The reputations of businesses, online and otherwise, are becoming increasingly important in determining which companies blow up and which are left in the dust. Reputation can determine who will (or won’t) apply to work at your business. The rate at which reviews and ratings are generated can be improbably fast, a virtual momentum that translates very definitively into the bottom line. This sort of snowballing effect can be a double edged sword, however, with potential floods of negative reviews drowning businesses in a river of…double edged swords? The point is that this stuff’s important. A recent study from Harvard’s School of Business focused on this phenomenon examined the effect that Yelp reviews had on businesses in Seattle, particularly restaurants. After a whole bunch of data adjustment and number crunching it was found that losing or gaining a star on the site translated to a 5-9 percent effect on revenue. While most of the businesses examined by the study were restaurants, the overall effect between online perception of a business and how that business performs is undeniable. To read about 5 ways you can improve your company’s online reputation — and attract the best possible job applicants — click the link below.