Negative reviews in Local Search

I was with a local businessman friend of mine this weekend, and the talk got on to local web search. I asked him when the last time he checked up on what people were saying about his business. His response? “How can you do that? How can I find it?”

So, we went onto for a quick checkup.

Wow. How quickly an afternoon chat can turn into a panicked, “On no! Please help me fix this!”

A recent article in a blog we follow called Search Engine Watch, reads:

For many business owners this can be quite distressing to see. You think you work hard to give your customers good service and then one of them hammers you online. Your knee-jerk reaction might be to try and get the review removed by demanding that the reviewer take it down, or by contacting the site publishing the review.

You might also reach out and challenge the reviewer, call them a knucklehead, or outline in detail why they are wrong. This is not the way you want to go.

So what is a business to do?

The first step is to make sure that you are aware of what is being written!

So far, is only searching Foursquare and Gowalla for location based checkins and their comments/photos/reviews, and we also return a Bing “rating”. Google places, Facebook, Yelp and many more smaller and specific niche review sites will be available as we move along.

For a great post with one professional’s perspective on how to respond to negative reviews, check out this article by Mike Blumenthal.

Steve Mitchell is an internet professional with more than sixteen years experience in the field of local search and web based systems.

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