Gaining customer trust and a reliable reputation is essential to any successful business marketing strategy. In today’s age, where the Internet opens up a whole new world of potential customer leads and word of mouth is becoming less common, reviews are integral to establishing trust between businesses and customers. Review management in itself is becoming a crucial part of business marketing and establishment.
As a business owner, you may be wondering which online platforms or portals are most important when it comes to review management. Removify, we have identified which platforms matter the most when building your business’ reputation through the work of an independent review removal service.
To better inform you and help you understand business review management strategies and its practical effects on third-party service websites similar to BorisDoes, we will cover the ins and outs of the most popular online review portals, as well as give examples of negative reviews and their implications on a business in this blog.
Remember that not all businesses need to have public reviews on display on every platform listed below in this blog. However, understanding the inner workings of these commonly used portals and the ones that your business already uses will help organise an effective review management strategy for the long term.
All about Popular Review Platforms and Portals
First founded in 1998 by Stanford University PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google is a multinational technology company specialising in internet and web-related services and products. Although mostly known for its search engine and browser products, Google is also involved in online advertising technologies, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and software.
For the average local or eCommerce business, review management on Google is integral to creating leads and incentivising potential clients and customers to visit their website, learn about their products and services and buy them. According to Removify, 88% of online shoppers use reviews to guide their purchase decisions, with 63.6% of consumers specifically checking Google reviews before visiting a business. 94% of searchers will also avoid businesses with negative reviews. Thus, it is incredibly important to produce positive reviews with high-quality products and services and remove negative reviews to prevent potential customer dissuasion.
Leaving a review on Google is a relatively simple procedure, hence why so many business visitors often leave reviews after receiving a product or experiencing a service. Reviews have also grown common in the online business space as it improves the credibility of a business or its products and services in a world of online shopping where there is no physical proof of the quality of a product or service.
In the case of reviews on Google, most are submitted through a business’s Google My Business Listing or Google Maps. Visitors first find the business on the Google search engine platform and next write an honest review online, along with a rating (out of five stars). Other Google users can also interact with listed reviews by either liking the comment or replying and expressing their opinions. Business owners can similarly interact with Google users by replying directly to reviews as a ‘response from the owner’.
Unfortunately, there may be times when you feel one of your business’ Google reviews is unjust and although you can reply to the review and explain its message is false and an inaccurate depiction of your business products and services, the damage has been done. A bad review will lower your star rating on Google, and depending on your total amount of reviews, a one-star may pull down your average from an impressive five star to a more common four-star.
In such cases, it may be worth considering contacting a review removal agency such as Removify to delete the reviews which act in a defamatory fashion. Having a high rating on Google and a positive reputation is essential to smooth and successful business running, so be sure to keep up with your business reviews and take down those that slander your business unnecessarily.
Facebook has been making headlines as a global social media conglomerate since its creation in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. Starting as a social networking website for users to befriend and keep up to date with each other’s lives, the organisation has since come out with more features in addition to instant messaging, such as social media pages (for both individuals and businesses) as well as Facebook Marketplace. Having a page on Facebook is now a staple for most businesses, as well as having listings on Facebook Marketplace for more exposure to a business’s products.
A business page on Facebook allows users to easily follow a business’ activities – through the like and follow function – while also acting to gauge overall community response for the business. For example, the growth in the number of likes and follows on a business’ Facebook page can gauge overall business growth and customer engagement.
This system applies similarly to a business’ Facebook posts and stories, where general users can interact with the business by commenting on posts or reacting to them with the Like function. Potential visitors can also use the Facebook platform to contact businesses through the Messenger function, rather than through the contact procedures on the official business website or via phone call.
Like Google, reviews are also at the forefront of business Facebook pages, validating the business’s credibility to the general public. Reviews on business Facebook pages can be found in the ‘Recommendations and reviews’ section, in which there is an average rating system (out of five stars) and a count of how many people recommend visiting the business or purchasing its products or services. Facebook users can also simply write reviews as a form of recommendation on the business page.
For the sake of credibility, Facebook does not allow businesses to delete reviews on their page. Instead, business owners will need to report written reviews and have it be deleted through Facebook’s support system, which is often a timely and unreliable process.
