Let’s Face It: Negative Reviews Drive Customers Away

Let’s Face It: Negative Reviews Drive Customers Away

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 9:21 pm    

Negative reviews: If you’ve been in business long enough, chances are you probably have one. No big deal or is it? While the impact of one or two negative reviews can be minute, a handful of negative reviews can hurt your site and your Google ranking.

In a nutshell, your negative reviews have the potential to drive customers away.

Alarming Algorithms

Google has over 200 factors that govern how it ranks websites, everything from being mobile-ready to how fast your website loads. An abundance of negative review information, on the other hand, is likely to cause Google’s algorithms to pick up all of that negative feedback.

In fact, in what is known as the Décor My Eyes situation from as far back as 10 years ago, Google has used legitimate negative reviews as a means to rank businesses. Therefore, if you have a handful of negative reviews, that can alarm Google’s algorithm in your search engine results page (SERP).

As a result, lots of negative reviews drive potential customers away from your business because they won’t ever see you on the first SERP after they have searched for keywords related to your business, product, or services provided. If customers can’t find your business online, you are throwing away a viable source of revenue. In this day and age, you can’t afford not to do business online, and knowing the influence of negative reviews keeps you ahead of the competition.

A recent study conducted by Moz found that it only took one negative review of their product or service for a business to lose around 22 percent of interested customers. As you acquire more negative reviews, the chance of losing more customers goes up further. For instance, three negative reviews can result in 59.2 percent loss in customers, and four negative reviews increasing the percentage of lost customers to 70 percent.

While the basis of how Google’s algorithm works is not an exact science, it is no secret that ratings based on reviews affect your Google ranking. And when it comes to negative reviews, Google is going to try to push customers to those businesses who are rating well.

 Be Proactive

All is not lost. A great way to deal with customer assessments is to become proactive when responding to reviews, both positive and negative. The importance of your online reputation cannot be underscored.

Even if we weren’t susceptible to the way Google ranks our business pages, we want to show potential customers that we are proactive in not only thanking customers for their kind words but alleviating and addressing any of our dissatisfied customers’ concerns as well. That’s just good business that should be rewarded as excellent customer service is key to a business’ survival.

Here is a quick checklist on how to be proactive when responding to reviews:

  1. If you feel that a customer is experiencing a negative situation with your business, try and resolve the issue before it ever goes online. Being apologetic and empathizing with customers can go a long way towards making a compromise.
  2. Respond to reviews as quickly as possible. Develop a strategy as to how you will respond to all reviews. Customers love businesses that rely on swift and thorough communication for problem-solving.
  3. Take your conversation offline. After responding to the initial negative review, ask the customer if they can send you a direct message so that you can try to fix the problem without other potential customers getting a glimpse of your bargaining power.
  4. Encourage customers who have had positive experiences to leave you a review! Your tenured customers will more than likely be happy to go to bat for you and give a quick assessment of just how awesome you and your business are.


If you need a digital marketing agency that understands the nuances of online reviews and reputation management, reach out to Cobalt Digital Marketing today.

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Elements That Don’t Affect Your Google Ranking

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 9:18 pm    

While we have a great inkling as to what elements Google looks for when ranking your website, you should be knowledgeable about what factors don’t count towards your ranking. Knowing what factors won’t impact your Google search ranking is important. It can help you concentrate on the areas of your website that you need to maintain, especially if you’re stretched for time.

Keep in mind that when we’re discussing what factors Google doesn’t take into account, we’re tackling myths. We are going to dispel some misinformation that many digital marketing agencies may believe matter when it comes to SEO.

Not a Google Search Ranking Factor

Google has said that when it comes to ranking, variables such as Google ads, social media mentions, and click-through rate rates have no impact on search results. While the search engine has ads, Google has gone on record that they don’t give them any preference. Google doesn’t use ad signals when determining its search results. These results are completely separate from ads.

No matter how many followers or likes you have, Google doesn’t use that metric in their algorithm when it factors search results. Google crawls the internet in order to find relevant information to your search query. However, for Google, the truth is if this factor was important to search results, Google would be sampling an imperfect web where identity would be an issue. Google is mindful that if they extracted data from followers and likes, and perhaps relationship status, that data is always going to be fluid, it can change in an instant. A reliable digital marketing agency will be able to go further into detail about why Google doesn’t rely on social media impact for its search results.

When it comes to interactions such as click-through rate, Google has stated that while they do use them in a variety of ways, for example when it comes to personalization, evaluation, and training data, they do not currently use them in their ranking algorithm.

While many have debated the issue, Google has stated that they don’t use Google Analytics data with regards to their search ranking algorithm. Other elements that are not Google search ranking factors are:

  • responsive design
  • word count
  • bounce rates
  • user-behavior
  • URL length
  • product prices
  • outbound links
  • shopping cart abandonment among others

An Important Distinction

It’s important to make this distinction so that you can focus on what will result in your business ranking high on Google. Any sound digital marketing agency would be aware that great content on your website is important for success. Also, factors such as mobile-first and page speed matter. As do domain factors, relevance, and usability of pages, how precise your information is, along with location and settings.

You need to make a distinction because at the end of the day if you build a great website Google will notice, and will rank your page well for relevant queries. Focus on the vitality of your web site as a whole and don’t dwell on factors that Google isn’t using in their search ranking algorithm. Hiring a digital marketing agency with a great track record of proven results can help bring your website up to speed in Google’s search results.


Do you need help in making your website relevant? Our proven Cobalt formula will ensure that we focus on engaging content and the big picture of your site.

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