complaints, reviews, rip off & scam : 4 pages every SMB site must have

The title says it all. Complaints, reviews, rip off & scam are 4 searches that every commercial site, product and service provider should be aware off. Once your users started searching for these keywords + your business name, service or product, you know you have a problem.

complaints Google suggestions

Small & Medium businesses (SMB) should be aware of these searches. Even big sites/brands should consider these searches when optimizing their sites.

The best practice is to address these issues before they surface online. But in case you didn’t, here is the best hidden reputation management SEO Tactic: Create pages on your own site focused on each of these themes.

YES, this is exactly what I meant … create pages focused on these themes on your site: (Cash4Gold Complaints, blackberry storm reviews, etc)

reviews coupons google suggestions

Let’s take “Blackberry Storm Reviews” as an example:

– Optimize your page title: Blackberry Storm Reviews, Blackberry Storm Complaints, Blackberry Storm Scam, Blackberry Storm Rip Off, etc. (I can see why some major sites will have a problem creating pages for rip off and scam)
– Get a clever copywriter to write content focused on that theme.
– For the Reviews Page, list positive reviews on the page. You can also list mixed reviews on the site to gain credibility
– On the Scam pages, warn users of scam deals online, or fraud products.
– For the Rip Off page, educate users on getting the best deals from authorized dealers … )
– Link to these pages internally from other strong pages on your site

– Link to positive review pages on popular external sites. You are helping those external pages to rank higher by linking to them.
– Link to positive user review pages on popular user review sites (cnet), most of the sites provide a link to view only positive or negative reviews. Other sites allow you to order ratings highest to lowest.
rank your positive reviews higher

– Create a twitter account for blackberry_storm_reviews. Users will add their reviews, comments and complaints which allows you to get a chance to reply back.

– You call also buy PPC ads on search engines targeting these searches. Make sure they are relevant to user search query.

Other tactics that will gain you more listings in SERPs (may require more time and effort):
– Create sub-domains and external sites focused on these themes … (some may argue that sub-domains lost their power, true but it still work for ebay and walmart!)
– Encourage affiliate sites with positive reviews
– Higher a reputation management specialist

It is obvious now that Google tries to maintain neutral SERPs, which means some ‘negative / undesired’ listings will never (very hard to) be pushed down in the SERPs (, especially if they have good content and true complaints. The best thing you can do is to control the top 5 listings at least.

Reputation Management for SMB
Reputation management is an everyday task for SMBs, once you are hit with some of black hat sites (ripoff and complaints sites), it is hard to remove from SERPs. The main idea is to gain more real estate on the SERPs (Search Engines Results Pages) for these search queries which enables you to get a chance to offer your side of the story, to offer customer support, positive reviews, etc.

If you don’t do so, some other site is having that spot already!

The good news, Google will favor your brand, so there is a big chance you will rank high for you Business Name related queries

Same concept applies for many other searches that you should optimize for; deals, discounts, careers, etc. It is always a good SEO tactic to occupy a listing in SERPs for your branded keywords.

Google Suggest
* Do you know Google Suggest displays the most popular searches for the queries being searched on Google Home Page! You would be surprised what users find in these suggestions. You better create those pages today! suffers major reputation management issues, Google Suggest displays the worst searches a commercial site can get. What if they had a Complaints/Reviews/Rip Off/ pages ….

Is it ethical to do so? That’s another discussion! But I don’t see a problem in getting your site on SERPs for these queries, controlling/dominating the whole SERP is something else

gold4cash complaints

* I found this page exposing fake positive reviews of a SEO Software


  1. John, excellent post. Curious, what is your take on how to combat black-hat efforts by competitors to slander you on review sites, posing as a customers?

  2. cynthiagrossman |

    great article john!



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