Bad reviews are commonplace online, justified or not. In a lot of cases, today’s online environment and lack of placing credentials on online reviewers can give companies headaches. In other cases, some companies ignore those comments, writing them off as nothing justifiable and conducting business as normal. Regardless of the camp you fall in, there is still importance in stamping out the bad online reviews. It can stick with your business for a long time, and it’s not an easy problem to get rid of if it lingers on too long. Here are three reasons why you should care about bad online reviews.

  1. Online reviews (good or bad) affect your place ranking – Yes, it’s true. What others post about you online will affect your placement online. If you’re a business that wants to have a major presence online, then you want to have as much good press about you as possible. This is one reason reputation management is an important practice going forward. Reviews don’t have to be placed in places like Yelp or Urbanspoon to make a difference. There are plenty of review sites out there (by the hundreds), and it grows everyday. All the search engine bots see it, and index those reviews, affecting your rankings.

  2. There are often no filters for reviews – Review sites (take Yelp for example) don’t have a filter on who can see the review. Anyone and everyone is fair game. Oftentimes, the intent of a bad review is designed for the widest audience possible. Reviews aren’t like Facebook posts where you can limit those who can see your post. Many review sites don’t have a sorting field to work with.

  3. Sometimes the problem isn’t the problem – Even looking on the outside, someone who has read a bad review will see that sometimes the problem isn’t always the problem – it could be they had a bad day and wanted to vent about a person – or there was a misinterpretation of the way the transaction happened. This is bound to happen and it can bite you in the end. There are reviews that are legitimate, but there are some that are posted in such a way that makes the review more personal than professional. The average public audience member is going to read the review as negative in any case.

You’ve worked hard to develop a viable business plan. You want all that hard work to payoff and not be derailed by having a cadre of bad reviews on your online resume. Reputation management goes a long way, because it helps find negative press before it can do any (or more) damage. Whether someone has an axe to grind or someone is devoting several hours to derail your hard work, you have to take precautions to ensure your business is setting itself up to combat these battles. Place your trust in reputation management – it will end up helping you more than hurting. Content on the Internet stays there for a long time, if not for life. That’s enough time for one bad review to crumple your business.