NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As online review sites gain in power and influence, the number of fraudulent reviews also increases. A recent Ad Age article highlights the efforts that sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.com are making to weed out fake reviews, but, as the article notes, it is an "inexact science," and false reviews will always slip through the cracks. This ever-increasing rate of misleading reviews stands to hurt the consumers who place so much trust in these review sites, but it also does real damage to businesses—especially the businesses that find themselves on the receiving end of fake, malevolent reviews. This reality has won the attention of Reputation Changer; the world's leading reputation defense firm. The company has responded with a statement to the press.
"At Reputation Changer, complaints and online reviews are taken seriously, whether they are legitimate or they are false," remarks Cliff Stein, the Chief Executive Officer of Reputation Changer. "The point is, consumers place a lot of confidence in online reviews. Those online reviews and complaints go a long way in influencing their purchasing decisions. As a result, online reviews and complaints are make-or-break for businesses."
Stein says that fake reviews are a real problem for businesses, especially when they are less than flattering. "When people talk about fake online reviews, they are usually referring to the fake, positive reviews that companies write to inflate their own brands, and to make themselves look better," he remarks. "However, the inverse practice is also common, and its results are toxic. Companies pen negative reviews about their competitors—a practice that can do real damage."
As for how much damage it can do, Stein says that complaints and negative online reviews can all but destroy a company. "At Reputation Changer, complaints and defamatory reviews have been known to bring companies to the brink of ruin," he explains. "Again, consumers place a lot of emphasis on these reviews, and they often do not have the time or the inclination to determine which reviews are real and which ones are plants. As such, bad reviews and online complaints, even when false, can lead to decreased sales, dramatic losses in clients and customers, increase in refund requests and chargebacks, and more. Additionally, bad reviews open the floodgates to even more bad reviews, making it a sort of unending cycle of negativity."
Stein goes on to say that, because fake reviews can be planted by rival companies or even by angry ex-employees, no business is ever safe from online defamation. "It used to be that, if a company provides superior products and services, there was little risk of bad reviews," he explains "However, the Internet has changed all that. People can say anything they want to say on the Web, which means any brand can be defamed, at any time."
Brands, in turn, have virtually no options for preventing this kind of defamation. What companies can do is seek the resources of a professional reputation management firm, like Reputation Changer. "At Reputation Changer, complaints are seen as serious threats, and we are delighted to help other businesses attack their complaints and bad reviews head on," enthuses Stein.
Reputation Changer practices what Stein calls suppression. "We cannot prevent people from penning bad, fake reviews and complaints, but we can strive to ensure that those defamatory posts are seen by as few people as possible," he offers. "What we try to do is effectively bury those unwanted listings under a mountain of positive content. When a consumer searches for your brand, then, all he or she sees is the good stuff. The complaints and reviews are buried, somewhere they will become non-issues."
Considered by many to be the world's leading reputation management and monitoring firm, Reputation Changer was developed in 2009 by a team of elite online marketing veterans. Today, the company includes social media consultants, content writers, SEO technicians, account executives, and more. Reputation Changer is passionate about helping companies and individuals defend their good names online, and has delivered its services to Fortune 500 brands, small businesses, private citizens, politicians, and more.
SOURCE Reputation Changer LLC