Do Positive Reviews & Reputation Management Matter for SEO?

Reputation management has emerged as a marketing buzzword over the last decade. Leading research and SEO experts find that it is crucial to ensure that you have a healthy queue of positive reviews in order to improve your search engine rankings. Earning positive customer reviews on Google and social media is the key to using reviews to grow your SEO presence.

Businesses and agencies may neglect these important actions because they may not feel that a bad review influences the other SEO activities that promote their website/domain. Even businesses with the most optimized website and pages may experience a strong loss in SEO ranking if the negative reviews start pouring in. Below, the team at Boston Web Marketing will dive into the factors that lead to a bad online reputation as well as ways to improve your online reputation. If you need further assistance, please contact our SEO experts today and consider having our team address your online reviews for you!

Why do bad reviews hurt my website’s SEO?

Bad reviews can damage your online reputation because Google uses the information from reviews and star ratings from Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and other platforms to rank sites. So if a competitor is earning more favorable reviews then your business could drop in rank.

For example, Brightlocal (an online management and reputation aggregator), found that Google’s crawl bots use the information from online reviews to rank a site. This means that the details, as well as the star ratings, impact your website’s ranking. Additionally, businesses that have above a 4-star rating on Google can earn consumer-centric keywords such as “best [business type]” or “best quality [service] near me.” So not only is it important for your business reputation, but it is also a key part of local SEO.

Beginner’s Guide to Reputation Management

Reputation management is the set of actions a business takes in order to request, manage, and facilitate reviews of their business. The businesses that are the best at reputation management are able to help address the needs of customers, express gratitude for a customer’s patronage, and provides detailed content that enriches the customer’s experience with a brand.

Reputation management also involves responding to negative reviews and quelling customer concerns with a business hardship or negative experience. While it may be difficult to deal with a hostile or aggravated customer, make sure you carefully but quickly respond to reviews. Here are a few quick tips to get started with our team!


  • Respond quickly: Being proactive and responding to reviews in a timely manner can make a big difference. If you wait weeks to respond, the customer may have forgot about the situation, and will be less likely to appreciate your response.
  • Respond to every review, both negative and positive: If a customer took the time to write your review, they deserve a thoughtful response. You value their business and you are responsible for responding to the negative reviews, too.
  • Attempt to rectify the situation: If the customer is unhappy with a specific aspect of your business, offer a solution to make it right to them. If they were unhappy with their meal at your restaurant, offer a free dish on the house!
  • Take it offline: Apologize to the customer and let them know you are truly sorry for their experience. Ask them to contact you directly so you can resolve the problem in a fair manner. This will show those looking at your reviews that you care enough to solve the problem with your own time.


  • Panic:  Although it may seem like an attack on your business, it’s important to remember that it’s not personal, and one negative review will not make or break your business. Take a deep breath.
  • Become defensive: or combative with the customer. Even if you know you are right, you should never get combative with a customer online. Remember, your response is not only going to be seen by them but by any other potential customers that land on your Google My Business page.

If you still require help to deal with more significant issues, such as review spamming or tampering, please reach out today and let the Boston Web Marketing team turn your reviews around!

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