Online review sites have both a good and a bad reputation. Consumers tend to like them because they’re allowed to air their views in public and potentially ruin a company’s reputation. Business owners tend not to like them because they allow anyone and everyone a chance to speak untruths without checks or balances.
Both sides of this argument are blessed with solid points as well as some misguided fears.
On the pro side, online review sites do offer small businesses additional exposure. Before you hit me, consider that publicity is what it is. Negative publicity is only negative if people believe it and most people are smart enough to see through thinly veiled veneers.
However, review sites often don’t allow small business owners a chance to respond to allegations and that can often hurt. One popular review site has started allowing business owners a chance to respond to allegations after being pummeled with its own negative reviews and backlash from the business community.
While one-side reviews with no chance to respond are a bad thing, keep in mind that as a business owner you still have the upper hand. You can always build more websites and conduct Internet marketing campaigns to act of positive reputation enhancements. You don’t have to let the bad apples spoil the pudding.