I’ve had a number of clients over the years that have suffered serious reputation damage due to Ripoff Report.
As you may know, Ripoff Report is a website that allows people to post anonymous complaints about companies and individuals. The complaints aren’t verified and will not be taken down, even if the target of the complaint proves it wrong (unless the target wants to participate and pay for ROR’s VIP Arbitration).
I’ve watched former clients spend an incredible amount of money on reputation management, search engine optimization (including paying me to create content) and legal fees in an effort to combat ROR’s postings. I’ve seen innocent targets suffer incalculable losses. At the same time, I’m aware that not all the postings are deliberately malicious; some outline legitimate complaints that consumers have been unable to resolve.
In “Is Ripoff Report subverting Google take-downs,” columnist Chris Silver Smith examines how previously de-indexed ROR pages are reappearing and ranking prominently in Google and how defamation victims and Google can fight back.
Smith’s interview with ROR’s in-house counsel, Anette J. Beebe, is especially interesting. And if you want to shrug this off by thinking that online attacks are simply a part of being in business, consider that ROR has been used repeatedly in porn revenge cases, which Smith also discusses.
Smith’s article is long but well worth the read. Go here to see it.
She is the author of Words to Work By: 31 devotions for the workplace based on the Book of Proverbs and Finding Joy in the Morning: You can make it through the night. She is also the co-creator of several coloring books for adults.