The kneejerk reaction to negative reviews or commentary is to respond directly to the detractor. The question is, should a company respond to these posts?
Looking at it from the perspective of pure SEO, users search for a brand or product on the search engines using specific search terms. A savvy company will optimize the website and other content around the same set of search terms. It’s often the case that when a reputation management team starts repair work, they have to optimize for a different set of keywords. The reason for the new search terms is that users looking for information about certain negative reports about the company will search with keywords relating to the negative content. For example, while buyers will search using a product name, users looking for negative posts will use the product name plus “sucks” or “scam”.
Online reputation management teams have to optimize their content through such keywords so that positive content will be returned for the negative searches. Because search engines provide higher SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) to web pages that are regularly updated, making comments on a negative review can actually raise its ranking by adding fresh and unique content to the page.These responses can trigger other comments adding even more fresh content to the page. Others joining the fray would make the online reputation management work even tougher and could lead to a bigger crisis.
Once a discussion gains momentum, the thread could go viral pushing it beyond the control of even the best reputation management services team. This goes counter to what the objectives of an online reputation management would be; instead of burying the negative content the fresh commentary would end up boosting the page ranks of those posts. Instead, using the same platform and starting a new conversational thread works much better by moving away from the negative posts which prevents them from benefiting from the fresh comments. While there are situations where threads must be joined, care must be taken to ensure that a crisis is not made worse by posting a hasty response.
For more information on handling a reputation crises, visit: http://www.reputationmanagementllc.com/ or call (866) 530 7703.