Facebook’s star rating system is also automatically processed when a review is submitted, hence deleting a review may not change the overall star rating either. In cases like these where you feel that a low rating or negative review is unjustified and untrue, it is best to consult with a review removal agency to delete a review from your page quickly for you.
Glassdoor started as a review collection company, gathering reviews and business information from employees and displaying them on the platform anonymously for its users to see. It has since transitioned into a multifaceted data collection website on large companies worldwide, producing reports based on their collected data on particular companies and implementing a job search and recruitment function for businesses to take advantage of.
Glassdoor collects reviews for over 1,417,000 companies around the world which are all posted anonymously by employees. Unlike the other review platforms covered in this blog, Glassdoor provides a more insider look into a business and its work culture rather than its quality and services.
Regardless, a negative review on your business’s workplace culture may still be incredibly detrimental to your reputation as a business, as consumers are becoming growingly aware of the ethical issues and processes that come with business running. Anonymous reviews on Glassdoor hold businesses accountable for their internal treatment of employees and ethical methods of operation.
In addition to displaying a star rating (out of five stars) and review information on a business, Glassdoor also categories businesses into their respective industries and compares them based on ratings. Thus, Glassdoor users can effectively determine the pros and cons of each business listed on Glassdoor, which may be disadvantageous to businesses who have dishonest and negative reviews on the website. In such situations, a removal review agency can come in handy to keep bad reviews at bay and prevent them from sabotaging your reputation as a business for both potential employees and clients.
Microsoft Bing, formerly known as Bing, is a web search engine similar to Google, owned and operated by Microsoft, currently under Bill Gates’s leadership. Bing replaced Microsoft’s previous search engines such as MSN Search and Windows Live Search and can search for content of various types such as web, video, images and map search. Bing was founded in 2009 is currently the world’s third-largest search engine with a global query volume of 4.58%. Bing also powers the majority of searches on Yahoo! Search.
Although primarily acting as a web page search engine, Bing also offers a wide variety of products, including Bing Ads, which allows publishers to purchase ‘pay per click’ advertising on the platform, Bing Local, which enables its users to search for their local business listings as well as Bing Social which allows users to search for information on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook that are upgraded in real time.
Another feature available to businesses on Bing is Bing Places for Business, a portal for businesses to add their information into the platform’s database for easier search results and a profile listing function. Through Bing Places for Businesses, businesses can claim their listings based on Bing’s search results and coordinate their information into one clear profile displayed on the platform whenever their business is searched for.
Bing Places for Business also requires its users to verify their listings through a series of full-proof steps, guaranteeing that all business information on Bing is correct and legitimate. On this listing function, Bing users can review a business with a rating and commenting system.
In the case of Bing, most of its reviews and comments are transferred from other websites that it works with, such as Facebook. Most businesses listed on Bing do not enable Bing’s review function and instead, have their reviews on other websites automatically transferred onto their business profile on Bing. This is both advantageous and disadvantages for businesses as although it means less work in cross-platform review management, it also means that the reviews and rating on one particular website are incredibly important. To make sure your rating and reviews are impressive on Bing, you will have to correctly manage your rating and reviews by deleting those of dishonest and defamatory nature on other portals as well.
Ripoff Report is an American website founded by Ed Magedson in 1998, which allows its users to complain anonymously about a business or person. Through its reporting systems, individuals over the age of 14 can complain about their experiences with a business or person without having to verify their identity. However, according to the website’s Terms of Service, all complaints must be truthful and accurate.
Businesses that receive a complaint report from Ripoff Report are allowed to respond with a rebuttal posted at the bottom of the respective complaint web page. Businesses do not have to pay to post their rebuttal. However, they need to have an account registered on the platform. For businesses who believe a review has inaccurately portrayed them, Ripoff Report encourages its users to pay for investigations and complaint responses run by the Ripoff Report’s pool of Arbitrators. Ripoff Report also offers a verified service option for businesses who have not had complaint reviews, whereby such businesses will receive a ‘Verified’ title under their name and can evaluate the credibility of negative reviews themselves if they ever are posted.
Although the Ripoff Report may be a dream for potential customers and visitors, it can be a nightmare for the average business. Having to manage complaints on Ripoff Report through the platform itself is an expensive and timely process, and due to the platform allowing for all complaint reviews to be posted, it can be highly defamatory for your business and involve legal issues down the track. In cases like this, it is best to contact a third-party review management website to have complaints on Ripoff Report taken down as the forum has caused controversy in the past on its legitimacy and services.
