Five Kinds of Negative Search Results
1. Negative Websites
An unhappy patient or a patient with a bad result can set up a negative website. This site catalogs extremely well and is an extremely relevant result on searches for you. Expect a negative website to take a prominent position on searches for your name. Also expect it to be protected by the first amendment unless you can prove slander or libel. The most famous case of a negative website is baddentist.com which spent 5 years cataloging all over the place in the Manhattan market before it was finally taken down. What is the best defense against a negative website? Get positive info out there NOW not after the fact. Communicate with unhappy patients - dont let it get to this stage because were finding its very difficult to deal with once it gets this far.
2. Squatters and Incorrect Information
This negative result is when a competitor or 3rd party uses your brand to benefit their service or product. The most famous case of this is Nissan Computer versus Nissan Motor Car battling over Nissan.com. If youve invested millions of dollars branding your company Poughkeepsie Plastic Surgery youre going to want to own the domain name PoughkeepsiePlasticSurgery.com - if someone else owns it youve got a problem. If you hold a trademark on the name you have recourse otherwise its smart to lock up the domain names ASAP before some 3rd party does.
3. Bad Reviews
Online reviews are here to stay. Eventually, every service will be reviewed online - Its inevitable. There are a lot of players in the healthcare space for online reviews reviews. Yelp, Vitals.com, HealthGrades.com, the list goes on and on. As you research your reputation dont get all spooled up about trying to get on every review site out there. Look for what performs in your market and try to sent happy patients towards that site because youll get the most bang for your buck from a SEO standpoint. Later in this series well talk about how to cultivate good reviews and how to push down bad reviews. But for now you need to be aware that when you search your name these review sites come up. The best solution to bad reviews this is to encourage happy patients to give good reviews. This should be built into your systems. Just as you ask for referrals, you should also be asking for positive reviews.
4. Negative News
One of the funny things about physicians who are suing review sites over negative reviews is theyre generating tons of negative news which catalogs even better than negative reviews. Basically as sites become bigger and more visible, they have more and more clout on the search engines. So if your negative news makes it all the way up to CNN or the San Francisco Chronicle, you have a much bigger problem than just a bad review. Negative news from a legitimate news source is almost impossible to get rid of because its a respected and validated source. Be aware that negative news is even worse than the negative review.
5. Scandal and Legal Action
The BP oil spill is the classic example of a reputation management campaign. True scandal and legal issues catalog very, very well and are probably the most detrimental to your reputation. If you have to deal with something like this deal with it like BP. Hit it head on, be accountable, expect it to cost a fortune.