Online Reputation Management Blog

NY Attorney General Goes After Astroturfing and Fake Online Reviews

Online Reviews - Reputation RhinoNew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today announced that 19 New York companies had agreed to cease their practice of writing fake online reviews for businesses and to pay more than $350,000 in penalties.  As part of an undercover investigation, representatives from the Attorney General’s office pretended to be the owner of a yogurt shop in Brooklyn and solicited several New York SEO companies for help in addressing negative reviews on consumer-review websites like Yelp, Google Places and, as part of their reputation management services.

The Attorney General’s office noted that several reputation management companies used IP spoofing to post fake online reviews and some sought to buy online reviews from freelancers located outside the U.S. who would write and post positive online reviews in an effort to evade filters and algorithms designed to prevent fake reviews.

Over the past couple of years there has been increasing focus on the importance of online reviews. A Harvard Business School study from 2011 estimated that a one-star rating increase on Yelp translated to an increase of 5% to 9% in revenues for a restaurant. Cornell researchers have found that a one-star swing in a hotel’s online ratings at sites like Travelocity and TripAdvisor is tied to an 11% sway in room rates, on average.  Gartner projects that by 2014, between 10% and 15% of social media reviews will be fake.

Kudos to AG Schneiderman for trying to clean up the mess! [Read more…]

How to Remove a Complaint

Business Reputation ManagementWhen someone has a bad experience with your company, service or product, you expect that they will tell as many people as possible. It’s human nature and a fact of life for reputation management companies who are called upon to help a business deal with a public relations crisis.  Stories of on-time delivery, friendly customer service or accurate billing does not make for interesting conversation in “real-life” or online.

However, on the Internet, people can hide behind their anonymity and embellish on their negative experience, or even invent a bad experience. Read on to find out what should you do if someone is posting a negative review on a popular website like about your company.

How does work?

One of the main differences between and other review sites is that aims to engage the businesses in a dialogue with the complainant. Their hope is that the complaints, which score high in Google rankings, will be heard by the company. They encourage posters to describe their experience and close with what they hope to achieve through posting their complaint.

How can I remove or amend a complaint?

Posts can only be removed by the original poster, working with’s administrative team. does not alter or remove the posts by themselves.

How can I reply to a complaint? encourages business to engage in the conversation. There is a form to fill out, which allows the business to address the complaints of the original poster.

Before engaging with anyone on, it’s important to engage the original poster by specifically addressing their issue and coming up with a solution to change it.

The best course of action is to consult with an online reputation management company before engaging with any member on In addition to utilizing search engine optimization techniques to elevate positive things people are saying about you or your company online and suppressing negative content, a reputation management firm can help you craft an appropriate response to a site like