New York, NY, April 25, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- There was a time when those seeking medical care had very little information on which to base their choice of physician. They may have consulted with friends and family members, ultimately basing their choice on word of mouth; detailed consumer information about a medical practice was difficult to come by, however. The Internet has changed that, with online review sites offering patients myriad ways in which to voice their opinions about different medical practices. In light of this reality, more and more doctors and medical professionals are guarding themselves against online defamation, ultimately seeking the services of companies like Reputation Changer.
Indeed, new statistics
show that the Internet is increasingly powerful in shaping consumer behavior, even when it comes to seeking medical care. A recent study confirms that approximately 33% of U.S. consumers use the Web to help them make medical decisions—which includes not just the use of search engines for locating symptoms and possible treatments, but also the use of physician review sites. More than ever, patients like to find their doctors based on online reviews, in addition to publishing reviews of their own.
For members of the reputation management industry, this reality goes to show just how important it is for medical professionals to protect themselves against negative reviews and online libel. “For doctors and dentists, online review sites can be detrimental,” cautions Mark Reffert, Senior Strategist with Reputation Changer. “You may be the world’s best doctor, but one disgruntled patient, or dishonest competitor, could leave a nasty review that utterly sinks your practice.”
Reffert says this is no exaggeration. “We have worked with medical professionals who have seen their practices absolutely ruined by a single bad review,” he confirms. “A lone review, when it ranks well on Google, can destroy a practice, especially if it alleges inappropriate behavior, or anything to that effect.”
Reffert says there are plenty of examples of just how damaging a lone online review can prove. “We have had plenty of clients who came to Reputation Changer because of bad reviews on a site like Yelp,” notes Reffert. “If there is only one review of your medical practice, and that review shows up on the first page of Google, then that review completely determines how users will view your practice. Ensuring a positive public profile becomes essential, for any and all medical professionals.”
The reputation management
professional goes on to say that a single bad review can prove damaging, but doctors do not have to take bad reviews lying down. “The bad news is that there is nothing that can be done to erase or undo a negative review, but there is good news, as well,” Reffert comments. “The good news is that companies like Reputation Changer can offer extensive review suppression services.”
Review suppression is a common term in the online reputation management industry. While online reviews cannot, as Reffert notes, be deleted, they can essentially be buried, pushed off the first page of Google to a search position where very few potential clients will see them. Reputation management agencies do this by basically flooding Google, Yahoo, and Bing with positive content—content designed to make the client shine. This content is coupled with effective SEO techniques, ensuring that it ranks high atop a search results page.
In addition to review suppression services, reputation management services also offer more general clearing plans. “If there is anything on the first page of Google or Bing that a doctor does not want potential patients to see, Reputation Changer can help push that listing back,” notes Reffert. “Whether it’s a libelous attack from a rival, a patient complaint, or the results of a malpractice suit, we can inundate Google with positive content and ultimately improve any doctor’s online reputation.”
Founded in 2009 by a team of online marketing and sales professionals, Reputation Changer is one of the premier providers of online reputation management. The company works 24/7 to provide comprehensive reputation management strategies to its clients, which have included politicians, public figures, Fortune 500 companies, and more. Reputation Changer owns several media outlets, and is known for its innovation in positive SEO techniques, social media implementation, and more. The company is also unique for the custom, individualized process it takes for every client and every campaign.