I work with a corporate client who had us solely focus on brand management SEO because Consumer Affairs was sitting on the first page of Google with a 1.something star rating that stood out like a sore thumb.
Something like this:
Keep in mind, this wasn’t for just their company name + reviews but it was also sitting on the 1st page of Google for just their company name!
What’s even worse is for some reason, depending on the day, Google only decided to show six or seven results for the first page and CA was the last or second to last result.
It was an absolute eye sore for the company.
And trust me, if you’ve got a 1.2 rating like Pepsi does up there, you are not alone. The truth is Consumer Affairs gobbles up bad reviews like a vacuum and then puts them on display like a jewelry store.
Another reason not to get discouraged:
Think about it, who’s more likely to leave a good review, a satisfied customer (probably at least 85% of your buyers) or a dissatisfied customer?
The unhappy one, of course. And thus, we begin painting a very skewed representation of your company’s reputation online.
Also, don’t forget:
If you have any ruthless competitors, they’re more than happy to pile on with how horrible your product or service is.
We see this abuse a lot in the apartment niche with sites like ApartmentRatings.com (although they seem more legit about the feedback they accept).
For more insight on what may be happening here, check out this Moz.com post where a company owner says his company reached out to CA and CA asked for $10k to help with the reviews.
Again, I see this for all sizes of entities, from small businesses to corporate giants (especially the corporations).
So what you do about it?
Here’s the route we take: We build up the authority of other pages ranking above and below the Consumer Affairs page to push it down to page 2 and then hopefully page 3.
This is an ethical move and it works – but it does take time, usually between 3-6 months.
Why do we build up the pages ranking above CA?
We want to set a baseline for where CA starts to rank
The longer you let a Consumer Affairs page linger on the first page, the worse it will get so it’s best to get started ASAP.
First, user engagement is becoming a bigger and bigger part of Google’s algorithm and train wreck review sites are eye candy for searchers so they get a lot of click throughs and site duration time.
As you might have guessed, CTR or click through rate, the amount of time spent on a site, the bounce rate (if a visitor leaves a website without going to another page), whether users click back and continue looking at other websites, and other related activity all counts towards user engagement.
We don’t want CA to become any more established than it already is with user engagement.
Secondly, this isn’t an overnight endeavor.
Sure, we’ll accelerate the link building and the layering of different types of links but we can’t just do this in one week and then send you a PDF report and say voila!
Google’s algorithm is way to smart for that. It takes time for results to occur – and even when you do achieve success, you have to guard against the back-and-forth dance where they test to see if a new page is worthy (relevant enough) of ranking on the first page.
The best time to get started on this is today. The longer you wait, the longer you put off ranking other pages.
Third, we may need to create additional web properties to use as spacers. These take time to create and age is a big factor in web properties ranking so they’ll likely also take some time to rank.
Fourth, you’ll likely want to do this across multiple keyword searches because Consumer Affairs is very sticky and tends to show up for multiple brand keywords.
For example, I just searched for Diet Pepsi reviews and guess what website I saw again: ConsumerAffairs.com.
Why does Google love ConsumerAffairs so much?
First, one of the built-in ugly-beautiful parts of their website model is they all of their content is user generated for FREE – and lots of it. So their website is chalk full of several hundreds – if not thousands of words – on a singular topic (your company).
Moreover, it’s fresh content as new bad reviews roll in as soon as someone gets upset and wants to pile on top of the existing compaints.
And then this content gets perpetuated because it’s of interest and people link to it which builds the page’s authority and makes it sticky in the SERPs.
And once you have this going for thousands of pages on a site, that site starts to become REALLY powerful and have instarank where all they have to do is have good on-page optimization (and believe me, they work on this) for their targeted keywords.
Help with Your Online Reputation
Your brand’s reputation is taking a hit and it’s more than likely an unfair one. If your reviews on Amazon matchup with CA, then you’ve probably got a product problem but that hasn’t been the case with our clients.
If you have any questions, you can email me at kris @ rivemarketing dot com.
These feedback sites really do impact sales so it’s best to be proactive in impacting the SERPs in your favor.