ORM Case Study: Suppression via Microsite Optimization


A subscription-based company has millions of members. A very small percentage of these people had a bad experience or did not understand how the subscription worked and how to cancel their memberships, due to their own negligence. As a result, these people have written numerous negative reviews across the web, including scam-related websites. It is nearly impossible to remove these reviews because the scam sites make a profit by extorting money from companies to have their reviews taken down, only to be replaced by new, negative reviews from other people.


After performing keyword research to determine how people were researching the company, we ran a suppression campaign that focused most heavily on developing microsites about the brand (small websites). We optimized each of these websites to rank for keywords such as “[brand name] scam” and “[brand name] reviews”. Using effective Search Engine Optimization techniques, we were able to get these microsites onto the first page of Google, pushing down most of the negative reviews to the 2nd or 3rd page of Google. This had the added benefit of replacing the auto-suggest values on Google search (recommendations that appear when you start typing a search into Google) with more positive results. Prior to the campaign, keywords such as “[brand name] scam” appeared as recommendations in auto-suggest. Several months into the campaign, these keywords disappeared. As a long-term solution, we helped the company develop language about their subscription service and post it clearly on their website in a way that educated the consumer about how their service worked, without having a negative impact on sales. We also helped them with a customer service strategy by listening to recordings of phone calls with customers, and developing canned responses (a script) that addressed consumer complaints in a way that significantly reduced the percentage of people who wrote bad reviews.