Building and maintaining a positive business reputation can be hard work. Businesses of all sizes are at risk of having fake negative online business reviews – a growing problem on the internet – undermine that hard work.
What Are Negative Online Business Reviews?
Fake negative business reviews are exactly what they sound like. They are untrue reviews and comments written on online rating sites, discussion boards, and social media.
Who Writes Them?
The nature of fake business reviews makes it difficult to identify the source. If the source can be tracked, it typically turns out to be a competitor, disgruntled employee, or an individual who has a personal grudge against the business owner.
Sometimes these people go so far as to create profiles with fake names and addresses. Other times, they hire an unscrupulous company to write fake reviews and shield their identity.
What Can a Business Owner Do?
Protecting your business’ reputation from fake reviewers begins with monitoring your company’s online reputation. Stay up to date on what reviewers and commentators are writing. If there’s a sudden increase in the number or intensity of negative reviews even though you haven’t changed business practices, fake reviews could be the culprit.
If you identify a fake review, determine whether the platform enables you to request removal of comments. Some online review platforms allow you to “flag” a review that is false or violates the platform’s terms of service. Review platforms often err on the side of leaving questionable reviews online because their success depends on having numerous reviews.
If you’re absolutely certain you know the source of a fake review, you may want to try asking the reviewer to remove it. But if the person wrote it in the first place, you’re likely to fail.
Hired help, like Net Reputation, is another option that can be used alone or with do-it-yourself methods. Using expert services is recommended if negative fake reviews are more than an isolated incident or are causing serious harm to your business.
What Do Professional Reputation Management Companies Do?
At NetReputation.com, our experts use multiple approaches based on industry knowledge, relationships, and proprietary technology to fight negative online reviews and comments. We use ethical methods to ensure that the internet showcases positive opinions about a business to minimize the visibility and impact of fake negative information.