Last updated on May 28th, 2012 at 10:06 pm
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
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:
- Contact the webmaster
- Ask for a meeting – be at your best
- 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:
- Identify the bad reputation with regards to the brand / business keyword
- Analyze the competitive edge of that bad reputation site – backlinks, on site structure, social media authority, etc…
- Build on the keyword using off-site SEO on websites and other web properties you don’t own
- Build on the SEO of websites and web properties that you own
- Interlink those properties
- Get the backlinks of that bad reputation page and point them to your properties
- 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.