better than an onslaught of negative reviews. Do whatever it takes to make customer service your number one priority, and keep your SEO rankings climbing.

Optimum7 can help you climb the SEO ranking ladder with its reputation management techniques. Contact our Reputation Management team at Optimum7 today to help repair or maintain your company’s reputation.

September 12, 2011

Written by Duran Inci

Duran Inci is a Digital Marketing Executive with over eleven years experience in e-business, including Content Marketing, Paid Search, Ecommerce Systems and Integrations. As Co-Founder and COO of Optimum7, Duran has developed sophisticated processes resulting in leading-edge execution of marketing strategies. Combined with his strong leadership of the Optimum7 team, Duran has successfully generated many millions of dollars in revenue for his clients. His strong analytical skills consistently result in businesses meeting and exceeding online business objectives. Duran has taught a Digital Marketing Bootcamp at Florida International University for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He also hosts workshops at South Florida Universities such as FIU (Florida International University), AIU (American Intercontinental University), UM (University of Miami) and various universities in Europe. He's also very active in the development of South Florida IT Cluster and planning. 

Duran has been a featured speaker at various SMX, eMetrics, eMarketing and SES Conferences.

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