Reverse SEO

Reverse SEO

Search Engine Reputation Management is getting increasingly popular these days. These are times when free thought and opinion is honored by the search results in blogging platforms, forums, social networks, etc. Because of this, companies that commit mistakes (who doesn’t?) can face grave consequences in having bad reputation results in the search engines. Reverse SEO is exactly for managing these negative search engine results.

When a bad Reputation pops up

You won’t really know when one of your employees or high level staff will do something stupid. You won’t really know if or when your product will fail. You won’t really know if an unreasonable, irate customer will walk in your door. You won’t really know if that customer knows how to do SEO. You won’t really know when you’re gonna get a bad reputation in the search engines. What you need to know is what to do when this happens.

How you can put it down

There are different ways and approaches that you can do in order to put a bad reputation in the search results down. There’s the ‘strategic’ method and the ‘grinding’ method.


1) Tell Google

If something goes wrong, the first thing you can do is to check if there is anything against Google guidelines in the entry. If there is, you can report them to the big daddy of search and have that entry de-indexed. Here’s Google’s ‘against the guidelines’ list:

  • My confidential, personal information is appearing in search results (e.g. name, address, phone number, medical records)
  • A piece of content I am concerned about has already been removed by the webmaster but still appears among the search results
  • I have found a site that is engaging in suspicious behavior
  • I would like incorrect or inaccurate information to be removed from search results
  • My full name or the name of my business appears on an adult content site that’s spamming Google’s search results
  • A page appearing in Google’s search results is violating my company’s trademark rights
  • One or more pages on my site have been removed due to a legal complaint, and I would like them restored.
  • I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above

2) Settlement

There is arguably nothing more fulfilling than being reconciled with a brother. Reaching a mutual agreement between the offended party who owns the bad reputation and the company itself can sometimes be the best and easiest way to remove a bad reputation from the web. It can be accomplished in 3 easy steps:

  1. Contact the webmaster
  2. Ask for a meeting – be at your best
  3. Negotiate for a compromise between both parties

This is usually done in the form of monetary settlements. Since the company has incurred personal, (and sometimes emotional) damage to the customer, there can be high demands from the offended party. If the bad reputation is affecting the business and the brand in a negative way, take care of it.

Weigh it out. Are the demands of the customer weightier than the damages incurred of the bad reputation? If it’s a no, then give in to the demands. Don’t think about it anymore – just do it. Every second, there are 3 billion searches happening globally. Why take a risk? Who knows if .1% of those searches could be about your brand?


Grinding – Reverse SEO

There is only one way to go with the grinding method – own the top 10 search results. It is using SEO to outrank any negative web result in the SERP. This is difficult and includes 10 times more effort than SEO. Ranking 10 websites ain’t easy – especially if you don’t own some of those websites.

Reverse SEO can be summarized in 7 steps:

  1. Identify the bad reputation with regards to the brand / business keyword
  2. Analyze the competitive edge of that bad reputation site – backlinks, on site structure, social media authority, etc…
  3. Build on the keyword using off-site SEO on websites and other web properties you don’t own
  4. Build on the SEO of websites and web properties that you own
  5. Interlink those properties
  6. Get the backlinks of that bad reputation page and point them to your properties
  7. Repeat until desired effect is achieved

This is a no-brainer grinding method with Reverse SEO – but it sure is effective. The only concern is if the company keeps repeating its mistakes – this will lead to more bad reputation. And if that bad news reaches journalists and other bloggers / publishers in the web, no matter how good an Online reputation management specialist you are, you won’t be able to beat that buzz.

Remember: The best Online Reputation Management Strategy is prevention.

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  • I agree, no matter how good you are once the same mistakes is repeated the word will soon get out to other bloggers in the community that would badly fracture your business. Reputation management is utterly important especially those who are outsourcing work to online employees.

    Spatch Merlin
    More Web Site Traffic Guide

  • ORM also known as “Reverse SEO” is where you do SEO to the sites beneath the offending URL so that it drops from the first page, second page, and so on.. I must admit that, it is the most challenging tasks I’ve handled in my whole IM years. A bad online reputation gets the most eyebrow raising thingy that makes your name/brand/organization looks bad to the eye of people. Fortunately, I was able to clear them out before their time-frame ends. Good thing for me, I don’t have to think about doing an ORM for myself! LOL

    Basically, ORM is divided in to two parts. That is Branding and Removal of Bad Reviews. The benefit of Branding increases the awareness that the business exist, it also serves as a gateway to a broader audience through social media and press releases.

    On the other hand, Removal of Bad Reviews is for companies that have bad reviews or have negative presence online. In case, the company have this “bad reputation” online, they will benefit from ORM by clearing these negative reviews on the first pages of search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

    In addition the blog, the things that we really have to spend time with is the initial inspection. Please see below:

    Initial Analysis:
    ~Identify other variation of phrases that may also be part of the case as well as the geo-target.
    ~Analyze and give the estimated time frame to meet the expectation of the client.
    ~Recommend a strategy with the help of comprehensive ORM Packages. (SEO+Social Media+Branding)
    ~Identify the Positive, Negative, and External URLs that is part of the search results of a particular query.

    After these inspection was done. Create a road map and operational schedule based on the data gathered during the analysis.

    ~For faster result, ORM road map plotter can use existing URLs on the search results even if it is not related to the main key phrase with bad review.

    ~Branding and Removal of bad reviews can be combined to provide the optimum results with shorter time-frame.

    ~Social Media accounts is the best URLs to go for. They don’t need to be optimized that much. Plus you can do multiple accounts using the same phrase. cool? :)


  • Zoe

    Sean, thanks for the informative article. I am new to blogging and to the internet and having my own brand it is always at the back of my mind what customers feel about us. I haven’t heard of reverse SEO before so this is a new one for me. I need to gain a bit more experience and knowledge first and this has been another big learning step. Many thanks

  • Anyone can use Reverse SEO to close the negative publicity that targets your company in Google, Yahoo or any other. This is the process of removing websites other than your own from the first pages of Google. Thanks a lot.

  • I do agree with all your points of Reputation management