Most of all the negative information posted online against small businesses comes from past employees or competitors. This is an extremely common problem; you’re not alone. It gets worse as you grow bigger and have a larger base of employees. This information can cause you great harm and you should be aware of it. Today 94% of your potential new customers begin their search with a search engine. During the search process any negative information could quickly dissuade them from contacting your business.
It’s very common for a prospective new customer to do a cursory glance to see if there is any negative information on your company before they begin a business relationship with you. A quick way to check is first just put your company name in Google. Look for any negative comments. If you still don’t see any negative comments, try the following queries in Google. Users often make the query Company Name and Scam, Fraud or Ripoff. The user of the double quotes around your company name assures that Google will only search for your full company name and not one or more of the words making up your name.
“Your Company Name” Scam
“Your Company Name” Fraud
“Your Company Name” Ripoff
The most common sites where complaints are posted are the following:
You can search for your company here by using the query below:
“Your Company Name” site:ripoffreport.com or scam.com, complaintwire.com, etc.
Note: there are no spaces around the ‘:’
If you see any complaints, please read our blogs on How to Respond to Negative Information online and How to Respond to Stupid Bloggers.
To continuously monitor what people are saying about your business, you can set up Google Alerts, which will notify you any time someone mentions your business online.
Simply go to http://www.google.com/alerts, enter your business name in quotes (ex: “ABC Business”) and your email address, and Google will let you know whenever new results appear.