Online Reputation Management Services and Dealing with Ratings Filters

Many people today simply will not become customers with a business anymore until they have checked their reviews online, preferably using their smartphones. This is why all businesses should now engage in online reputation management services. Indeed, research has shown that reviews truly are the be all and end all of business success. Reviews sell, and people actively search for them and filter them to develop their opinion.

Online Reputation Management Services and the Rankings Filter

It doesn’t matter whether your rankings come in stars, numbers, circles, or anything else, it is likely that they will rank you on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being the worst and five being the best. This is a system that has been in place since 1820, when the star classification was developed, and our brains are wired to understand this.

The internet user of 2018 tends to grab their smartphone and searches for the type of business they are interested in. They will immediately be more interested in the results found on the first page of Google, and they will be more interested in businesses that have a four or above ranking. In fact, they probably won’t even look at anything else.

Interestingly, while the above makes sense, Local Search Ranking Factors has ranked star ratings as only the 24th most important thing, which is much lower than most people had expected. However, Google has just changed the playing field, as they have a tendency to do. Filtering results based on their rankings is part of that, but that is again nothing new. Rather, they have now included a snippet known as “highly rated”, testing it on local hotel rankings. Additionally, they have changed their algorithm so that, when someone types in “Best X business in City” (such as best dentist in San Diego), they will only see those businesses that have a four star rating on average. What this means is that Google is building on the importance of the star classification, and that means online reputation management services must respond.

Technology is always changing and so is Google. Nobody truly ever knows what Google is up to or how they will change things. But it is safe to assume that there will be a correlation between receiving high ranks on Google and receiving high star ratings on various review platforms. What this means for businesses, meanwhile, is that they must learn how to respond to low rankings, and they must understand just how damaging these rankings are. Engaging in reverse SEO, essentially pushing the negative ranking down by flooding the internet with positive content, simply won’t work as well anymore. Unless they learn how to respond to negative reviews properly, encouraging customers to change their rankings if they are happy with the resolution, businesses may just find themselves dropping in the search engine results, effectively making them invisible. Online reputation management companies, meanwhile, are already responding by shifting away from managing a reputation and moving towards developing a reputation instead.