This post was last updated on October 22nd, 2018 at 10:51 am
Note: If you want us to help you directly with your Complaints Board removal then contact us here. If you want to handle everything on your own then keep reading!
One of our most common requests from clients is to guide them through removal options for various consumer and review management websites like complaintsboard.com.
The reason for this is simple, having an unflattering complaint about you or your business on complaintsboard.com really stinks. It can cost you money, a job, or damage your overall reputation.
So what can you do to remove a Complaints Board entry?
Since we’ve been doing this for quite some time, we know how to deal with sites like complaintsboard.com. From outright removal to suppression, we’ve tried it all, and only keep the most effective long-term strategies in our company’s playbook.
And guess what? We’re going to share it with you.
We want you to have a complete understanding of your options for removing a complaints board search result. It’s something we’ve seen hurt a lot of people, and we want to do what we can to help at scale.
The Complaints Board removal process is fairly simple once you know your options, so we’re presenting all of them for you here.
Read it, take action on it, and let us know if you need any help along the way!
What is Complaints Board?
Let’s start here so you know what you’re dealing with from top to bottom.
Complaintsboard.com is a privately owned consumer complaints website that offers a platform for wronged consumers to air their grievances publicly. At Complaintsboard.com the community of users oversees much of the site’s upkeep and interactivity, and users log on to vent their complaints and to learn about the experiences of others.
However, the website also absolves itself of any responsibility of authenticating or monitoring complaints for accuracy.
This is where the concern about finding an adequate Complaints Board removal strategy comes from.
Anyone can write a report about you with little to no proof, and the Complaints Board comment will likely show up in your search results (and take some real effort to get rid of).
Consumer reviews and complaints are important and should be heard. However, a major criticism of this site and others like it is the lack of oversight or action when it comes to fact-checking the complaints.
All it takes is one disgruntled employee, business competitor, anyone who doesn’t like you to write and post a complaint on ComplaintsBoard.com to tarnish your professional reputation and reduce your earning potential. This is why having Complaints Board removal options in your back pocket is crucial.
How to Remove Complaints Board Comments From Google Search Results
When it comes to fighting a complaint from ComplaintsBoard.com, you have options.
- Respond directly and publicly
As a matter of fact, this site allows the offending person or company to respond directly to the complainant, and the complainant even has the option to mark an issue as “resolved” and explain the measures taken by a business to correct the situation.
Depending on the context, this may be the best way to proceed. If the complaint is sincere, apologize for their experience and explain how you plan to prevent that from happening in the future.
While this is likely the best course of action for true complaints, this can backfire. By actively engaging/commenting on a posted complaint, you are actually contributing to its relevance in search results, which could in turn help the exchange rank higher.
If you suspect that this is a disingenuous complaint that’s actually an unwarranted attack on you, your Complaints Board removal approach should differ. When dealing with someone who is spiteful or actively trying to ruin your company’s online reputation, don’t engage. Once you’ve apologized and shared the corrective course of action, some people may not accept that and instead try to get a rise out of you. Avoid reacting in an inflammatory manner and focus on other aspects of your branding strategy.
Best case scenario – the person lodging the complaint does nothing, worst case scenario – they file more complaints or continue to update the original complaint.
- Submit a takedown request
Another option is to try submitting a takedown request to Google and other search engines.
But before submitting, make sure that you read the Google’s guidelines on the kind of content that they de-index.
In the US, the chances of a complaint getting removed or de-indexed are slim unless the content exposes extremely sensitive information publicly, (think social security numbers, bank account numbers, or sexually explicit content that one party did not agree to filming or publishing – aka revenge porn). Even so, it may be worth a shot, depending on what kind of information the complaint shares.
- Hire a lawyer
You could also hire legal counsel in your quest to remove these unflattering and unfounded comments. However, when it comes to suing a third party consumer review site like complaintsboard.com, remember, the platform itself is typically protected. And, the demarcation from recounting an experience to defamation is a slippery slope and can be difficult to prove.
If you can afford legal advisors, this is definitely something you can try. The downside here is that the results aren’t consistent, and the legal process is a pain that most people don’t want to go through. The legal eagles aren’t a sure-fire way to remove Complaints Board posts and comments.
