I just got a call from a very upset client. She told me how she had received a call from an Internet marketing company. The company told her that they found a negative review on her business and how they could help her by getting the negative review removed and by building positive reviews about her business. She told them no thanks because she was working with me and figured I could help. She was right. I looked into the matter. The review on her was posted by a firstname.lastname@example.org Obviously it was a bogus review. Question is whether it was the company that repeatedly called her or if it was a competitor.
To make things even more bizarre… She asked several of her clients to write reviews about her. Of course, they posted many positive reviews; however, soon after the reviews were pulled. My thought was that the web site was also involved in the scam.
Basically the whole thing amounts to Internet blackmail. It is too easy to sabotage the reputations of others and use it as a means to extort money from them.
Here are some things you can do if you find yourself in this situation:
1) contact the site where the negative review was posted and ask for it to be removed. This won’t work for reviews in Google local. Google is notoriously bad for getting in contact with and never respond to such requests. However, they have forums you can visit to approach the problem at a different angle and get resolution.
2) get friends, family, clients etc to post positive reviews for you
3) create a press release about your company so that you can bury the negative review from the search engines
4) call a lawyer and take legal action or prepare a legal looking document and threaten legal action
5) call me and I’ll see what I do to help