|Fri Apr 11 2014 14:09:08|
Imagine Suddenly Losing Your Online Reputation
By: Ina Steiner
Here is a story to make online merchants cringe. Imagine if one day you woke up and all your reviews and feedback disappeared from the Internet. That's what happened to many small businesses when Yahoo reportedly deleted their hard-earned reviews.
In February, PC Magazine reported a deal in which Yahoo would partner with Yelp to display its reviews, and, with foresight, asked, "What happens to Yahoo Local results and reviews?"
Unfortunately, according to the Wall Street Journal this week, at least some of those Yahoo reviews have disappeared. The newspaper cited a flooring company that had amassed six years of feedback on its Yahoo Local listing. Nearly 50 Yahoo reviews recently disappeared, replaced by a "single, punctuation-challenged Yelp review, from the "Paul M" screen name, "Respected budget got difficult stain taken care of very attentive and house got an offer opening weekend.""
A far cry from the some of the excellent, detailed reviews his business had received.
The business owner told the paper, it was not easy to get 50 great reviews and said, it's as if Yahoo "just took away six or seven years of hard work."
The operator of a Yelp protest site told the Wall Street Journal she advises business owners to always copy their reviews, even a screenshot, "because you never know what's going to happen to them."
For longtime sellers on marketplaces big or small, that sounds like particularly good advice. And with eBay making frequent changes to its feedback system, it sounds especially prudent for sellers on that site to periodically copy their feedback comments.