Companies from large corporations to small businesses now compete to maximize their exposure on search engine results (Google, Yahoo/Bing & more ) and spend a lot of time, money and effort to maintain their search rankings via online marketing including media buying, search engine optimization (SEO ), paid search and content (blogs, video, images ). A top ranking can mean a lot of business flowing to them from visitors looking for products and services. A US government report projects Online /Ecommerce business just for the retail sector at beyond $200 billion for the fiscal year 2012.
A big portion of top results on search engines include user generated content like Facebook, Youtube, Yelp etc.. Part of this includes several review sites and blog type websites. Some of the sites focus on negative reviews or reports and are known as reputation attack pages/websites (including scamreports.com, ripoffreport.com & more ) can significantly damage a company’s revenues/bottom line, be a source of embarrassment and they can lose potential customers . These companies while posing as watch dogs or business accountability for the online reputation of a business or individual charge various fees which include monetary demands to pull down negative pages from such operations, which is nothing more than a type of extortion with no guarantees plus they have their own cumbersome sets of policies . There are genuine websites such as TripAdvisor, Better Business Bureau which give both sides an equal say and stay neutral, yet the number of websites that allow negative reputation reviews/reports are growing, search Engines have procedures to deal with removing these reports and give more authority to genuine review websites.