Online Reputation Management fits seamlessly within the context of your search engine marketing program. It is the quickest, most effective solution for dealing with bad press that has surfaced on the search engines about you or your company. By pushing negative listings from the front page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, online reputation management (ORM) shields you from the damaging commentary of others.
Negative publicity online has become one of the most frustrating challenges for companies. It is typically anonymous. Names are often unattached to forum threads, blog posts, and even entire websites. Therefore, it is difficult to track and address the source of the complaint. Moreover, the growing popularity of social networking platforms has made it easier than ever for anyone with a mild grievance to give weight to their grudge. If you or your company have been the target of bad press online, it may be time to launch a Online Reputation Management campaign.
It's important to clarify how negative publicity gains traction within the search engines, and how it can lead to a public relations nightmare. At SEP we'll provide a working blueprint for executing an online reputation management campaign and controlling the damage.
Online Reputation Management: The Preemptive Strike
Most companies launch a Online Reputation Management campaign after bad publicity has already crept toward the top of Google's organic listings. That is a reactive approach. The problem is that high-ranking pages with negative press tend to generate inbound links. Those links further strengthen the pages' positions. As a result, they become more difficult to suppress.
Unlike Reverse SEO, which is targeted and combating negative press once it's already posted, Online Reputation Management can be used as a preventative measure. By launching a campaign that controls the top organic positions, you can prevent negative publicity from gaining exposure in the first place. In effect, you can insulate your company from the whims and machinations of frustrated customers, unhappy employees, and deceitful competitors.
Controlling Bad Publicity with Online Reputation Management
To appreciate why Online Reputation Management is effective, you should understand how negative press takes root within the top search listings in the first place. Google, Yahoo, and Bing rank pages based on a large number of criteria. If a website and its individual pages satisfy the most important of those criteria, those pages will rank well.
A lot of the bad press that targets companies (possibly even your own) is placed on websites that meet key ranking parameters in the search algorithms. That means the negative publicity can climb into the top positions and gain exposure. When people search for you or your company, they'll see the bad press. That damages your reputation.
Reverse SEO is an ORM strategy that pushes negative publicity from the top search positions. By moving the bad press off the first page of listings, Online Reputation Management limits its exposure and stifles its impact.
Ingredients for an Effective Online Reputation Management Campaign
Like search engine marketing, online reputation management uses a methodical, multi-pronged approach to protect your online reputation. The first step is to identify the sites and pages that contain negative publicity about your company, and are ranking for important keywords. Those keywords might include your name, that of your company, or key employees.
The second step of online reputation management is to analyze those sites and pages for their respective ranking authority. That will help you determine the effort and tools you'll need to use in order to move them from the first page of listings within Google, Yahoo, and Bing. A negative PR blitz that is spreading across the social networking sites is more difficult to remove than a single blog post that is on a non-authoritative domain.
The third step is to gather the necessary tools and execute your online reputation management campaign. Utilization of optimization tools such as press releases, a new network of competing sites and blogs, social media profiles, and social bookmarking programs. Online Reputation Management may also include heavy content syndication to build high-quality links. A search engine marketing specialist will have these tools at their disposal.
Online Reputation Management Begins Before Negative Press Emerges
The best time to launch an online reputation management campaign is before bad publicity appears in the search engines. This is due to the way that the pages link. A page will rank well within the search engines if there are enough thematic links pointing toward it. However, once it ranks, it will gain exposure. That exacerbates the problem.
Negative press can spread rapidly as people attach the press to their own blogs, sites, forums, and social media accounts. That creates a growing portfolio of links pointing toward the damaging press, cementing its position in the top listings. It becomes more difficult to address. By launching an online reputation management campaign upfront, you can prevent the negative publicity from gaining exposure in the first place.
Protect Your Online Reputation with Online Reputation Management
Online Reputation Management should play a key role in your online reputation management program. It is far too easy for unsatisfied customers, resentful employees, lazy journalists, and malicious competitors to tarnish your name. And when it happens, it is usually done under the cover of anonymity. Anonymity makes the complaint or grievance impossible to address in private.
Launch your online reputation management campaign now – before trouble strikes and the damage begins to gain momentum in the search engines. In a year's time, you'll be glad you did.
Tips to control bad press:
The primary idea behind online reputation management is to push negative comments about you down in the search engine rankings and push your own, or someone else's, positive comments about you up. Use all of the tools at your disposal, including social bookmarking and social networking, RSS, and other tools to disseminate positive information about you without making negative comments about the other party.
- First, online reputation management is not for the light hearted. People can and will likely post negative comments about you or your company. So what do you when it happens?
- Don't retaliate. The more content you post to a website, the higher it ranks. What may have been ranked on the second page may very well end up on the first page if you post additional content to it.
- Rather, start your own blog and post updates about you or your company.
- Also be sure to use the same keywords that your adversaries are using to destroy your reputation – the goal is to push their negative posts off the front page of the search engines and replace them with positive posts from you.
- Your own domain name is better than a blog on a free blog host
As online reputation management was originally developed by public relations firms, we as a search engine marketing firm have developed our own strategized approach called Reverse SEO, which our co-founder Dr. Clinton Cimring invented. The differences can be subtle, but the results can be enormous. Reverse SEO is online reputation management from an SEO standpoint. For more about it see: http://www.searchenginepartner.com/First-page-placement/reverse-seo.html