The New York Times has an interesting article today about small businesses that may not know what’s being said about them online or not knowing what to do about when they do find something negative.
The article has good advice and not-as-good advice.
Good advice: Don’t respond to comments or blog posts anonymously. It will only come back to haunt you.
Not-as-good advice: While it’s true that you can register domain names that are variations of your company name, a better defense is a good offense. Take an honest look at your company or service first and see if there’s something you could improve or if the commenter has a valid complaint. If you turn that complainer into a fan, that person can become an asset and promote you via word of mouth. And to small businesses, that can be gold.