Although a less commonly used website for businesses, YouTube is still a large platform with over two billion users worldwide. Despite not having an official business YouTube channel yourself, your products and services can still make their way onto the platform through customer video reviews and experience documentations. With popular video types such as unboxings or ‘honest reviews’, customers express their opinions on your products and services to YouTube users, whether it is a positive or negative one.
If a video with a negative opinion on your business is posted onto YouTube, there is unfortunately not much you can do. There is no way to have another user’s video taken down, hence the only solution may be commenting on the video itself with a rebuttal or a justification of the situation from your standpoint. Asking the customer politely to take down or private the video may also be a possible solution to this problem.
Managing your reviews on YouTube is a difficult process, and, in some cases, a third-party review removal website may not be able to help either. Ensuring that your products and services are always of high quality and maintaining a healthy work culture will ensure that such negative video reviews will never be posted on YouTube.
For businesses that post their own YouTube videos, be mindful of how your content is received through YouTube’s liking and disliking system as well as the comment section, which allows viewers to review your video freely. Businesses can gauge customer reactions through the liking to disliking ratio on their videos and view the topmost liked comments for an accurate depiction of public opinion. If some comments may be untrue or defamatory, businesses can simply delete them off the comment section, flag them as problematic or respond with a rebuttal. The comment section can also be hidden to all public viewers, and businesses can disable the liking and disliking function if they so choose.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram is another popular social media platform that offers its users the ability to contact and keep up to date with others while in an online setting. Instagram has private and public functions, meaning businesses can also have public Instagram accounts for their customers to follow to better connect with their audience through the platform’s affordances. Although Instagram primarily focuses on the posting of pictures and videos, it has diversified to include short ‘story’ functions as well as Instagram TV, Instagram reels and Instagram shops. This means that for most businesses, Instagram is an integral tool to a successful marketing strategy as it covers a wide range of mediums and different functionalities.
Like YouTube, businesses can have their own accounts on Instagram to interact with their customers and respond to their product and service reviews. Customer feedback can be drawn through Instagram in some ways, such as likes on posts, comments, likes on comments, story replies. However, businesses cannot control what other Instagram users do with their accounts, which may, unfortunately, mean posting negative reviews on a product or service. Suppose an Instagram user publishes a negative review of your business on their account. In that case, you can either comment on the post with an explanation of your stance on the issue or deal with the issue privately with your customer.
Whirlpool is another community forum website and was founded by Simon Wright in Australia in 1998. Originally beginning as a community resource for Telstra’s Internet service users, Whirlpool has grown to be a public review forum for users of Optus, ADSL-based services as well as other Australian broadband ISPs. Whirlpool forums allow broadband users to interact with companies in the field, with most businesses in the industry using it as a non-official support and communication channel. It uses a threads system as the primary communication tool, where users can post an issue they are having or broadband-related questions to the website and receive a response from reputable Australian telecommunications companies.
As Whirlpool is more of an informative and cooperative forum between customers and businesses, there are rarely any scathing or negative and untrue reviews posted as a thread onto the platform. However, in the uncommon case that there is one in your company, it is best to act quickly and diffuse the situation by replying honestly under the user thread with your stance on the issue.
Whirlpool users may also occasionally post questions on your company, such as how a product or service works and which product or service is better, so in these cases, you will need to treat Whirlpool as a support forum and help your potential users out. Whirlpool brings broadband businesses and customers closer together in an interactive space and can help improve your reputation as a helpful and responsive business that values its customer opinions highly.
Complaints Board is a web forum for individuals to come together to discuss their personal experiences when interacting and dealing with businesses in Australia. Unlike the Ripoff Report, where users have to be registered, any person can submit a complaint onto the platform through an online form without having an account. Businesses who have received a complaint from the Complaints Board will automatically be sent an email to respond to and address the concerns outlined in the complaint.
Whenever a complaint is posted onto the forum, businesses and other users will be able to add their opinions on the review through its comment section. Users can also like a review and declare it as ‘helpful’ so that other users know that it is legitimate and true. Complaints on one particular company will be automatically gathered together to show Complaints Board users the most common issues with a particular business. Businesses can also be listed on the Complaints Board with their contact details and website so that users can raise their concerns with them directly and privately.
