Dealing with Negative Reviews in Search Results

By now it should be read as FACT, that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a great tool for digital marketers to have in their arsenal.  When done correctly, it can deliver highly targeted and relevant traffic to your website.  

But in today’s online results, reviews and feedback have become more prevalent than ever, and need to be accounted for.  Imagine that for one of your key terms there are negative reviews from an unhappy customer, or a derogatory post relating to your business.  Such results have the potential to put off other prospective customers before you’ve even had the chance to engage with them.  So, how can you tackle such an issue - here are my steps to taking care of such problems:

Where are you at the moment?  The initial step is to figure out what other company you keep on the first page of your search results.  To do this, you should work out which keywords you would like to rank high for.  Start here to see if you have a problem.

Other domains?  Wait, you’ve already got one domain and that’s enough to keep you busy, right?  Well, it might just be worth your while.  If you can get a different domain to rank for your keywords, then this should push your negative results further down the search results.  So, get a domain whose name is similar to the keywords which you are looking to work on, and start writing a blog (where you can, you should include content which contains any negative keywords) – and make sure that you write regularly. 

Your feedback?  You should encourage reviews for your product or service.  Not only the right thing to do, but it can also work from an SEO perspective.  Another option you should investigate is to give the customer an option to feed-back on your own website.  This allows you to ring fence the complaints to be handled internally, instead of letting them air it publicly online.

Can Social Help?  Google has a very complex algorithm which no-one outside Google fully understands, but we do know that the major social networks rank well on Google and other search engines.  So get your social networks set-up, posted on regularly and linking back to your site.  Every social network has a different way of optimising for search results, so make sure that you are set-up correctly, and are active on those platforms.

Can’t Google Help?  Well, yes they can, but only as a last resort.  Requesting a removal from Google is a complex process, and in some occasions, Google will require a legal judgement in your favour before they can act.  Very messy and only to be tried if all else fails (it won’t!).

Have you ever experienced negative search results yourself?  Did you use one of these tactics or did you take a different approach? Let us have your thoughts below.

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Contact Whitefish Marketing for help with your digital marketing troubles 

To find out more about how we can help you achieve your business goals with local SEO, you can contact Whitefish Marketing today. Simply submit an online enquiry form and we’ll be in touch to discuss your options, or call our Folkestone SEO office on 01303 720 288


About Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson is a Digital Marketing Manager with a passion for helping businesses to develop their digital proposition. He has an expertise across the spectrum of digital, including search engine marketing, social media, website optimisation, email marketing and web analytics.