West Chester, PA, June 02, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Last year, Google spent more than $150 million to purchase Zagat, the well-known publisher of restaurant reviews and a familiar name to many consumers. At the time, many within the search industry wondered what Google’s interest in the company truly was—but now, those questions have been laid to rest. Google has just unveiled
its new Google+ Local search feature, the latest incarnation of customized, localized search results. The new search feature makes prominent use of Zagat reviews; when a Google user searches for a particular restaurant’s page, he or she will be taken directly to the Zagat review. Given this new focus on online reviews, the role of reputation management is more important than ever before—which is why many restaurant owners are seeking the services of agencies like Reputation Changer.
Google has been clear in its intention to create a Google+ Local page for “all known places,” which means these Zagat reviews are likely to play a prominent role in the company’s search results for a long time to come. Mark Reffert, the Senior Strategist for Reputation Changer, says the expanded role of online reviews is something every business owner should be aware of. “Online reviews have been steadily increasing in their influence, and that trend will surely continue now that Google is putting the Zagat reviews center stage,” Reffert explains. “More than ever, it is essential for business owners to pay attention to their online reviews, and to seek to control them as best as possible.”
Reffert notes that the impact of online reviews is potentially enormous. “Say you own a restaurant, and a user searches for that restaurant on Google,” Reffert says. “If the Google search immediately takes the user to a five-star Zagat review, then you’re fine. But if it instead goes to a very bad Zagat review, you’re all but guaranteed to start losing business by huge volumes.”
Restaurant owners are not the only ones affected, Reffert continues. “Zagat is best known for restaurant reviews, but the company also publishes reviews of shopping and nightlife venues, as well as spas, hotels, and more,” he observes. “Anyone who works in hospitality is affected by this, for sure.”
The bad news for restaurant owners, Reffert says, is that there is little that can be done about a bad review from Zagat. However, other online reviews are another matter—and if a restaurant can overhaul its public image outside of Zagat that may be all that it takes.
“A bad review from Zagat can be damaging, no doubt about it, but if all other online reviews of your restaurant are positive, you’re probably still in good shape,” Reffert says. A reputation management company like Reputation Changer can effectively enhance a restaurant or hotel’s online profile, curbing the effects of negative reviews. “Our goal is to make your restaurant or small business a desirable choice among consumers,” Reffert summarizes.
This is not done through rebutting or refuting negative reviews, something that Reffert says would be a mistake. “The goal is to get people to not see those bad reviews, and trying to refute them only draws more attention to them,” he explains. The goal of reputation management
is, on the contrary, to simply bury those negative reviews.
It is a strategy that Reffert calls review suppression. “The reputation management company will basically overwhelm the search engines with positive content about your restaurant, hotel, or small business—pushing negative reviews off the first page of search engine results, to a place where very few people will ever see them,” he says. “This is how a company like Reputation Changer enhances your brand identity, and ultimately helps you overcome bad reviews, whether from Zagat or somewhere else.”
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 other strategies. The company is also unique for the custom, individualized process it takes for every client and every campaign.