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Complaint sites continue to litter the SERPS for a number of major brand names and the problem is quickly growing out of control. This morning, Loren Baker introduces us to an open discussion on how to combat these negative brand influences.
Comments17 Comments  

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from BrianChappell 2282 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Pissedconsumer has to be one of the worst. I dont usually call out sites for shady things but they are using a run of site network, to interlink the brand pages thus helping them rank well for YOUR term.I am not a big fan of complaint sites for the sole fact it is very easy for bogus complaints to be submitted.Defamation is a real issue.

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from Drupal 2282 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I agree. I think it’s dispicable that good Internet marketing brains are applied to such low schemes. Some of these services charge a fee to get your negative listing removed -- that’s kinda blackmail.

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from IncrediBILL 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 2

HINT: Don’t do anything to generate a complaint in the first place and you won’t have to combat those sites.

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from lorenbaker 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Heh, yes, this is good advice Bill :)

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from LtDraper 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Not all complaints are legitimate.  Some are from competitors trying to make things look bad for you.  It’s one of the nastier black hat attacks.

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from IncrediBILL 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"Not all complaints are legitimate."Those are called libel and defamation, courts deal with that all the time.If someone wants to play fair, I’ll compete with teeth bared to the bitter end.If you want to play foul, I’ll compete with sharks teeth (lawyer) bared and you’ll lose your little online business.If you don’t believe me, ask about 30 sites that are permanently offline for crossing the line in various ways.

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from johnandrews 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Well Bill you gave me a reason to talk about how someone in this community dumped me into one of those just to prove how annoying it could be. I did my homework, learned who it was, and kept quiet about it... something I’ll save for a rainy day. But if you want to flash brass balls as you do above and suggest it’s just bidness, I disagree.  At least one of the operators of these sites is certifiably insane. Take that to your lawyers and watch them drain your bank account while the crazy nut keeps doing what you call "libel and defamation", despite having to move, wear sungasses and hats in public, dodge warrants, etc. And if you think I should sue the moron who pulled the stunt, I’ll just say that not every libelous-looking, defamation-like statement is libelous or defamatory under the test of  law... even if it looks that way to the consumer. Payback’s a bitch.... as some will learn. But this issue is not as simple as you describe.

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from Janeth 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It’s more than thinking about what you’re doing. I’ve had people write stuff about me and claim to be a customer but I’ve never heard of them nor have I been contacted by them. I also did a website for a lady and she lost the password and login for her domain name. I did everything I could to help her but she wanted to do nothing too help herself. My hands were tied and after several phone calls decided to refund her money even though I had done my part of the job. She decided to write stuff about me because she felt I cost her money. And another because their hosting company went off line and they felt it was my fault. It does not seem to matter how good you try to make your customer service, you are going to have problems. I’ve been in business for 8 years and do all my work 100% by way of the internet. There are going to be problems and people are going to get upset. But having things written that are not true or because a customer screws up and wants you to take the blame can me a harsh pill to swallow.

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from mphung 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 2

"At least one of the operators of these sites is certifiably insane." ... absolutely true! If you do a Google search on his name you’ll find lots of evidence that he is known not only for hiding from the law, but also for being a total fruitcake. Unfortunately, people doing research on a company aren’t also doing research on the person leaving the complaint (or the complaint board’s owner) to put it all into context.I recently worked for a company that was a target on a complaint site, and although we couldn’t prove it, we were quite certain that many of the complaints were written by the site’s owner, NOT disgruntled customers. The fact that he asked us for a modest fee (of half a million dollars or so) to "help" clean up our online reputation might look like a legitimate online reputation managment business or it could look like extortion, depending on how astute you were. Funny how the complaints started getting worse (and <i> how very well optimized they were for searches on our name</i>) and how we were no longer able to respond to them when we politely declined his offer to "help".Not everything is always as it first appears when it comes to online flames. Clearly some people have an agenda other than the "truth"; it’s naive to think that all complaints or attacks are provoked or justified.

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from DarkMatter 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I don’t know anyone outside of the seo/web industry who knows any of these sites exist. These website are not being marketed to consumers, but they are known to anyone marketing on the web. I think the vast majority of these "reviews" are not written by consumers but by unscrupulous marketers trying to discredit their competitors.

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from mphung 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@darkmatter - these sites might not have brand recognition themselves, but they rank well on searches for company names (i.e, when potential customers do research to make sure a site they want to buy from is legit, they’ll Google the site’s name and find these "reviews" at the top of the SERPs). They absolutely can influence consumer behavior.

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from ilamont 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 0

For every horror story and bogus ’complaint’ that’s posted to one of these sites, there are hundreds or thousands of legitimate complaints by real people with real beefs. These sites perform an important service that the government and the companies themselves don’t want to address: Bad products, bad service, and bad customer policies.

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from toddmintz 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 1

A site that only posts complaints is by its nature unobjective and biased and really doesn’t servie much of a purpose besides making money for the site owners.  A site that posts "reviews" (e.g. Google Local, Yahoo Local, Citysearch) which allows for people to post good and bad experiences gives much more value not only to the consumer but also to the person making the complaint for the complaint can be seen in the context of overall consumer experiences.

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from IncrediBILL 2281 Days ago #
Votes: 0

But this issue is not as simple as you describe.Did I say it was simple?I said some people that totally crossed the line got nailed.Many people panic and fold at the first sign of real trouble but others, like you point out, are certifiable and should be avoided and it doesn’t take much to figure out which one you’re dealing with.

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from seobro 2280 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I know a lady who is a prominent book author. She noticed that she was getting a lot of bad reviews on amazon. This can cause sales to drop and it did. However the nasties hit her latest book before she even sold a single copy with generic comments like "This book is the worst I have ever read bar none!", "Don’t waste your money on this trash pile!", "I am asking for a refund!"Funny considering that she has not sold a single copy. Her solution was to pull her book from amazon and the bad reviews disappeared.How can sonebody claim it is the worst book ever if they never read it? Perhaps they are a clairvoyant psychic?

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from johnandrews 2278 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@seobro haha I can’t stop laughing. After I learned how people can "buy" positions on the bestseller list (by arranging for pre-orders in advance, juicing the sales counts etc) I lost all faith in that process. Now you say authors are getting a taste of their own medicine... too funny!

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from charliep 2203 Days ago #
Votes: 0

If Satan is creeping up from hell, this ripoff place is where he is surfacing.   Not long ago  someone wrote a false report including my real name and my company name that included accusing me of fraud, tax evasion, discrimination and more. This showed up all over the web next to my name and company name in the organic search results within 24 hours of the posting. These were in some search results positions that had taken years for me to achieve.    I am a single Dad who is partially blind and turned down disability to earn my living on the Internet with a small business.   I spent nine years developing my 100% web based business with a 100% customer approval rating. Within one week I lost a top client and my business went down 50% in the next few weeks.  The posting has destroyed my business. This was my only income.   After nine years of 12 hour days and developing business, I am now bordering on foreclosure which means my young daughter and I will be homeless - we have nowhere else to go.   I found the person who wrote the libel posting and they expressed remorse and offered to remove the erroneous information but have found they CANNOT.   I contacted the ripoff people and they basically said we will not remove the posting so too bad sue us.    So I am considering suing Google and the ripoff. I am not sure what this will do for my situation but maybe I can help save someone else.    These people and practices MUST be stopped.      We NEED GOD or a class action suit NOW.    Do some homework on these rip people. Their website is lie after lie. Charlie Parks

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