What to Know About Ripoff Report

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Below, our Reputation Team shows you what to know about the Ripoff Report and what you can do to fight back. 

Pulling together a comprehensive, trusted, effective reputation management plan means knowing who your enemies are and what tools they might use in an attack against you. That means you absolutely, positively must know the ins and outs of Ripoff Report. In our experience, this is Stop #1 for people hoping to launch a reputation attack. It’s also one of the most misunderstood sites on the web today.
Here’s what you should know about the site to stay safe.

What to Know About Ripoff Report

1. It’s a trusted, go-to source for company research

Ripoff Report looks amateurish and hokey. The graphics are small, the headlines are repetitive, and the grammar in most posts leaves much to be desired. If you’re skimming through the site after an attack, you might walk away feeling safe and secure. You might think no one will look at this data and believe anything written.

Unfortunately, that’s dead wrong.

Ripoff Report relies on information readers provide, and it’s clear that the editors don’t do much to clean up raw text. The site was designed years ago and could use a refresh.
But when organizations want to research issues involving credibility and customer satisfaction, they almost always first visit the Ripoff Report.

For example, when a local ABC affiliate news station wanted to pull together a report about a company that may have been selling fraudulent goods, they headed to Ripoff Report to search for complaints. You saw that right. When they wanted data about the satisfaction they could trust, the reporters went to Ripoff Report. This isn’t a site that can be ignored in terms of reputation attacks. Outsiders seem to trust the data they find there, and that could lead to disaster for you, as the information people see about you might be information they think they can trust.

2. It’s 100 percent legal

We live in a litigious society where almost every single problem we face seems solvable with a lawsuit. But the Ripoff Report is a little different. In case after case, the administrators of this site have faced angry users about the use of the site and the information shown there. In most cases, the lawyers for Ripoff Report have leaned on free speech laws to protect their information, and they’ve won those cases (see an in-depth analysis of that on Moz).

Free speech laws are near and dear to Americans, as they allow us to have open discussions about what we like and what we dislike. By positioning information on the Ripoff Report as proof of free speech, the site administrators are almost 100 percent certain that they’ll be around for years, if not decades, to come.

And every month, new laws march through legislative sessions that could protect free speech yet more. In the 2015/2016 session of Congress, for example, a bill was designed to protect the rights of people who write on sites like the Ripoff Report. The bill is made to ensure that a writer can’t get sued for sharing an opinion, even if that opinion damages the business owner’s livelihood. These laws will keep people working on Ripoff Report, regardless of how you might feel about the things they have to say.

3. Complaints aren’t vetted for accuracy

While some attacks on Ripoff Report stem from misunderstandings or misconceptions about a product, a service, or a deal, some reports are downright fraudulent. There’s no real effort on behalf of the site editors to get the basic facts straight.

Anyone with some spare time can write up a report on the site, and that report could say almost anything. There’s no need to provide supporting documents, witness accounts, or other forms of proof for the statements made. People can log on and start writing. The site relies on the account victims to closely monitor the results and speak up if something seems amiss.

This sort of attack happens all the time. That’s just what happened to a man profiled by the website Corporate Counsel. He was attacked falsely first via a press release, and then the attack moved to Ripoff Report. The data doesn’t have to be true for the attack to stick.

4. Posts do well on Google

Ripoff Report attacks are devastating because the posts tend to do well on Google. That could be due, in part, to the way the posts appear when they’ve been through the site’s publishing process.
While site administrators may not clean up body copy, something interesting is happening with post headlines. Most include a few key things, including:- The location of the business or the person under attack
– Variations on the name of the person or the business
– Words like “scam” or “fraud”

The headlines may not make much sense to a casual reader, but they’re stuffed with all sorts of Google juice. The search engine will know exactly what person or business the review is about and what content is on the page with a nonsense headline like this. It’s just packed with keywords.

The value of keywords is up for debate among search engine marketing experts, but most agree that keywords in headlines are still vital for Google. The search engine needs those pieces of content to deliver accurate results, and sites that keyword right tend to do better than sites that don’t. In this keyword game, Ripoff Report rules.

5. You can fight back

What is the most important thing to know about the Ripoff Report?
While an attack on Ripoff Report can be devastating and demoralizing, you have a number of great options to fight back—and we can help.

We can create a rebuttal response on the site for you so you can argue your side of things point by point. Or, we can just delete the review altogether so no one will ever see it. We can also use SEO techniques to bury these sorts of attacks so they won’t be able to do so much harm in the future. Just contact us, and we’ll tell you more.

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