Our main issues with these methods
Unfortunately, these methods aren’t guaranteed to work. Additionally, they don’t completely remove the offending comments from the internet. These options don’t protect you from possible complaints later on down the line, so there’s a chance you end up right back where you started.
Because of the uncertainty attached to these solutions, we highly suggest suppression as the most effective alternative. When figuring out how to remove unflattering posts from complaintsboard.com, personal branding and suppression is your best bet.
Our favorite Complaints Board removal strategy: suppression
Suppression an online reputation management strategy that consists of building up online properties and websites to outrank something negative (in this case a result from complaintsboard.com). There are a few reasons why we tend to recommend this option for most people.
First off, you deal with the primary problem you’re having. Suppressing a review from Google search results when done properly has the same effect as a complete Complaints Board removal. By burying it you significantly eliminate the chance of anyone seeing it, which is what you’re after.
Also, with suppression you have more control. Unlike passing things off to a lawyer, you know if things are done properly you will have success building up a formidable brand over time.
Lastly, you get the benefit of building up a positive online presence while you execute your Complaints Board removal strategy. When everything is complete you will not only have taken care of that negative review, but will have a fantastic online reputation that can aid your professional life.
While the details of suppression can get a bit complex, the 3-step process of building, establishing and maintaining your online presence is the best way to protect against future Complaints Board issues. These are the phases that we execute for our clients, and what any reputable firm should do as well.
Some common questions and concerns…
At BrandYourself, we’ve had a number of clients suffering from unfounded attacks on review sites like Complaints Board. Through these experiences, we’ve learned a lot while figuring out how to push down these unflattering search results, and what to expect.
While every situation is different, here are a few common trends we’ve noticed when dealing with complaints board removal.
Are Complaints Board search results difficult to bury?
It all depends. When it comes to predicting whether or not it will be easy to suppress a Complaints Board result, you have to consider a number of factors. First, ask yourself the following questions:
- How competitive are the search results for your name or business?
- What information is already online about you (or your business)?
- When was the complaint published?
- Is the page regularly updated?
If you have a common name (like “Ben Smith”), or share a name with a celebrity (like Kanye West), it’s going to be challenging to create a personal brand that outranks all of those other search results.
Luckily, this may work in your favor in the case of dealing with a post on Complaints Board. Those other search results may suppress this negative result.
If you have a unique name – and there isn’t much online about you, you’re in luck. Chances are pretty good that the professional profiles and personal websites that you create and optimize for your name will rank well in search results. You can achieve this by following an action plan consistently over time.
When it comes to Complaints Board removal, the information that is already online about you (or your business) can either help or hurt you. If there’s already tons of positive press from reputable sites, or you already have a great Twitter and Medium account, chances are – your Complaints Board result won’t be all that damaging.
People who search for you will see more aspects of who you are than the single opinion someone shared on Complaints Board. However, if there’s little about you to begin with, that Complaints Board review doesn’t have anything to compete with and will probably rank well quickly.
Which Complaints Board posts rank highest?
In terms of the “strength” of a Complaints Board post, there are a few factors that tend to go into this.
Google and other search engines favor both very old and very new search results. So if this Complaints Board review is from last week or from 5 years ago, it may have some authority in the eyes of the search engine.
- The domain is authoritative
ComplaintsBoard.com tends to rank high. This means that new pages on this domain are also likely to rank well.
- The name is catchy
Unfortunately, Complaints Board appeals to our baser instincts. The thought of reading about “scams” and “fraud” entices users to click through the site. This sort of clickbaiting encourages traffic which also helps the site’s authority.
- Engagement and updates
In addition to having a click-baity name and an authoritative domain, users often keep their complaints active and ranking well by adding to the content on the page. When the people launching the complaint are spiteful, this tends to encourage others to chime in as well.
This makes search engines like Google view this page as relevant and content-rich, which makes the page rank higher in results. Unfortunately it’s also what makes an easy Complaints Board removal campaign so rare.
While reviews from Complaints Board can potentially damage the online reputation of you or your business, they’re not impossible to deal with. By building, optimizing and regularly publishing high quality content online, you stand the best chance at overcoming the negativity associated with a post from Complaints Board.
To take things to the next level and learn more about how our managed services can help, head over to our Concierge Services page.