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Rip Off Ranking

rip-offIt sounds like such a beneficial thing, a web site where you can go to report those corporations, businesses and companies that have not been on the level, or in some cases, were just dishonest and did not deliver on anything they’d promised. It’s a very noble idea, the thought that you could give people a voice and they could then make sure that nobody ever lost a dime to unscrupulous sorts of people. To me, empowering people in this way is a really great thing- and people deserve to get the kind of services and products that they pay for. I believe in that strongly.

The problem is, that not all consumers are exactly scrupulous themselves and so, when you have a web site that is nearly a Wiki for all it can be edited by anyone- you have a problem. I’m not afraid to say that it also seems of interest that such a noble cause would actually be a “for profit” private entity.

If you don’t know what this site is, it is a customer complaint site- however, unlike the Better Business Bureau or similar things- from what I can see, very little is done in the way of regulating this site to ensure the accuracy of the statements given. There’s a “rebuttal” form you can fill out- and end up in the middle of a flame war, or internet cat fight. Of all of these reports that I have read- and I’ve seen quite a few, it seems to me as though this is troll baiting where real lives, real businesses and real money are concerned, accusations of extortion and lawsuits against this site aside.

As far as what honest businesses that have been the target of people who use this site dishonestly, it’s hard. There have been whispers as to just how this site seems to manage to cling to the top of the rankings for anyone who has been named in it- and the resultant bad reputation that can come of that, but the truth is- theories true or not, it does seem to linger there on that first page, more often than not. Even when presented with evidence that a report is untrue, the site will not take it down. This is very problematic for businesses who have been the target of people, and something that quite a number of seos and reputation management companies deal with on a regular basis. The site was created ten years ago- has had more time to gain a longstanding following, and with all of the media mentions, the complaints are considered user generated- which is something Google also favors in the ranking algorithm, and it’s got so much content on it that it does in fact, get grabbed up as really relevant by the search engines. With that much content, updated that frequently and that big of a following, to beat it’s ranking, you’ve got to have a powerful combination of reputation boosting tools at your disposal.

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