Haha.. i love a good old play on words!
Over our business life we have met many people, some of them have been great – and some of them have been naaaasssttyyy. We have recently had the pleasure of making a website for the Villa Mar Riding School, Chesterfield. Its a family run operation, and for 18 years have gained a list of satisfied customers longer than both your arms put together – yet for some reason they have been a target of some kind of malicious attack via Google Local Business Listings.
For those that don’t know, GLBL (Nope, thats just what i call it!) is a way of being found on the internet, for free, in your local area. You sign up, the post you a postcard to ensure you actually live there and if someone types in Riding School Chesterfield in, you get a local business entry smack bang at the top of google!
GLBL is a fantastic way of promoting yourself – but, it can also be used against you as it has in this case. According to sources, there are a lot of riding schools in the area, and they are all very competitive. And due to the success of Villa Mar they have taken it upon themselves to add nasty reviews on GLBL about the riding school, meaning anyone looking to go there would instantly be put off.
What do you do if this has happened to you?
Well in a lot of cases when it comes to internet marketing and promotion – fight fire with fire i say! But as GLBL is so public and is kinda out of anyone’s (apart from the mighty G of course) control – I’d say don’t use fire, but just try and highlight the good things and the positive comments so the bad/spam ones are buried.
Get all your existing and previous satisfied customers to visit the GLBL review page and add a nice comment and rate it accordingly, and the more good listings you get the higher your overall rating will be, until its back up to its rightful spot near the 5/5 mark 🙂
You can of course flag the reviews as inappropriate, but I’m afraid if they sound like they could be true then i doubt very much Google will do anything about them as for all they know they could be true – and I’m sure they don’t wish to be responsible for advising someone to go somewhere and them having a terrible experience as a result of it.
For anyone thinking of trying it on a competitor, don’t bother. There are many ways to overcome your competitors on the internet, do it properly and you will always come out on top.