I recently came across an interesting story about a D.C. contractor that filed a $750,000 Internet defamation lawsuit against a former customer for negative reviews she posted on Yelp and Angie’s List.
The case, which has made national headlines, raises important questions about how local businesses can and should respond when they feel they are unfairly targeted by negative reviews. As we all know, these reviews are playing an increasingly critical role in how consumers select local businesses.
In our monthly Locals Only column on Search Engine Land, I argue that the damage of negative reviews on a business’ reputation cannot be amended through litigation. I believe the long-term consequences of the D.C. contractor’s proactive legal response will be much more troublesome than if the business took a more measured approach focused on addressing its customer’s concerns.
Read the column for my full take on the case, as well as my five suggested steps to successfully navigating negative online reviews.