Should You Respond to a Negative Review About Your Business?

Should You Respond to a Negative Review About Your Business?

Monitoring what’s being said online about your company is vital to any smart business strategy.

To understand the market’s perception of your company, you need to know what potential customers are seeing when they Google your business’s name. Maybe you have signed up to online monitoring services, or maybe you regularly check certain websites. You probably also type your business’s name into the search box to see what pops up. What happens when one day you notice something wrong? What happens when you see a review of your business that’s untruthful? If you’re like many small business owners, you jump into the online discussion to defend yourself.

 Danger! Danger!

It’s easy to think that you can make things better on your own. The truth will set you free, right? But be forewarned, you may make matters worse.

Here is what you need to know:

First, responding to a negative review can backfire on you.  Posting a response can add additional content about you to the webpage, which makes the page more relevant to Google and Bing. That means the webpage will rank higher in the search results – exactly what you do not want to happen.  Further, posting a response can legitimize the complaint. You don’t want to create the impression that whether you defraud your customers has any basis worthy of public discussion. And posting a response can have an effect similar to throwing gas on a fire – other commenters can come to the defense of the original author who disparaged you, and other people  may chime in about how they were also victimized by you. That’s bad news.

Second, keep in mind where the review is posted. Responses are much more likely to backfire on you when the review is made in a negative forum – that is the “gripe” sites like Ripoff Report, Pissed Consumer, Complaints Board, etc. There is no winning on these websites. But if the review is on a neutral forum where people can post both positive and negative reviews, responding can be a good thing – just make sure that you try to make your review helpful, write in an upbeat tone, and do not attack the author. You are writing your response for all visitors to the site – not just the author of the negative review.

Third, responding to negative reviews does not remove the review from the Google search results. Before you spin your wheels trying to DIY your reputation management, let’s take a closer look at the only method we’ve discovered for truly removing defamatory webpages about your small business from the Google search results.  

What to do After a Defamatory Attack on Your Business

If a customer has posted a false, inaccurate review of your business, they are no longer protected by the freedom of speech. These libelous attacks are grounds for legal action.

There is only one way to stop the damages of these types of attack: remove them completely from the Google search results.

At Hutcherson Law, we have successfully removed over a thousand defamatory webpages from Google’s search index. These defamatory webpages come from websites, such as Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer. They include fraudulent reviews published by a business competitor, negative reviews made by disgruntled former employees, and disparaging posts by customers who became upset and took things out of proportion.

We’ll Help You Hold Lawbreakers Responsible

Defamatory reviews and statements are illegal. Hold the people responsible who are trying to harm your business with swift, effective legal action.
Contact our Internet law firm to talk through the details of your case and learn more about your options.