Four Ways to Reverse SEO a Bad Restaurant Review

Reverse SEO can help a restaurant or small retail shop overcome a bad review or two on different review sites. The problem that many restaurant and retail owners face is when a disgruntled customer or troll — someone who gets their jollies by overstating problems or even making up outrageous complaints — leaves a bad comment on a review site, sometimes even making it up. In fact, some trolls even try to parlay their fictionalized complaint into free food, merchandise, or in some cases, cash.

But there is no need for restaurant owners to fall prey to these negative reviews. Rather than buckling or running in fear from bad reviews, it is possible to use reverse SEO tactics to push them right off the page.

Here are four reverse SEO tactics business owners can use to push down negative reviews.

Reverse SEO Tactic #1: Ask customers to write positive reviews. Enough positive reviews will outweigh the negative reviews. Plus, people who read the site will also see that while one person may have complained, there are plenty of other people who enjoyed it. They will attribute the bad review to an uncommon experience. That does not mean owners should bribe customers to leave reviews or even fake customer reviews.

Reverse SEO Tactic #2: Create and publish videos on video sharing sites. This is an ideal reverse SEO strategy, because search engines love videos. Make them customer interviews, behind the scenes looks at the restaurant, or previews of upcoming menu changes. In many cases, search engines will place video results at or near the top of the search engine results page, which will help push down any normal, non-video results that might have appeared. Plus, because videos are often evergreen — that is, they last for a long time, because it will take more videos to push them off the page — they are a reverse SEO mainstay.

Reverse SEO Tactic #3: Use social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+; follow customers who follow the restaurant Twitter account. Social media is beginning to have an impact on search results. Now, when someone does a Google search, Google looks at their social media footprint to see if they are connected to anyone who has talked about that particular search topic before. If a potential customer does a search for a restaurant name, they will see that one of their social media friends has either tweeted about, written a status update about, or even written a blog post about that restaurant. The friend’s content will show up in the search engine results page, which may help push the negative comments off the front page.

Reverse SEO Tactic #4: Start a blog. Blogging about positive aspects about the restaurant, the community, and the staff can all help the restaurant website rise above the negative comments, and help push it off the site. The more content with the restaurant’s name and brand that gets placed on the Internet, the more it can push down the negative content. This works because search engines love websites that update frequently. The best way to update a website is with a blog post.

A blog can contain customer testimonials and special reviews and letters, making it a powerful reverse SEO tool. They are a place to embed videos, rather than just leaving them on YouTube. And a blog can be promoted on social tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. All of these can occupy a place on a blog, making it not only a place for fans and customers to interact with the restaurant, but a way to keep negative comments from rising to the top of the search engines.

Reverse SEO, when done properly, can undo damage that has been done by trolls, disgruntled customers, and even legitimate complaints. But remember that reverse SEO cannot replace good customer service, no matter how hard one tries.