Protect Your Online Business Reputation

Protecting your company's online reputation from negative comments is something every business may have to deal with. Whether from a disgruntled employee, an upset customer, and even competitors actions.

Businesses must be actively looking for negative comments that people are saying about them online, and be ready to respond to them quickly. You might want to consider developing an action plan in your own company for dealing with negative statements made about your company.

Part of this process is to monitor social media to see if there are problems arising. This can be done through tools such as Google Alerts (free) and Trackur (modest fee). These will alert you immediately when any comments are made that include the keywords you specify — either positive or negative.

You can also use "active prevention" to provide similar content (from your website) which will rank high and fill up the first page of search results. IE: You can create a bunch of pages titled "Reviews on (insert your business)" on your site itself.

This makes it much harder for any negative comments to bubble up to the first page of results and makes them much less visible if they occur. To further help dominate the search results for your company also put content on other prominent sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It's a good idea to reserve name spaces on social media sites — even if your customers are not found there — to prevent future unauthorized use of people that might try to impersonate or hijack your name or brands.

Linking to positive or neutral comments about your company to help increase their ranking is a good practice, so that those positive comments will show up on the first or second page of results.

Be active on any online social media community where your customers tend to congregate and talk about your company. If a problem comes up, you'll already be a recognizable and trusted voice that will be taken seriously when you address issues honestly and forthrightly.

One last tactic you might want to consider is to have your website name or company "trademarked:. In some extreme cases when you own a registered trademark, you can send a “cease and desist/remove” letter to the commenting party or the community website owner to have remarks removed. By citing the “the registered trademark” rule, in some cases you can clean up negative comments posted about your online business. Most third parties involved may act on this to avoid a legal battle. You should consult a trademark lawyer in your own country though if deciding this tactic might work for you in extreme cases.