Like we’ve said before, online reputation management is a must. Just one bad review can leave scarring wounds on your reputation, making it important to keep your online reputation clean.
With the rise of internet marketers, an industry of online reputation management service providers have followed. These services can help you bring attention to positive reviews and search results, and will work to bury the negative far down in search results.
When your online reputation has grown to be more than you can handle, these services may come in handy, but are they completely necessary?
Paying for a service that may not use ethical web practices can work against you and could actually hurt your reputation even more.
“Google, for its part, says there is nothing inherently wrong with reputation services, but ‘if you use spammy and manipulative techniques to get this positive content to rank highly, we may take action on it,’” according to a recent BusinessWeek article.
Small business owners should approach online reputation management with caution. Small “tinkering” with search results is ok, but not enough to salvage an entire reputation.
“You have to take partial ownership in fixing your online reputation. It’s not something that you can simply just provide a credit card number to a company and they can take care of it. While outside firms can help businesses influence results on Google, only the company itself can repair real damage to its reputation.”
Ask yourself – are you really muffling angry voices instead of fixing the real problem? Take a look at all of the negative reviews about your company or website. Are they legitimate complaints? Is there something you can do to fix the issue for future clients? Instead of trying to find the mute button, take a step back to look at the real problem and try to find a way to fix it.