Google policy review eases pressure on digital marketers

As a digital marketer, you have much to deal with. As you focus your attention on climbing the search engine results pages, you must also consider the impact that negative sentiment around your brand can have.

Given the many opportunities offered by digital, there are many ways your brand can suffer at the hands of disgruntled users, customers or even past employees. While social media is one popular channel, bad reviews of your business online can be particularly irksome — especially when you consider that 55% of people always or often read ratings and reviews before they make a purchase online.

Reviews undoubtedly have their place in the digital sphere, as they are unquestionably beneficial in helping users decide between businesses. However, this is only true if the reviews are genuine and representative — and many agree that the unfavourable comments of past employees fall outside of this category.

Recognising this, Google has a review policy in place to offer guidance on the types of reviews that will be accepted from users. However, previously, these have been left open to interpretation. For example, the policy stated that reviews should be “honest representations of the customer experience”, while reminding users not to review their own business or employer.

Based on these excerpts from the policy, many have assumed that reviews from past employees would not fit these guidelines and, as such, would be removed by Google. However, there have been many instances where a brand’s online reputation has suffered as a result of a negative review from a previous employee, which Google has deemed fit for purpose. This is because the policy only omitted reviews from current employees and not past staff members.

However, digital marketers received an early Christmas present as 2017 drew to a close, as Google updated its review policy. Now, the policy outlines that “posting negative content about a current or former employment experience” is a conflict in interest and is therefore not permitted.

The changes mean that if there are any negative reviews of your business currently online from previous employees, you can contact Google and ask for them to be removed in-line with the changes to the policy. Plus, you’ll have the added peace of mind that this type of Google review won’t impact your overall business rating.

Of course, there’s more to online reputation management (ORM) than simply monitoring Google reviews. For an ORM strategy that delivers the results you need, contact Mediaworks using the form below.

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