How to Take Control of Your Online Reputation

By Mikal E. Belicove|For|May 12, 2010

Small businesses often believe they are at the mercy of reviewers in online review and recommendation sites. And the more businesses think they’re being misrepresented online, the more vocal their dissatisfaction becomes.

Recently, several small businesses filed a class action lawsuit claiming that review site was removing negative reviews and reinstating positive reviews for paying advertisers on its site. In response, Yelp made some adjustments, including adding a function where advertisers on Yelp can no longer post their favorite review at the top of the page.

But for many small businesses without the time or finances to respond to complaints or bad reviews on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and others, they believe they have little in the way of recourse. Oh, they can publicly refute and berate those bad-mouthing customers and third-party review sites, but without the proper tools or training, this action will backfire. And negative reviews can have a big financial impact on a small business. According to BIG research, 92.5 percent of adults say they regularly or occasionally research products online before buying them in a store.

While some business owners don’t mind…

Continue reading How to Avoid an Online Shouting Match