It appears that the Online Reputation Management Agency for Mt. Everest has been sleeping on the job. The Highest Mountain in the World’s Place Page on Google Maps is receiving a mediocre 3 star rating:
Closer inspection of the reviews reveals some very unhappy customers.
Obviously, these are tongue-in-cheek reviews ala Amazon’s Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt Meme. However, they clearly display yet another reason to closely monitor online reviews for your business. In the Three Wolf Moon case, the fake humorous reviews frontpaged on every social media site, including Digg and Reddit. The huge exposure catapulted sales 2,300%, making it the top selling item in Amazon’s Clothing Store.
While review content going viral can be a boon to business, both of these instances shine the light on the fact that a small group of reviewers can highjack reviews and drastically sway the outward appearance of your product or service. Who’s to say this can’t be done by a competitor or former employee to sway public appearances. This should be a concern for any business owner, from a national chain to the small business owner. For a small local restaurant, poor local reviews can be crippling. Everest’s tourism industry won’t likely feel the effect of a few fraudulent reviews:
But consider if Everest was a new, up-and-coming restaurant in Chicago. How many of the 165,000 searches for “chicago restaurants” last month, would bother looking twice at a location with only 3 stars?