When a complaint is posted about a business onto the Complaints Board, the only way to resolve it on the platform is to contact the website user and address the issue itself. When a business addresses a review on Complaints Board, the issue is labelled as ‘resolved’ and platform users will be able to learn of the business’ corrective actions and efforts. However, suppose you deem a complaint to be untrue and cannot resolve the issue by contacting the user on Complaints Board. In that case, you may need to employ the services of review removal businesses, as complaints on Complaints Board can pile up fast. There is no limit on the number of complaints posted by one user, hence there may be problems of repeated illegitimate complaints.
Product Review is an Australian consumer opinion website based in Sydney, which has been online since 2003. Product Review is a platform where individuals can rate and review Australian businesses’ services and products and have all business information collected onto one platform.
The platform is huge, listing over 4000 Australian brands, with 700,000 active users and over 1,500,000 reviews. The website averages around 4,500,000 visitors per month and provides its users with opinions on Australian businesses and a space to share their own experiences regarding a product or service.
Unlike the Ripoff Report and Complaints Board which is primarily made up of negative reviews and customer issues, Product Review lists both positive and negative reviews on a wide range of companies. The site is more convenient than search engines such as Google and Bing because it collects information on all relevant Australian businesses into one database, where users can actively search for products and services.
Product Review provides businesses with in-house review management strategies, with services in brand management and advertising, as well as an ambassador program. Business participants of the ambassador program can obtain reviews for their products by providing samples to Product Review’s most active members, who will then write comprehensive reviews to post on the platform.
Particular to their review management options, Product Review offers businesses with a number of plans – Starter, Professional and Premium. The Starter plan is free and lets businesses simply respond to reviews with their comments. The Professional and Premium plan have added features in which reviews can be made into marketing content to match a business’ brand, and customers can be actively invited to write a review for the platform.
If you plan on managing your reviews, specifically on Product Review, it may be worth considering purchasing their business plans, which start from $59.00 a month. However, if Product Review is only one of the many review platforms your business is invested in, independent review management and removal service may be more desirable, as Product Review’s business plans include marketing features outside of the review domain.
Trustpilot is a consumer review website founded in Denmark which hosts reviews for thousands of businesses worldwide. Trustpilot was founded by the organisation’s current CEO named Peter Holten Muhlmann, in 2007 and since then, has turned global with offices in the US, the UK, Australia and Germany. It is in the top one per cent of the most popular websites according to the Alexa ranking. With over 50 million reviews and 228,000 business listings, Trustpilot has helped search engines like Google and Bing aggregate data for their star rating and review systems.
Trustpilot works with businesses from various industries to provide consumers with honest reviews, such as banks, travel insurances, car dealers, furniture stores and jewellery stores. It uses a five-star rating system where verified users can post detailed reviews on their customer experience with a business’ product or service.
As soon as a review is posted on Trustpilot, it is logged into their database and cannot be deleted by the company it is written about. Hence it is extremely important to know how to remove reviews that may be unfairly detrimental to your business’ reputation.
Poor Review Management Examples
To give you a better indication of how to manage your reviews and why it is so important, we have collected a few examples of third-party service websites that have been positively and negatively reviewed on the large review platforms and portals mentioned previously. Knowing how company impressions and reputations are created based on businesses in the real world will help you to form an effective review management strategy for your own business.
AirTasker is one of Australia’s largest third-party service websites and actively applies a review management strategy throughout several large review platforms. AirTasker focuses its review management strategy on Facebook, with a well-maintained page sporting over 100,000 likes and 99,000 follows. Rather than using the five-star review rating, AirTasker chooses only to display the number of likes and follows its Facebook page to maintain an impressionable image.
AirTasker also maintains a positive rating on Product Review, with an average of 4.4 stars out of five, gathered from almost 10,000 reviews. Reviewers have a general positive consensus on the service website, praising the site’s concept and ability to link Taskers with hiring businesses or individuals. Reviewers also cited the website to be easy to navigate through and a win-win for all parties involved. As part of their review management strategy, AirTasker also directly replies to any complaints with solutions or clarifications on the issue and establishes itself as a responsive brand, willing to take community feedback into account.
