A lot of companies and brands are becoming very sensitive about what shows up when googling their name. This is no longer a “nice to have” or something “only the big guys do”. It has become part of every successful business model.
With online brand awareness increasing, most are now realizing this has a real impact on their bottom line because it’s what people see when they are looking for information about you which determines your reputation in the public eye. Many have found surprisingly negative search results associated with their brand which could be the result of a poor customer service call, faulty product not replaced, shoddy services et al.
Though the internal representation of your brand should be sorted out (staff training and awareness campaigns), Google reputation repair strategies must be implemented concurrently. Simply put, the business model of any company or brand has to include strategies to suppress bad online reviews, negative Google results and any other form of unwanted content online. Here are some broad strategies.
1. An initial strong online presence
The best defense is often a good offense.
The first thing to know to about Google is that there is a huge difference in terms of click-through rate between the 10 organic search results on page 1. The second or third results on page 1 will get an incredibly smaller amount of traffic compared to the first result. Call it lazy searching or whatever you want, but the top of page 1 dominates all other positions by far. Here’s a chart by SEOBook.
The first, second and third results combined get around 600% more visits than the other results on the first page. This is why the proactive approach to suppressing future negative results should always be to dominate those first positions with powerful content. With this you can create a barrier of of sorts and make it difficult for online defamation to climb.
If you have a small case of negative search results then act immediately. You can start with this sequence.
- Try work out the problem with the source. Sometimes going on full attack can make a mess of things.
- Write an in-depth rebuttal with a complain to the admin, webmaster and/or hosting company, explaining how it is false information from a competitor, angry former employee or a random act of destruction etc. Maintain manners and try provide evidence.
- Publish an in-depth resource that search engines will love surrounding the keywords affected.
- Create new social network and public profiles (if it is your name or your company’s name which is affected). Using online reputation management platforms.
- Add a Wikipedia entry, if you qualify. Be careful with this, if you are under heavy attack in the media, this can be used against you.
- Publish videos on YouTube to dominate video searches.
2. Can Google Help?
In some cases, suppressing or outranking all the negative search results will be close to impossible and you may want to have certain pages removed by Google. This is the extreme reputation repair and it is not easy. But if you follow Google’s guidelines you can submit your removal request and achieve good results in a matter of weeks, should Google agree your argument.
3. Getting external help
If you want to get quick results and are losing a lot of money from an online defamation, the most efficient way to suppress unwanted results and restore your brand reputation is to request the services of an online reputation management firm. Using professionals specialising in suppressing negative search results you will rapidly reduce your losses and revamp your image.
If you are undergoing an attack and want to remove unwanted online content as soon as possible, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Speaking with a Massive consultant will give you a better idea of the necessary steps to manage your online reputation from here on out.