When Sarah and I moved from California to Wisconsin, we used one of the national moving companies. As might be expected, our experience with that company was less than ideal.
Soon after we got to Madison, got our household goods, and finished unpacking, I wrote a long rant about how awful the moving company was which was posted on my website. At the time, my hope was that our experiences would warn others about the moving company and how they treat their customers.
Since that time, many people have visited by website to research the moving company in question. The page in question ranks quite highly in several search engines, as displayed in the following table.
Search termSearch engingRank in resultsCommentsrossiter van linesYahoo1 rossiter movingYahoo1 rossiter relocationMSN2The top result is the moving company's web site.unitedvanlinesMSN14 movers claim processMSN15
Unfortunately, I have not cracked the Google listings yet. I'm guessing that with the next version of Geeklog, I'll be able to rewrite a few URL's and make my site more Google spider friendly.
Regardless, it is a good object lesson of how long a bad reputation can follow you around on-line. This all happened two years ago, but my writing is still out there informing people's opinions today. Search engines, browsers, and the web make it incredibly easy for someone with a bad experience to color the perceptions of others years after an event occurs.