NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The world of online reviews is growing more competitive all the time, particularly following the news that Google has acquired content from the Frommer's series of travel guides. The Frommer's guides, around since the 1950's, have long been influential for travelers and for companies in the hospitality industry alike. Google's acquisition of this content comes on the heels of its integration of Zagat consumer reviews within its Google Places feature—evidence that, at the search engine giant, consumer reviews are increasingly central to the search experience. As Google ups the ante for consumer reviews, other review services, like TripAdvisor and Yelp, are becoming more competitive. While this competition may be healthy for the online review vertical, ReputationChanger.com says it is not necessarily positive for other companies.
ReputationChanger.com, a leading reputation defense firm, has issued a press statement in response to the Google/Frommer's deal. In the statement, ReputationChanger.com CEO Cliff Stein says that while online review sites may seem like a boon to the consumer, they can be bad news for businesses. "The Internet is a great resource for tracking down different kinds of information, particularly information about different products and services," says Stein. "These different review sites are becoming an integral part of the online experience, particularly the online shopping experience—something that Google's acquisition of Frommer's travel guides makes plain." Stein notes that, while it is unclear how Google intends to use the Frommer's content, the brand's prestige suggests that it will play an integral role in future Google developments within the travel and hospitality sectors.
Stein continues by saying that this plethora of online reviews could prove highly disadvantageous to businesses receiving negative notices. "Having a bunch of reviews of your company is great, if all of those reviews are positive, because that means your brand is really making a strong first impression with online consumers," he explains. "However, we all know that not all businesses have positive reviews. What's more, not all businesses can count on having positive reviews. Bad reviews can happen to any company, at any time, and for any reason."
Stein expounds on this comment by highlighting the fundamental problems associated with the anonymity afforded by the Internet. "A person can write anything about a brand, whether good or bad, whether truthful or totally bogus," he remarks. "What this means is that even a business with great products, superior service, and full transparency can find itself blighted by negative reviews. Those reviews could be planted by other, competitive businesses, by disgruntled employees, or by consumers who simply refuse to be reasonable."
Once these negative, possibly unscrupulous reviews are out there, Stein says, the damage done can be severe. "If the Frommer's story proves one thing, it's that online reviews are serious business, and getting to be more so all the time," he says. "What's more, there are new studies coming out all the time, showing that consumers are placing more and more stock in online reviews. The bottom line is that these reviews are pivotal in influencing consumer opinion—so if your brand does not get good reviews, the effects can prove very grim."
Those effects, the ReputationChanger.com CEO explains, can include lost sales, a diminished clientele, and even a higher volume of chargebacks and refund requests. Being that review sites can be disastrous for businesses, Stein says that ReputationChanger.com offers a solution: a variety of services for companies zealous for defending their reputation. "From the suppression of negative reviews to more proactive brand enhancement strategies, ReputationChanger.com is passionate for helping companies take charge of their online image," Stein concludes. "What we want to do is help each client stand out as a brand of choice among consumers."
Heralded by many as the world's #1 online reputation management company, ReputationChanger.com offers a variety of review suppression, brand enhancement, and reputation defense services, aimed at businesses and individuals alike. The company was founded in 2009 by a team of world-class Internet sales and marketing professionals; since that time, the ReputationChanger.com team has grown to encompass writers, Web developers, social media experts, and more. ReputationChanger.com is passionate about helping clients take charge of the way they are presented on the Internet.
SOURCE Reputation Changer LLC