Ever receive an unfair review online? Did it damage your brand reputation and Google ranking?
Two people who understand this problem well are Andrew Whitford and Nick Bell. Andrew is a digital marketer, and his experience with brands in the past has given him an insider view of the real challenge that businesses are facing in this online review age. His business partner, Nick Bell, is a serial entrepreneur and AFR young rich-lister, who owns multiple digital marketing agencies around the world.
The idea for Removify first came to Bell while running his digital marketing agency, WME, where he was constantly being approached by clients who wanted assistance removing negative and fake reviews. This popular problem needed a dedicated solution.
Bell sold WME Australia to Melbourne IT in 2016 for $39million, however he pursued the idea of Removify further and partnered with Whitford to launch Removify this year.
Negative or fake reviews are mostly unregulated on sites like Facebook, Glassdoor, Ripoff Report, Bing, Complaints Board, Whirlpool or Google search results. And they can pop up anytime.
One survey suggests a third (33 per cent) of business owners have seen competitors leave fake news or negative reviews about their business or service online.
“Negative reviews seem to rank disproportionately in Google’s results, so we work to balance things out. And businesses are so busy that they often forget to ask happy customers to post reviews,” Nick Bell said.
“People who have had a bad experience are also much more motivated to tell the world about it, even if there’s a further 20 happy customers and the negative review isn’t a particularly fair reflection on the business.”
Whitford likens Removify to a law firm in the sense the business has an intimate knowledge of the platforms’ review policies, and knows what does and doesn’t count as a contravention.
“There’s a tendency for negative things to rank stronger. There’s a perception that you can go and do 100 good things and no one will notice, but if you make one mistake it’s on the first page of Google,” Andrew Whitford said.
In a digital era and bad review culture, it’s important to monitor what your customers are saying regularly to ensure you don’t miss out on new custom. This is especially important as negative reviews can be posted by anyone such as fake customers and your competitors.
Nick Bell (left) and Andrew Whitford are the founders of new business Removify, which aims to help brands remove unwanted Google reviews.