However, AirTasker is not without its problems, as contrasting to its image on Facebook and Product Review, the website has an overall rating of 2 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot (averaged from 2,680 reviews). This low score is reflected by a large number of complaints about the platform’s failure to provide support for its users and its expensive fees.
As seen, businesses need to manage their reviews across all large platforms as such significant differences in impression can discourage potential customers from committing to your business’ services. Having strong negative reviews can be highly detrimental to a business. Not only will they pull down the average rating, but they will also be more impressionable on review readers who are researching your business.
Like AirTasker, TrueLocal also prioritises review management on Facebook over any other popular review platforms. TrueLocal’s Facebook page has over 48,000 likes and followers and is an interactive page for both potential users and regular users of TrueLocal to come together. Most of TrueLocal’s positive feedback is gathered on Facebook, and the company neglects to manage their reviews on other platforms such as Product Review and Trustpilot.
TrueLocal sports a low review rating of 1.7 stars out of five on the established review platform Product Review. Most reviews are concerned with their customer service and inability to cater for their clients from both the Tasker side and the Poster side. TrustPilot also has a lower average of 3.2 stars with the same customer concerns.
Interestingly enough, TrueLocal is not registered on any other review platform (such as Google or Bing), indicating that they do not take review management seriously and are not resolving customer complaints directly. While this has both its positives and negatives, it is always important to consider how negative and false reviews can affect your business and whether you want them to be mismanaged on the Internet.
hipages has a varied review rating on different review platforms, with a high 4.1-star rating on Product Review but a low 1.8-star rating on TrustPilot. Out of almost 8000 reviews on Product Review, hipages has over 4500 5-star rating reviews, with most customers praising the site’s prompt, efficient and streamlined service. However, hipage’s reviews on TrustPilot are much more negative, with some customers believe their contact services are too money-hungry and more for sales purposes than customer support.
Through hipages, it can be seen that such stark differences in reviews only make the customer experience more confusing and deter potential customers from purchasing a business’ products or services due to their inconsistencies.
Hence rather than only maintaining good reviews on one platform – Product Review in the case of Hipages – it would be more beneficial to look into platforms that may be receiving misleading and negative reviews on your business. It would also help respond directly to customer complaints so that your business maintains a supportive image rather than simply leaving them as is.
Out of the third-party service websites on this list, Service Seeking is by far the best performing. Their review management strategies are undoubtedly successful as according to both Google and Product Review. Service Seeking has a high 4.5 out of five-star rating on Google, out of approximately 1300 reviews, solidifying themselves to be one of the most reliable third party service websites in the market. Having a high review rating on Google is especially beneficial because not only is it the most used search engine, and Google star ratings are also highly eye-catching as they are conveniently located under the GoogleMyBusiness profile.
On Product Review, Service Seeking has an overall rating of 4.6 out of five stars. Most customers leaving positive reviews are pleased with the platform’s user-friendly interface and customer service support available. However, they still have a few low rating reviews that are mainly concerned about the unprofessional tradies who are members of the platform. BorisDoes ensures that the businesses we work with are professional, and we have warning systems in place to remove those that violate our Terms of Service.
Gumtree has a relatively high rating on Product Review – at 3.9 stars – with around 49% of reviewers finding the platform ‘excellent’. Due to the large user base on Gumtree, many reviewers are pleased with the amount of interest received on their products or services and the platform’s ability to connect users from all over the country.
Like this impression on Product Review, Gumtree also manages a decent overall rating on Gumtree with 3.2 out of five stars. However, this rating may not necessarily reflect Gumtree’s staff culture quality. Gumtree is a unique review platform to consider when managing your reviews because your business’s internal culture is arguably just as important as what you bring to your customers. Having employees who are unhappy with your business’ international operations and work culture can be even more detrimental as more and more consumers become ethically conscious. It is important to manage reviews on Gumtree, just as well as the other review platforms covered on this list.
As seen with examples of business review management shown above, poor reviews can be much more influential than positive reviews for the potential customer and mismanagement of such may be detrimental to businesses by stifling their growth.
For a successful business marketing strategy, be sure to manage your reviews by knowing which portals and platforms are most important when it comes to reviews and always keeping in mind how poor reviews and complaints may negatively affect your business. Rather than focusing on maintaining positive reviews on one specific platform, it is best to manage reviews throughout the most popular sites and directly reply to reviews and address issues that customers raise with you.