Ecommerce retailers will now need to be more careful about managing their online reputations, as Google has recently refined its page rank algorithms to count negative online reviews against ecommerce sites and count positive reviews more strongly to boost them in search results. This change comes in the wake of a New York Times account in which a questionable sunglasses eretailer boasted that his appearance near the top of Google search results was a result of links from bad reviews. Google reacted to the news within a 24 hour turnaround time, in line with a recent push by the giant firm's top lawyer to encourage fast responses to controversy, criminal activity, and copyright violation reports.
So what to do if your company does get some negative reviews? According to several online experts, retailers need to grab the problem bull by the horns. Address the issues, research the complaints, correct the problems, offer apologies, make amends, and be transparent in both what was wrong and what you did to make it better. In this way, it may be possible to convert your harshest critics into evangelizing fans. Google itself offers a number of tips as well, including be polite and professional, keep your responses useful and courteous, keep it short and sweet, be thankful for the feedback, respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share, and be a friend, not a salesperson.
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