Nov 25, 2016
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I need some advice, the client is renaming both locations of their practice, and they pretty much want to bury their current reputation online and start over again.

Why they are trying to bury their online reputation, the one page of google search is appearing for more than 10+ keywords (Dr name + Clinic name + location name) in the first page, (the lawsuit was thrown out in court because it was untrue and filed by fired employees)

Also, their google reviews are not great. We are doing both management and marketing consulting for them, so we are trying to fix their entire dental practice over the next three months.

My question, they have not claimed their google my business page, for both the locations, what should we do with their bad online reputation?

One location has 35 reviews and another has 2 reviews.

Do I go and claim those pages, and then we rename them when we change the brand, or do we want to just start their image over again, without claiming the page? We are currently in the process of creating a new logo, with a new name, and a new url, as well as a completely new website with all new content.

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
Jan 30, 2018
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Hi there!

My first hunch is that rebranding the practice isn't going to make this go away, unfortunately. It's still the same Dr and staff (presumably?), and their name is still going to be linked with the address, phone number, and any documents that mention the doctor by name in their litigation. Furthermore, there is nothing preventing folks from leaving negative reviews on the new listings once they discover the Dr is trying to do business under a different name. The Dr needs to fix their personal reputation - not just the DBA.

As for the GMB listings, I would claim, update, and optimize them. Creating new and reporting the old as closed won't remove them completely from Google, and they might even be considered duplicates since it's the same Dr at the practice. You never know with Google :/

I would then have the Dr launch a PR campaign within their community and work to earn positive reviews for their practice at both locations. The more positive mentions they receive from other local businesses and happy patients, the sooner this will be buried - like bad credit. You bury bad with good.


Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Thanks Cherie, great advice!

Wanted to add that creating new and reporting the old as closed could cause ranking problems for the new listing. An old closed listing at same address Joy has noted in the past can suppress the new one. It will be hard enough to get the new one ranking since all the natural citations are for the old name.

So this type of scenario is tricky. I think if you claim the existing and wait about a month, then change the name it might be best. (Don't claim, then right away change name, it could trip a red flag.)


Nov 25, 2016
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Hey Cherie,

Thanks for the great advice. I really appreciate your time and thought.

I completely agree with you. A couple of things will remain same so rebranding doesn't make sense.

This will be really helpful.



Nov 25, 2016
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Hi Linda,

I agree with you as well.

Rather than creating a new listing, it would be a good idea to claim and wait for a month and then change.

Many thanks for this tip.

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