The Ripoff Report has struck back against the so-called reputation management companies that claim to be able to remove posts about companies on the RipoffReport.com website. In a recent press release, Ripoff Report claims that they have removed code on their website that was left by a hacker hired by reputation management companies.
A sample advertisement claiming Ripoff Report removal is shown above.
Ripoff Report explained what happened.
“Earlier this year, a hacker, promising his customers “reputation management” services, had embedded code into the website to prevent search engines from recognizing certain postings. In some cases, website visitors were misdirected to a false message stating that the posting had been redacted.”
Although the press release itself offers no specific proof of the fact that malicious code had been embedded onto the RipoffReport.com website, I am personally not surprised that something like this was done by a hacker. There are a lot of companies out there that would like negative reviews of their products or services removed from the Ripoff Report website. From what I can tell, the website only really exists in order to report negatives about a business, company, or individual. So, naturally, a website like that would have enemies.
Another sample advertisement claiming Ripoff Report removal is shown above.
If you search at Google for “remove ripoff report”, or a similar phrase related to getting a Ripoff Report removed, there are a lot of reputation management companies that claim that they can get a listing removed from the RipoffReport.com website. And some will even charge thousands of dollars to get the report removed from the website.
Currently, however, according to RipoffReport.com, there is no way to completely get a negative review or negative post removed from the website. There is a way to respond with a rebuttal. The company says that “Once a company has been named in a consumer’s report, the company may respond by posting a rebuttal. Both reports and rebuttals are posted free of charge, and once submitted they are not removed. Before a report may be submitted, users are required to create an account by providing a valid email address and warrant that any report submitted is truthful and accurate.”
If a search for your company name or your personal name in Google reveals a RipoffReport.com listing, you have a few options:
— Respond by posting a rebuttal.
— Hire a company or individual who has online reputation management experience that can help bring more positive web pages about your company towards the top of the search results. By emphasizing the positive, the hope is that the negatives are pushed down.
I recommend that you stay away form any companies that claim they can completely remove postings from RipoffReport.com, as that does not appear to be the case.
In a related story, you might recall that recently Ripoff Report removed themselves from Google, which was apparently only a mistake by the company. In one of my recent blog posts, I examined how removing your website from Google can help–or hurt–your search engine rankings.