Google is no longer just a search engine. With your potential customers, future employers, and members of the media turning to Google for information about your business, Google has become a reputation engine.
Whether it was being fined by the SEC, ridiculed by an ex-employee, or investigated by a local newspaper, there is one common goal: get that negative result off of the first page!
Of course, it's near on impossible to make a negative Google result simply disappear—although there are some black-hat SEOs that claim to have that gift. Instead, your best approach is to provide Googlebot with a healthier diet of web content that shows your reputation in a positive light.
Here are three fundamental concepts to master when dealing with search engine reputation management: Monitor, Optimize and Engage.
Include modifiers: sucks, scam, kudos
Types of content to monitor include: News Search, Social Media/Tags, Standard Search Results, Blogs and Forums.
Optimizing is most effective as a preventive measure rather than a reactive measure. However, reactive optimization for displacing negative search results is what most online reputation management services focus on. It leaves the company chasing after the various dissenters and does not put the brand in a position of control.
Companies that want to protect their brand visibility on the web would do well to make optimizing their brand content a best practice. Optimizing all digital communications including: PR, marketing, SEO, HR, investor relations and related electronic content that is publicly available on the web as well as social media: text, images, audio, video will produce more branded content in the SERPs. Doing so doesn't necessarily put the brand in control, but it's a much better situation than scrambling after the fact.
Once a negative mention has been identified, here are a few basic steps in dealing with it:
Results can be a anything from a positive turn around to a loyal brand evangelist.
Implementing a proactive monitoring campaign provides insight into the kinds of content interactions audiences are having with your brand. When identified and qualified, situations need to be addressed directly. At the same time, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and companies need to implement holistic brand content optimization as a best practice. The more branded content in the search results, the more diluted any negative brand content will be.
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