Angry Yelpers, edit-happy users making Google My Business tweaks, Q&As, BBB ratings – the number of outlets people can use to rate your company’s reputation online is always growing. But who really cares about all these reviews? The answer: everyone. Even Google. It’s true, search engines care about your bad reputation, especially for YMYL sites. Here’s how you can manage your online reputation for better rankings. In her Pubcon Florida 2019 Session regarding Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines, Marie Haynes shares some tips and tricks you can use to help your online reputation.
What on Earth is a YMYL Site and Why Should I Care?
YMYL sites are brand websites that involve Your Money or Your Life information. A YMYL site is one that provides information or services regarding medical care, legal help, financial services, directions, how to’s, or any site that collects user information such as credit cards and mailing information.
Sites that are considered YMYL sites (which are most sites out there), are expected to have a high level of EAT — Expertise, Authority, and Trust. During her session, Marie Haynes discussed how your online reputation will influence your EAT score.
Google Quality Rater Guidelines and Why Reputation Matters
Google uses quality raters, third party pros who analyze sites to make sure they meet the guidelines that Google sets out for its pages. Hint: there are hundreds of pages in the Google Quality Guidelines document that indicate an incredible number of factors that quality raters need to consider for a site’s EAT stance.
So, how do bad reviews play into this? Well, Google quality raters are told to consider a brand’s reviews outside of their own website. So, hoarding a bunch of great reviews on your company website won’t be as important as having great reviews elsewhere on sites like Yelp and in your Google My Business listing.
Your reputation serves as one of the many factors behind your EAT standings, the reviews and even mentions throughout the web (even nofollow or unlinked mentions) may influence Google’s overall perception of your brand, which influences your trustworthiness to the search engine.
Your company’s online reputation, and even the reputation of your authors, can help or hinder your EAT standings. A strong EAT score is especially important when it comes to internet marketing for medical businesses or other YMYL services.
How to Fix Bad Online Reviews
So, bad online reviews aren’t just dangerous territory in terms of scoring potential customers, but they’re also bad news when it comes to establishing your (or your company’s) trustworthiness to Google. Trustworthiness is a crucial factor of building EAT, which is crucial for YMYL sites. What is a company to do about its reputation management? Follow our tips below for handling bad online reviews:
- Flag reviews that violate the review website’s guidelines, such as reviews that mention competitors, curse, or mention certain employees by name
- Respond to negative reviews in a cool, calm, and collected manner
- Try to solve issues outside of the online space
Contact our internet marketing specialists today if you need more help taking care of your online reputation and beefing up your site to meet Google’s quality raters’ guidelines.